Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon dropped a bombshell at the World Economic Forum 2020 in Davos, Switzerland: Beginning July 1, 2020, the biggest underwriter of initial public offerings in the U.S. will refuse to take public any company that doesn’t have a minimally diverse board of directors. A Bloomberg Law analysis has determined that Goldman Sachs could have lost up to over $100 million in underwriting fees from as many as 18 U.S. IPOs had the policy been effective in 2019.
Earlier this month, both the SEC and FINRA published their exam priorities for 2020. These reports provide insights into the practices, products, and services each regulator believes present potential risks to investors and market integrity in the upcoming year. While the reports are not exhaustive of potential examination priorities—all areas of compliance are open game, after all—they do detail key areas where FINRA and the SEC will focus their examination resources in 2020.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority levied its largest fine yet to guitar manufacturer Fender for illegally enforcing a minimum price for its products against retailers who were offering a discount. But it was an additional fine for hiding documents, and a note about uncovering deleted digital information, that should strike an ominous chord for other businesses.