The heads of the SEC Enforcement Division, in remarks today, reminded market participants of the need to keep a close eye on the persons that may have material nonpublic information. In the remarks, they noted, “[f]or example, in these dynamic circumstances, corporate insiders are regularly learning new material nonpublic information that may hold an even greater value than under normal circumstances. This may particularly be the case if earnings reports or required SEC disclosure filings are delayed due to COVID-19. Given these unique circumstances, a greater number of people may have access to material nonpublic information than in less challenging times. Those with such access – including, for example, directors, officers, employees, and consultants and other outside professionals – should be mindful of their obligations to keep this information confidential and to comply with the prohibitions on illegal securities trading. Trading in a company’s securities on the basis of inside information may violate the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.”
The remarks also reminded public companies of their obligations in relation to maintaining effective disclosure controls and procedures, insider trading prohibitions, and compliance with Regulation FD. See the full text here.