Invasion of the Regulatory Body-Snatchers: A New Agenda at the SEC
On June 11, 2021, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released the Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. This report includes the priority regulatory items for the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) in 2021, which have been added to the SEC’s updated regulatory agenda.
According to the SEC’s press release, notable proposed and final SEC rulemaking areas include:
- Disclosure relating to climate risk, human capital, including workforce diversity and corporate board diversity, and cybersecurity risk
- Market structure modernization within equity markets, treasury markets, and other fixed income markets
- Transparency around stock buybacks, short sale disclosure, securities-based swaps ownership, and the stock loan market
- Investment fund rules, including money market funds, private funds, and ESG funds
- 10b5-1 affirmative defense provisions
- Unfinished work directed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, including, among other things, securities-based swaps and related rules, incentive-based compensation arrangements, and conflicts of interest in securitizations
- Enhancing shareholder democracy
- Special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”)
- Mandated electronic filings and transfer agents
SEC Chair Gary Gensler made prior statements regarding his desire to reform Rule 10b5-1 to address perceived abuses, and the regulation of private funds and SPACs, among other topics. For the initiative on shareholder democracy, the SEC recently reopened the comment period of its long-dormant proposal on universal proxy cards.
Although the SEC’s agenda is subject to change, this gives an indication of the direction of its regulatory initiatives in the immediate future.
This Client Alert is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information in this Client Alert is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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