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So with regard to the Equifax hack and the sale of shares by three executives, we've read that:

  • Filing a 10b5-1 plan and selling shares on a set schedule is an affirmative defense against insider trading, provided it wasn't set up with material non-public information in mind and a few other requirements

  • Such plans can be tailored entirely to fit the budget and schedule of the executive, so long as these details are decided at the beginning and all modifications to the schedule are recorded

  • There's no mandatory-by-law waiting period between filing and sales (again, the no-material-non-public-knowledge requirement must be met for every initiation and modification).

So with all this in mind, how common is it for an executive at a billion-dollar company to sell a number of shares worth, say, more than $50,000 without filing a plan? Is this pretty unusual, perhaps even a rarity? Particularly in the finance industry? Or is this not uncommon? Is it not even the norm to file these plans?

If 10b5-1 plans are not the norm, why is the affirmative defense against insider trading not attractive enough to make them more widely used?

  • I have no idea how common it is, but my grandfather worked at a company that had a strict rule that officers weren't allowed to sell stock when they knew it was grossly overvalued or suspected that it was going to go down in the near future. (one of the VPs dumped 1/3 of what he had when someone was doing a pump & dump, and he got investigated for insider trading). – Joe Sep 9 '17 at 2:03

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