- The SEC sided with investor and consumer advocate groups who wanted the commission to reject a shareholder effort to include a proposal that would require a company to have bylaws forcing defrauded investors into arbitration. But the commission sided with the investor protection groups on a narrower set of circumstances dealing with state laws in New Jersey, leaving a broader question unresolved about whether a public company can require shareholders to arbitrate claims against them under the federal securities laws.
- SEC Chairman Jay Clayton reiterated his view that the commission’s disclosure requirements should focus on “the material information that a reasonable investor needs to make informed investment and voting decisions.” His views come as the agency’s investor advisory panel explores whether the SEC should require a standardized set of disclosures on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters that business groups dismiss as non-material to a reasonable investor.
- The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance updated interpretive guidance to clarify disclosures about board diversity. The staff’s update to the guidance comes amid increased demand for more information about board diversity.
- The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) published a consultation paper seeking comment on its proposed strategic direction and work plan. The board said its proposed strategy puts a way forward that it believes meets the capital markets’ evolving needs.
- The AICPA’s Professional Ethics Executive Committee (PEEC) issued a revised exposure draft regarding the independence requirements for state and local government entities. The panel issued the second proposal in response to some concerns raised in comment letters to the initial exposure draft published in July 2017.