Six US Market Regulation Predictions for 2018

 私が働いていた事務所のパートナーによる2018年の米国における市場規制に関する記事です。フィナンシャル・タイムズに掲載された模様。

(4). SEC to seek fiduciary standard for broker-dealers

The conventional wisdom is that Trump appointees will remove, rather than add, new regulatory requirements, but there are a few critical areas that belie this expectation. For example, Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has expressed a strong commitment to tackle the fiduciary standard for brokers in 2018. The Department of Labor recently delayed until mid-2019 the implementation of key provisions of its fiduciary rule that applies to transactions with retirement account clients. The delay provides breathing room for coordination on a consistent approach by the two agencies. Look for possible complications, however, due to the arrival of two new commissioners at the SEC this year, each of whom may have very different views of the necessity and impact of moving from a suitability to a fiduciary standard for brokers.

(5). More enforcement actions related to virtual currencies

We expect the explosion of public interest in the trading of virtual currencies and virtual-currency-related products to continue. US regulators spent much of the second half of 2017 actively focused on these products and the regulatory issues they raised. The SEC, CFTC and state regulators all warned the public of the potential risks of trading in these products. While agencies brought enforcement actions in instances of clear fraud or manipulation, for the most part their efforts have been focused on clarifying the scope of their authority and the application of their regulations to these activities. We believe this approach is likely to shift very quickly and sharply as the regulators pivot to an enforcement mode. Market participants, particularly those involved in offering or selling unregistered securities or who deal in these products without the necessary licences, will be much more likely to face enforcement action than in the past.

VW Ruling – Morrison Not A Bar To Securities Claims Involving ADRs

These issues arose again the U.S. securities class action lawsuit that Volkswagen ADR investors filed against the company and related defendants based on allegations involving the company’s recent high-profile vehicle emissions scandal. The Volkswagen defendants argued in reliance on Morrison that the U.S. securities laws do not apply to the OTC transactions in the company’s ADRs. In an interesting January 4, 2017 opinion (here), Northern District of California Judge Charles R. Breyer held that the U.S. securities laws do indeed apply to over-the-counter transactions in the U.S. of Volkswagen’s sponsored Level 1 ADRs.

東芝との違い:Volkswagenでは、sponsored ADRだった。

委任状合戦におけるmajority voting

Davis Polk writes:

Over 40% of the Russell 3000 companies require directors to be elected by a majority of the votes cast. However, in a contested election, most often the standard reverts back to plurality, meaning that nominees who receive the most number of votes are elected regardless of whether they obtained a majority.

Ethan Allen is among the nearly 6% of companies that do not have a plurality carve-out, according to ISS. That posed the interesting question of what happens if none of the candidates on either ballot, or in any case less candidates than the seven available seats for the board, receive a majority of the votes cast.