[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) [corporate website] has announced that the SEC approved a new rule requiring firms to better inform clients about non-managed fee-based accounts (NMFBA). NYSE Rule 405(A) forces all companies traded on the NYSE to provide clients with information about different NMFBA programs available before the client opens a fee-based account. In a memo, the NYSE defined NMFBA programs as accounts where "no investment advisory services are provided by the member or member organization and in which the customer is charged a fixed fee and/or a percentage of account value, rather than transaction-based commissions." Reuters has more.
In other corporations and securities law news...
- Nine states have filed suit against RJ Reynolds [corporate website] for misleading advertisements. The advertisements are for the company's Eclipse brand of cigarettes, which the company says may be less dangerous than ordinary cigarettes [Reynolds' study]. A press release from Vermont's attorney general--who filed the lawsuit--says that the states have been investigating the company's claims for over a year. AP has more.
- A private-sector panel created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to oversee auditors of public companies has voted to adopt a ban that would prevent auditors from advising clients to use aggressive tax shelters. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board [official website] (PCAOB) voted unanimously to approve the ban, which must now go before the SEC for review. Tax-shelters were once big business for auditing firms but the enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley and recent corporate scandals have scared large auditing firms away. Reuters has more.
- The SEC is investigating the American Stock Exchange [corporate website] requirements for so-called blank check companies. The companies, known as specified purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), do not have products or revenue but only exist to raise money for future business. Reuters has more.