Today, Bill Hinman, Director of the Commission’s Division of Corporation Finance testified to the House Financial Services Subcommmittee. Mr. Hinman provided an overview of the Division’s ongoing projects and its priorities. He noted that the Commission remains focused on capital formation related initiatives designed to promote interest in having more companies undertake IPOs. In this regard, for the first time, he mentioned that the Division is considering rules extending the ability to test-the-waters to non-emerging growth companies. Extending the test-the-waters provisions to non-EGCs has been a measure that has been included in various proposed bills that have garnered strong bipartisan support on the House side.
Mr. Hinman also reported on measures affecting smaller companies. Mr. Hinman provided market updates on Regulation A offerings (since the amendments in 2015, 78 issuers have raised approximately $670 million in 185 offerings) and Rule 506(c) (noting $147 billion has been raised in reliance on generally solicited offerings under Rule 506). Mr. Hinman indicated that the Staff would be conducting retrospective reviews of these new exemptions. Mr. Hinman noted that the Division is considering recommendations that would expand the accredited investor definition. This is interesting given that amendments to the definition had not appeared as a high priority in the Commission’s regulatory agenda. He also signaled that the Division is considering harmonizing or rationalizing the exempt offering rules, which had been suggested by practitioners for some time now.
Addressing upcoming priorities, Mr. Hinman again mentioned the proposed changes to the smaller reporting company definition, the disclosure effectiveness initiative, the resource extraction payments rule, and possible revisions to the conflict minerals rule. The written testimony is available here.
Chair Clayton focused his testimony on the Commission’s plans with respect to the fiscal year 2019 budget requests, and provided some commentary regarding the best interests rule proposal. The written testimony is available here.