Venture Briefing: Cybersecurity Threats in the Workplace—Is Your HR Team Prepared? Venture Briefing: Cybersecurity Threats in the Workplace—Is Your HR Team Prepared?

Venture Briefing: Cybersecurity Threats in the Workplace—Is Your HR Team Prepared?

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Merger Activity Waned in First Quarter, But New Trends Occurring
The first quarter has come to an end, and what it revealed is that the merger cycle is returning to less-frenzied levels. But hold that yawn because it's not all a bore: Some interesting new trends are afoot.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2016-04-01) Read the full article
Securities Class-Action Settlements Reach 5-Year High in 2015
There were 80 securities class action settlements approved in 2015, the highest number since 2010, and total settlement dollars rose to more than $3 billion, according to Cornerstone Research. The report, "Securities Class Action Settlements—2015 Review and Analysis," shows that total settlement dollars in 2015 were nine percent higher than the average for the prior five years and up 184 percent over the historic low in 2014.
(Source: Insurance Journal, 2016-03-31) Read the full article
Private Equity Giving Banks Relief as IPO Market Dries Up
After a dismal first quarter for initial public offerings, equity capital markets bankers are finding some relief from a familiar cohort: private equity firms. Only 22 IPOs have taken place this quarter on U.S. exchanges, raising $1.5 billion -- the lowest total in seven years -- but private equity firms were behind $4.2 billion of this quarter's follow-on offerings (including block trades) on U.S. exchanges, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
(Source: Bloomberg, 2016-03-31) Read the full article
V.C. Firms Raised $13B in First Quarter, Highest Rate in 15 Years
Venture-capital firms are raising money at the highest rate in more than 15 years, even as the values of some once-hot startups have begun to cool. With the quarter nearly over, U.S. venture funds have collected about $13 billion, which would be the largest total since the dot-com boom in 2000, according to preliminary data from Dow Jones VentureSource.
(Source: MarketWatch, 2016-03-30) Read the full article
SEC Tells Companies to Curb Vague Language in Proxy Statements
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has directed companies to avoid using vague language to describe shareholder proposals that management opposes. The agency clarified a rule that requires proxy cards to "clearly and impartially" describe the specific action to be voted upon, saying the principle applies to both management and shareholder proposals.
(Source:, 2016-03-25) Read the full article
Council Seeks to Curb IPO Dual-Class Structures
An influential group representing top U.S. pension funds urged companies that go public to stop using a maneuver that gives insiders extra control and makes other investors second-class corporate citizens. Members of the Council of Institutional Investors voted to adopt a new policy that all investors in initial public offerings have equal voting rights among their shares, an official of the group said.
(Source: Reuters, 2016-03-23) Read the full article
Coalition Urges Treasury to Curb Corporation Inversions
The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition is urging the Treasury Department to take further action to prevent companies from reincorporating overseas to lower their taxes. The letter comes after several companies announced over the last few months that they would undertake transactions called "corporate inversions."
(Source: The Hill, 2016-03-28) Read the full article
Small Firms Turn More Often to Traditional Bank Loans for Funding
Nearly 44 percent of small to midsize businesses sought funding over the past year, with traditional bank loans still the most popular option, according to a new survey. Bibby Financial Services polled financial decision makers at businesses with $5 million to $200 million in annual revenue, finding that the average amount of funding sought was $640,000, with 44 percent of respondents seeking $1 million or more.
(Source:, 2016-04-01) Read the full article
Founder's Death Forces Startups to Regroup, Seek Succession
When a crisis hits, a company faces two challenges, either of which can be its undoing. First, someone has to step in and run day-to-day operations. Then the company must sort out its equity and ownership issues, which often entails selling all or a part of the business.
(Source: The New York Times, 2016-03-23) Read the full article
Cybersecurity Threats in the Workplace—Is Your HR Team Prepared?

While many think of data breaches as an Information Technology (“IT”) issue, recent studies demonstrate that Human Resource (“HR”) professionals may be the frontline defense in cyberattacks. Additionally, due to the sensitive company data kept within their departments, HR professionals can be prime targets for cyberattacks. Read full article online.


By The Numbers

Fundraising for global VC deals stayed strong in 1Q 2016 with nearly $17 billion raised, strengthened by a couple $1 billion+ vehicles.
Source: PitchBook: A visual summary of VC activity worldwide in 1Q 2016 [datagraphic]



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Ice Miller has been one of the most active law firms in the private equity industry over the last decade, representing both entrepreneurs building great companies and the private equity firms and individuals that invest in them.  We have extensive experience with all types of funds (formations and operations); mezzanine and senior secured financing; leveraged buyouts, roll-ups, build-ups, and consolidations; divestitures and exits; and complex litigation on behalf of investors and privately financed companies.  In addition, over the past 10 years, Ice Miller has represented hundreds of emerging growth businesses in various industries on such matters as entity formation, capitalization, capital raising, alternative financing, intellectual property rights and protection, growth and exit strategies, corporate governance, tax matters, and many other legal issues that are critical to the growth and success of an emerging company.

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This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice.  The reader must consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.

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