SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office Investigating Underwriter Disclosures on Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues


It’s not a secret that, under the Biden administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission has prioritized enforcement of disclosures concerning Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues (ESG), going so far as to form an enforcement task force to examine misconduct related to these disclosures.  Recently, the SEC’s Fort Worth regional office reportedly launched an investigation into ESG disclosures by underwriters relating to investments in the oil-and-gas and firearm industries.

Many financial institutions have enacted policies limiting their participation in these industries.  In response, recently enacted provisions of the Texas Government Code place restrictions on the ability of Texas governmental entities (e.g., state and local governmental bodies issuing securities) to invest with, or enter into contracts with, companies that “boycott” or “discriminate” against the oil-and-gas and firearm industries.  See Tex. Gov. Code Chapters 809 and 2274.  The new laws require financial institutions doing business with Texas governmental entities to certify they are not boycotting or discriminating against these types of companies.  The SEC is reportedly investigating whether financial institutions doing underwriting work in Texas are being consistent in what they disclose to investors and the State of Texas regarding these hot-button issues.  The Reuters article reporting the investigation is available here


Toby Galloway | 817.420.8262 |

Matthias Kleinsasser | 817.420.8281 |


Winstead’s Securities Litigation & Enforcement Team

Winstead’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement team has extensive experience handling disclosure investigations, as well as resulting enforcement actions.  The team is jointly led by Toby Galloway, former Chief Trial Counsel for the SEC’s Fort Worth office, and is staffed with a deep bench of attorneys well-suited to help clients navigate the choppy waters of an SEC inquiry.


Disclaimer: Content contained within this news alert provides information on general legal issues and is not intended to provide advice on any specific legal matter or factual situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

Media Contact

Stephen Hastings
Director of Communications & Media Relations  
713.650.2485 Direct
832.343.4228 Mobile

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.


AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

back to top