Investor Group Calls for IPO Governance Standards

The Council of Institutional Investors recently released its expectations for corporate governance best practices at companies going public. CII urges IPO companies to adopt some fundamental practices from the outset, including a “one share, one vote” structure, simple majority vote requirements, independent board leadership and annual elections for board directors.

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SEC Chair Expresses Concern Over Highly Valued Startups

In a recent speech at the Stanford Law School, SEC Chair Mary Jo White expressed concern over non-public startups with eye-popping valuations of $1 billion or more. Referring to these fast-growing entities as "unicorns," White noted that these companies deserve more scrutiny to assess whether their internal controls and governance structures are adequate for investor protection.

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DOJ Pilot Program Aims to Encourage FCPA Self-Reporting

The Justice Department announced a new one-year pilot program under which companies that self-report violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act may be eligible for reduced sanctions. Under the program, federal prosecutors may offer the 50 percent penalty reduction if the company voluntarily reports the FCPA violation and discloses all known facts, fully cooperates with the investigation and remediates the bad acts.

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Berkshire Hathaway to Simulcast Annual Meeting

Berkshire Hathaway surprised investors this year by announcing that its April 30, 2016 annual meeting would also be simultaneously webcast on Yahoo. “[We] have finally decided to enter the 21st Century,” said Chairman Warren Buffett.

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The Ticker shares recent developments in SEC compliance, capital markets, corporate governance, executive compensation and other matters important to public companies and their officers and directors.  It is published by Fredrikson & Byron’s Public Companies Group.