During the ABA Business Law Section Annual Meeting, at the Dialogue with the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance, hosted by the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, Keith Higgins offered a comprehensive overview of developments. Mr. Higgins provided a brief update of the proxy season. He noted that the Staff is pretty far along in its thinking regarding recommendations for disclosures regarding diversity on public boards, consistent with statements made by Chair White (see our prior posts on this link). Mr. Higgins observed that the comment period had closed for the Regulation S-K Concept Release and noted that a significant number of the comments received focused on ESG issues with commenters advocating more disclosures on sustainability and related matters. Significant comments were received as well on MD&A disclosures, generally favoring the consolidation in a single place of all MD&A related guidance and supporting the continued use of an executive summary. Also, most commenters expressed concerns about limiting the number of risk factors, as well as concerns about any requirement to have issuers address their responses to risks. Mr. Higgins noted that consistent with the mandates in the FAST Act, the Commission recently requested comment on the 400 series (see our post). Mr. Higgins also commented on the recent hyperlink release.

On the JOBS Act, Mr. Higgins provided an update through end of August. There were 92 Regulation CF filings with issuers from diverse sectors, including biotech, brewery, and real estate. Ten companies have filed Forms CU having raised an aggregate of $4 million. There have been 128 Regulation A offering statements filed, and 60 qualified, with an almost even split between Tier 1 and Tier 2 offerings.

Mr. Higgins noted that the Staff is finalizing its recommendations to the Commission on the amendments to Rule 147 and Rule 504. Also, the Staff is working on the disclosure report mandated by the FAST Act to be delivered to Congress by late November.