Akin Gump has issued an alert on administration and congressional activity since President Trump’s inauguration. The report highlights key regulatory and legislative developments across a range of policy areas. This document also previews the policy agenda for the coming year and concludes with a political update and analysis of the 2018 congressional elections.
After an uptick in activist campaigns in the last couple of years, followed by a recent minor plateauing, shareholder activism has entrenched itself in the modern climate of corporate governance. In particular, shareholder activists have entered industries that, until recently, have generally steered clear of such investors. One such industry is the energy sector, which has, until very recent times, often avoided prominent campaigns as a result of commodity price volatility.
Akin Gump has issued an alert summarizing the provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as it relates to executive compensation and employee benefits. We discuss the effect on the Affordable Care Act individual mandate, compensation deduction limits for public companies, retirement plans and other benefit and expense plans companies might utilize.
Click here to read the full alert.
Special Bonus: Tax reform
When President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, Republicans took full control of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2007. Prior to this, the GOP had unified control of the Legislative and Executive Branches for only six and a half of the past sixty-four years. Republicans immediately set about using this historically rare opportunity to push forward long-held policy goals, including comprehensive tax reform.
This week we highlight Deloitte’s M&A trends report, which surveys 1,000 executives at corporations and private equity firms for their take on M&A activity in 2017 and their expectations for 2018. The results are clear, with respondents overwhelmingly predicted a strong year for M&A activity ahead.
On November 2, 2017, the House of Representatives released the first draft of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Bill), which could result in the most significant overhaul of the U.S. federal tax system since 1986. Subsequently, two substantive amendments were introduced by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. While the Bill is expected to change substantially and the Senate version remains to be unveiled, the Bill provides certain indications as to how tax reform may affect investment funds and asset managers. Significant aspects can be summarized as follows:
This week we highlight a survey on current trends in cross-border M&A by the Brunswick Group. The survey polled more than 100 M&A lawyers, bankers and advisors across North America, Europe and Asia and found that leading dealmakers are optimistic that softness in cross-border M&A will soon reverse.
Beginning in 2018, U.S. public companies will generally need to comply with the pay ratio disclosure rule under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which requires that each such company disclose the annual total compensation of its CEO, the median of the annual total compensation of all employees of the company other than the CEO and the ratio of these two numbers. In order to provide this information, a company must determine (i) its “median employee” (ii) the annual total compensation of its CEO and (iii) the annual total compensation of its “median employee.” The rule generally provides companies with flexibility in making these determinations. For example, companies may use reasonable estimates in the methodology used to both identify the median employee and calculate the annual total compensation for employees other than the CEO. In addition, companies may evaluate their entire employee population, a statistical sampling of that population or other reasonable methods to identify the median employee. Non-U.S. employees may be excluded from this employee population in situations where non-U.S. employees constitute 5 percent or less of the company’s total employee workforce (the “5 percent exemption”).