The SEC on Wednesday issued a conditional exemption from certain federal securities law requirements for accountants, publicly traded companies, investment companies, and others affected by Hurricane Sandy.
A regulatory relief order issued by the SEC says the storm and flooding have displaced individuals and businesses, and disrupted communications and transportation throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The order is designed to address the needs of companies and individuals directly or indirectly affected by the hurricane.
The order covers:
- Exchange Act filing requirements for Oct. 29 through Nov. 20, provided the filer discloses why timely filing is not possible.
- Proxy and information statement delivery requirements for those attempting to deliver materials to affected areas.
- Investment Company Act requirements for the transmittal of annual and semiannual reports of registered investment companies to shareholders in affected areas from Oct. 29 to Nov. 20.
- Transfer agent compliance with certain sections of the Exchange Act from Oct. 29 to Dec. 1.
- Auditor independence requirements as they relate to reconstruction of previously existing accounting records for audit clients.
The SEC also has directed its staff to take a number of positions to relieve companies and others who are prevented from complying with certain additional obligations under the federal securities laws, which are listed in the order and an accompanying news release.
In addition, the SEC is acknowledging that some companies and individuals affected by the storm might require more assistance in their efforts to comply with federal securities laws. The SEC staff will address these issues on a case-by-case basis.
Companies, investment advisers, transfer agents, brokerage firms, investment companies, and others requiring more assistance are encouraged to contact the SEC.
—Ken Tysiac (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a JofA senior editor.