Financial Transactions and Regulatory Compliance Review

Covering the latest in capital markets transactions, funds, annuities, financial reporting and SEC filings

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FINTECH DEVELOPMENTS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

One of the most notable financial services sectors to emerge in the 21st century, the FinTech (finance + technology) wave attracted nearly $12 billion in global investment in 2015, up from $4 billion in 2013, and continues to barrel through traditional methods and means of financial services to steadily disrupt the industry, one technological innovation at a time:

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Antitrust Legislation in 2016

Perhaps the greatest economic bogeyman in the early part of the 20th century was the monopoly or “Trust.” Governments have worked since then to prevent any business from unfairly dominating or controlling a given industry, with antitrust regulation and enforcement a major theme of government intervention and regulation of business every year. While subprime mortgages and shady lending have been the major threats to economic stability in the first part of this century, this is due in part to the tight controls still levied to prevent businesses from expanding too far. Here are just a few of the developments in antitrust regulation in 2016, with more certainly to follow.

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Proxy Statements of the Future

Activist investors love to portray themselves as voices of forward-thinking progress within a company. One of the best ways to combat an activist is with a proxy vote, but shareholders who see a proxy statement patterned after something out of Mad Men will be quick to believe the activist is indeed the voice of the future while management is mired in the past.

In today’s market, it’s not enough to be tech-savvy – management must communicate their grasp of new ideas every time they contact their shareholders, or else make themselves ripe targets for activists. Proxy statements should therefore be attractive, well-designed, and express that the company’s duly appointed leaders – not self-appointed activists – are best equipped to lead shareholders into the future.

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XBRL US and SEC Agree on Inline XBRL Submissions for Public Companies

Financial reporting has come a long way with the advent of online forms and machine-readable filing languages. The eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) has been adopted by companies worldwide as the standard for sharing business information with one another and with their own and foreign governments. Since creating the language, XBRL International has worked to improve and streamline the way this information is submitted so that financial officers can spend more time doing business and less time reporting on business.

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Oil & Gas Bankruptcy Wave Catching Up to 2002 Telecom Bust

Nearly two years ago, crude oil cost over $100 a barrel. Since then, prices have dropped to below $27, and have stabilized at around $44 a barrel today. And while consumers enjoy lower prices at the pump, oil and gas companies have been suffering from one of the biggest bankruptcy waves in the history of the United States. Over 59 companies have filed for creditor protection as of late January 2016, closing in on the 68 bankruptcies by telecommunications firms during the telecom crisis of 2002.

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Big Deal! How 2016 is Shaping Up for M&A

When it comes to big deals, 2015 was a big year. According to Dealogic, more than $5 trillion in mergers and acquisitions took place between January 1 and December 31, making it the biggest year for M&A since before the worldwide financial crisis hit. Healthcare and technology led M&A deals in 2015 with over $723 and $713 billion respectively, and these fields have continued to dominate the deals so far in 2016.

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Embracing Chaos: How Successful Businesses React to Changing Market Conditions

In the chaotic and unpredictable world of business, the only real constant is change. Markets fluctuate, economic prosperity waxes and wanes, and the march of technology means that the best devices and software of today will most likely be outmoded by next year. But even in the face of unpredictability companies need strategies for dealing not only with specific changes, such as new competitors or market consolidation, but with change as a whole, as well. Agility, adaptability and prescience are all necessary traits for businesses hoping to weather the chaos of today.

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The Importance (and Elements) of Strong Governance

 

No company can succeed without strong leadership. The business world is by nature competitive and complex, and every firm consists of many individuals with their own talents, styles and ideas. Harnessing these unique people into teams – and bonding the teams into a thriving company – requires vision, integrity and will. In other words, businesses require strong governance. 

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Preparing for an IPO? Three Key Considerations

Few points in a company’s growth are as pivotal as the initial public offering (IPO). Going public can launch a business to new heights of success and expansion, but only if the process is managed and prepared for with the utmost care.

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Form N-MFP Becomes N-MFP 1 on April 14 – Here’s What to Watch For

 

Our friends at the SEC have announced a series of changes to EDGAR form N-MFP. The new form, called N-MFP 1, goes live on April 14, 2016. For our clients’ convenience, we have put together a list of the primary differences between N-MFP and the new N-MFP 1.

These changes are aimed primarily at making N-MFP 1 match the other XML EDGAR forms’ style so that N-MFP 1 will be instantly recognizable to anyone who’s seen the older document. The new form does collect more information than its predecessor; all of the additions are listed below.

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IPO Sectors – Who Will Succeed in 2016

 

Initial public offerings (IPOs) have tapered off after three straight years on the rise. While early predictions show no concrete proof of any bubbles on the verge of bursting in 2016, offerings, proceeds, returns and fillings were all down in 2015 – and they seem unlikely to recover this year. Various factors are to blame for the drop-off, including poor performance from previous IPOs, suspense over the U.S. economy and a lack of new offerings from reliable tech and energy firms.

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Four Key Trends in Investor Relations

For decades, investor relations (IR) was a pretty straightforward proposition. Public companies would tabulate their financials and then distribute them to investors and regulators. While the basic principles are still the same, IR has evolved to reflect the importance of digital communications, changing corporate structures, increased regulations and disclosure requirements, among other trends.

Here are some of the major developments that are affecting the investor relations field today:

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3 Ways Content Management Can Aid in Process Automation

Process automation may have started proving its worth with tasks such as billing and payroll, but a wide range of actions can, with some initial setup, essentially take care of themselves. How does this apply to content management? We’re glad you asked…

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Financial Printing, Content Management and You

Recently, we’ve spent some time focusing on changes in the financial printing space, and what printers should offer companies in response. It’s time to turn our attention to the company side of the equation. More specifically, let’s take a look at some of the factors that can enable a content management system (CMS) to best take advantage of the new era of financial printing?

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Surprise! Important Disclosure Changes in New Transportation Law

Occasionally, things in the world of finance are straightforward. The rest of the time, situations unfold like this: a new law called the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) goes into effect and does much more than just make the roads smoother.

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Pay Attention: Key Developments for the 2016 Proxy Season

The smallest details can make the biggest impact, for better or worse. The challenge as a new proxy season approaches are that while the process mainly stays the same year after year, the small changes in nuances and particulars are often pivotal, yet hard to detect until late in the game.

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7 Things Investors Should Know About Financial Statements

When you’re deciding whether or not to invest in a company’s stock, the first step you’re going to take is to have a look at their financial statements. Being able to interpret and analyze a company’s balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements is an absolute essential skill for stock investors to have in order to make wise and informed decisions, and to maximize investment return.

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The Truth Behind 7 Common XBRL Myths

eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is one of those systems that can be powerful and useful, yet intimidating and frustrating. In its short history, XBRL has inspired its own myths about how it does, or does not work. Since everyone benefits from the truth, we have set out to examine seven common misconceptions of XBRL and compare them to reality.

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4 Financial Printing Situations Your Boss Expects You to Handle

Everyone wants the complex process of financial printing to be as easy to manage as possible. No one, however, wants this more than your boss. That’s where you come in. Since you are so great at your job, your boss comes to you when financial printing tasks might pose a challenge.

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The Financial Printer Redefined: How the Printer Can Help With Compliance and Filing

There are at least two major challenges that every financial printing job must face:

  1. Are the correct words and data going to the right people?
  2. Does the final product meet all of the relevant regulatory requirements?
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