On March 31, 2016, Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, in coordination with the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office, hosted “The Silicon Valley Initiative: Protecting Investments in Pre-IPO Issuers.” The event featured prominent SEC and industry speakers and commentators who will discuss key regulatory issues relating to private and pre-IPO companies. The purpose of this outreach event was to encourage dialogue among the SEC, academics, entrepreneurs, executives, company directors and members of the securities bar. In addition to a panel presentation, the event included a keynote address by SEC Chair Mary Jo White.
The panel provided diverse perspectives on issues related to pre-IPO ad other private companies, with a focus on the risks in this space and the role of regulators in protecting private investments. Topics included:
(1) disclosures from pre-IPO companies to investors;
(2) the role of the SEC in protecting early-stage investors from fraud;
(3) potential harm to investors in secondary and derivative markets resulting from inflated pre-IPO share prices; and
(4) governance and control issues affecting pre-IPO and emerging growth issuers.
The panelists include: Steven Bochner, Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Andrew Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement; Jessica Lessin, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Information; Leonard Stein, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Splunk, Inc.; Paul Vronsky, General Counsel, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; and Joseph Grundfest, Professor, Stanford Law School and Senior Faculty, Rock Center for Corporate Governance (moderator).