Legislative Updates: Improving the Public Company Experience .

Nasdaq Stock Exchange President Nelson Griggs shares Nasdaq and legislative developments toward improving the public company experience.

Legislative Updates: Improving the Public Company Experience

By Nelson Griggs / President, Nasdaq Stock Exchange

In May, I shared progress of the first year since Nasdaq’s Revitalize blueprint was released. We’ve been joined in our efforts by a coalition of like-minded organizations who share our concern that the decline in public companies has created fewer opportunities for American families and businesses. 

Coalition members include the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Equity Dealers of America, National Venture Capital Association, SIFMA, TechNet and the American Securities Association. Together, we prepared a report with a series of recommendations to help more companies go and stay public.

US Capitol with American Flag

Ed Knight, our General Counsel, represented Nasdaq at a recent coalition meeting that included SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and a number of SEC officials. They were generally supportive of our proposals and were willing to accept recommendations for areas where the SEC staff can take action.

Additionally, Nasdaq recently testified at a House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing to review eleven legislative proposals to help fuel capital and growth on Main Street. The legislation would require the SEC to adjust the resubmission thresholds for shareholder proposals, align the patchwork of definitions for smaller company relief in the securities laws, allow for venture exchanges to trade smaller, less liquid securities, and allow companies to replace the current Form 10-Q regime with an enhanced earnings press release.

We’ve already received positive congressional response on our legislative priorities, some of which include legislation that was considered during the recent hearing, and have had multiple legislative accomplishments including:

  • Reform Shareholder Proposal Rule: H.R. 5756, to require the SEC to adjust certain resubmission thresholds for shareholder proposals, passed the House Financial Services Committee by partisan vote of 34 – 22 on June 7, 2018
  • Improve Market Structure for Small Cap Securities: H.R. 5877, the Main Street Growth Act, which is Venture Exchange legislation that will allow UTP exemption for small companies and exchange determined tick regime, passed the House Financial Services Committee 56 – 0 on June 7, 2018.
  • XBRL: H.R. 5054, Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act, passed the House Financial Services Committee 32 – 23 on June 7, 2018.
  • 10-Q Optionality: H.R. 5970, Simplifying Disclosures for Investors Act, was introduced in the House on May 24, 2018.
  • Reform Proxy Advisory Firms: H.R. 4015, Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act, passed the House by bipartisan vote of 238 – 182 on December 20, 2017.
  • Confidential Filing and Test the Waters: H.R. 3903, Encouraging Public Offerings Act, passed the House 419 – 0 on November 1, 2017. A companion bill, S. 2347, has been introduced in the Senate.
  • Streamline Disclosure: On November 15, 2017 H.R. 4248, to repeal conflict mineral disclosures, passed the House Financial Services Committee 32 – 27. H.R. 4289, to repeal mine safety disclosures, also passed the House Financial Services Committee 33 – 25.

I look forward to continuing the discussion on these important initiatives. To learn more about Nasdaq’s progress for advancing capital markets reform and to show your support, visit nasdaq.com/revitalize.

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