wells fargoWells Fargo’s bogus customer account scandal is back in the news again, most recently because of the bank’s release on Monday of the report of its independent directors’ investigation of the bank’s improper sales practices. The April 10, 2017 report, which the bank posted on its website, makes for some interesting reading. Of particular interest, the report discloses that as result of the independent directors’ investigative findings, the bank has imposed compensation clawbacks on former bank officials in excess of $180 million. The clawbacks, which the bank said in its April 10, 2017 press release are “among the largest in corporate history,” raise a number of interesting issues, as discussed below.
Continue Reading Thinking About the Wells Fargo Executive Compensation Clawbacks

wells fargoOne of the recurrent governance proposals to remedy corporate excesses has been the idea of clawing back the compensation paid to company officials who presided over corporate scandals. Both the Sarbanes Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act included provisions mandating compensation clawbacks for corporate executives at companies that restate their financial statements. As Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee details in his November 21, 2016 CLS Blue Sky Blog article entitled “Clawbacks in the Age of Trump” (here), despite these statutory revisions, the use of “extreme incentive compensation” continues to motivate corporate behavior. In order to counter-balance the impact of incentive compensation, Coffee suggests that companies should adopt their own compensation clawback requirements that apply more broadly than the statutory clawback provisions.
Continue Reading Carrot and Stick: Incentive Compensation and Compensation Clawbacks

seclogoOn July 1, 2015, a divided SEC voted 3-2 to propose rules directing the securities exchanges to adopt standards requiring listed companies to adopt policies requiring the companies’ executive officers to pay back incentive-based compensation in the event the company restates its financials for the year in which the compensation was awarded. The proposed rules,

fourthcircuitIt sometimes comes as a surprise to some policyholders that D&O carriers contend that they have the right to try to recover amounts they have paid as defense expenses if it turns out that coverage for a claim is precluded by a policy exclusion. However, an insurer’s right of defense expense recoupment is by now

business reportWhen Congress enacted stiff executive compensation clawbacks as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, the assumption was that the adoption of these kinds of measures would reduce the number of corporate restatements and increase investor confidence in financial reports. However, a new study focused on companies that have adopted clawback measures suggests that these gains may

In a November 13, 2012 opinion (here), Western District of Texas Judge Sam Sparks has upheld the right of the SEC under Section 304 of Sarbanes Oxley to seek to clawback bonus compensation paid to the CEO and CFO of Arthrocare, after the company restated its prior financial statements., even though the CEO

On May 30, 2012, Representative Barney Frank introduced a bill entitled the “Executive Compensation Clawback Full Enforcement Act” (here) that by its own terms is designed to “prohibit individuals from insurance against possible losses from having to repay illegally-received compensation or from having to repay civil penalties.” The proposed Act’s appears primarily addressed

By the SEC’s own account, an enforcement action the SEC initiated on July 22, 2009 represents the first occasion on which it has used the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s "clawback" provision to recover compensation from an individual not otherwise alleged to have violated the securities laws. While this type of action apparently was contemplated by the statute