Reprinted with permission from The Legal Intelligencer, May 1, 2017.

It has been a little over three months since the new administration assumed office and uncertainty still exists around the administration’s approach to securities regulations, although deregulation is anticipated. Such uncertainty is compounded as the leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hangs in the balance. There are currently two Commissioners, Acting Chairman Michael S. Piwowar and Kara M Stein. The new administration’s nominee, Walter "Jay" Clayton, a Wall Street lawyer, is expected to become the next Chairman of the SEC and has yet to be confirmed by the Senate1. As public companies await the new Chair, they find themselves expecting opportunities that would come with deregulation. Companies, however, should not expect that deregulation will completely alter the world of corporate governance. Concerns by shareholders with respect to corporate governance matters may actually gain strength in the wake of deregulation, and thus companies should expect the power of private ordering. We consider in this article that shareholder activism will shape corporate conduct regardless of the new administration, particularly in response to predictions that the new administration will reduce regulations and make it harder for shareholders to police public companies. Read More.

1. After the publication of this article in The Legal Intelligencer, Jay Clayton was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as the new Chairman of the SEC on May 4, 2017.

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