Merrill Glossary

Gain quick access to terms and phrases frequently used across the industries Merrill serves and learn how we can help.

To begin browsing the glossary, click on a letter of the alphabet.

  • What Is an Annual Report?

    An annual report is a company publication provided annually to shareholders detailing a company's operations and fiscal performance over the past year. Most publicly held companies are required by law to distribute annual reports to shareholders.

  • What Is an ANOC?

    ANOC is an acronym for Annual Notice of Change, a document that healthcare providers are required by US regulations to provide to their members detailing changes to coverage effective on January 1 of the upcoming year. The aim of the ANOC is to provide healthcare subscribers with accurate, updated information and adequate time to assess their healthcare options.

  • What Is Continuous Disclosure?

    In Canada, many public companies are required to disclose specific information about their business and financial status on a regular basis. Amendments are currently being implemented to ensure more consistent application of disclosure requirements and other securities legislation across Canadian provinces and exchanges.

  • What Is EDGAR?

    EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval) is the Security and Exchange Commission’s automated, online database where corporate regulatory filings are submitted and displayed. The system collects, validates, indexes, accepts and forwards regulatory submissions, also enabling the public at large to search and view filings freely on the web or via FTP.

  • What Is an EOC?

    EOC is an acronym for Evidence of Coverage, a document that details plan coverage, a member’s rights and responsibilities as well as the associated costs each year. Healthcare providers are required by US regulations to provide the EOC, also referred to as a certificate of coverage, to each and every member.

  • What Is IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards)?

    IFRS is an acronym for International Financial Reporting Standards, a set of accounting principles initially outlined to harmonize EU practices that has become a de facto global accounting standard. Since 2001, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has taken responsibility for codifying and developing IFRS principles to achieve the harmonization necessary to support global business.

  • What Is Form 6-K?

    Form 6-K is submitted by certain foreign private issuers to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to keep investors aware of information the issuers distribute outside of the United States. The only SEC submission required of foreign issuers outside of annual reports, this Exchange Act form aims to ensure cross-border transparency of information and investor protection.

  • What Is Form 8-K?

    Whenever a US public company experiences any event of importance to shareholders or the SEC, whether a major material event or significant corporate change, Form 8-K must be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within four business days. The form gives the name and description of the events and includes relevant exhibits, like press releases, financial statements and data tables.

  • What Is Form 10?

    Form 10 is used to register securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for trade on US exchanges. Also known as the General Form for Registration of Securities, it provides essential information including the type and amount of security being issued, the issuer’s financial information, and potential opportunities and conflicts of interest.

  • What Is Form 10-K?

    Form 10-K is a report that provides a comprehensive summary of a company’s business, risks, and operational and financial condition for the fiscal year. Pursuant to The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, a Form 10-K must be completed and filed annually with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by most publicly traded US companies.

  • What Is Form 10-Q?

    Form 10-Q is a performance report that public companies are required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on a quarterly basis for the first three quarters of the fiscal year. In accordance with The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, it provides investors with an ongoing, comprehensive view of a company’s financial position during the year, including unaudited financial statements.

  • What Is Form 20-F?

    Form 20-F is the primary disclosure document required of foreign private issuers listing equity shares on exchanges in the United States. It’s most often filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an annual report, but is also used to register classes of securities.

  • What Is Form 40-F?

    Also called the Registration and Annual Report for Canadian Securities Form, Form 40-F is a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) used by Canadian companies that want to offer their securities to United States investors. In addition to being used to register Canadian securities in the United States, Form 40-F provides investors with valuable insight into the Canadian companies offering them.

  • What Is Form DEF 14A?

    Also called a “definitive proxy statement,” Form DEF 14A is intended to furnish security holders with adequate information to be able to vote confidently at an upcoming shareholders' meeting. It’s most commonly used with an annual meeting proxy and filed in advance of a company’s annual meeting.

  • What Is Form DEFM 14A?

    Form DEFM14A must be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prior to a merger or acquisition that will require a shareholder vote. Under The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the form is meant to uphold shareholders' rights by providing them with enough information to enable them to vote on the M&A action at a security holders' meeting or via a proxy vote that they authorize.

  • What Is Form F-1?

    Form F-1 must be filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by certain foreign private issuers before they can make an IPO (initial public offering) or other first-time security offering in the United States. The form also serves as a catchall, used to register foreign-issued securities for which no other form is already authorized or prescribed.

  • What Is Form N-MFP?

    Registered money market funds use Form N-MFP to report their portfolio holdings and other information to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on a monthly basis. Under the Investment Company Act of 1940, the form discloses information such as series-level and class-level details about the fund, its schedule of portfolio securities—including net and shadow net asset values, daily and weekly liquid assets and weekly shareholder flows—and basics such as whether the fund is liquidating or merging.

  • What Is Form N-SAR?

    Registered investment management companies use Form N-SAR to disclose information about fund operations and portfolio holdings. Filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on a semi-annual basis, the form protects investors by providing basic information to help them choose a company to trust with their investments.

  • What Is Form S-1?

    Required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a Form S-1 must be filed by any company aiming to go public. The company files an S-1 in order to register its new securities before it can offer shares in the company on a public, national exchange.

  • What Is Form S-3?

    Form S-3 is a simplified form for registering securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The form can be used by a company to register securities under the Securities Act of 1933, instead of using Form S-1.

  • What Is Form S-4?

    Form S-4 must be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by a publicly traded company involved in a merger or acquisition between companies or by companies carrying out a business exchange offer. Also called a registration statement under The Securities Exchange Act of 1933, Form S-4 is intended to curtail fraud by requiring companies to furnish details related to share distribution, terms and amounts, as well as any other key merger or exchange offer information.

  • What Is Form S-11?

    A registration statement under The Securities Exchange Act of 1933, Form S-11 must be filed with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) by any real estate investment trust (REIT) or other company owning real estate for investment purposes, if it intends to offer securities. A trust or company files the completed Form S-11 in the SEC online filing system, EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval).

  • What is ISO (International Organization for Standardization)?

    ISO is an acronym for International Organization for Standardization, the Geneva-based non-governmental organization that is the world's largest developer and publisher of voluntary international standards. The ISO currently includes members from 162 countries, with 3,368 technical bodies responsible for standards development.

  • What Is Periodic & Interim Reporting?

    Periodic and interim reporting is the practice of providing company performance reports for periods shorter than a fiscal year, such as monthly, quarterly or semi-annual reports. Known as periodic reports, interim reports or interim statements, these updates provide important company information between annual reporting periods.

  • What Are Registration Forms?

    Registration forms are documents notifying the SEC of the issuer's intent to operate as an investment company, in accordance with US regulations. The first document that must be filed with the SEC is a notification of registration on Form N-8A, followed within three months by a registration statement on the appropriate SEC form for the type of investment or securities company the issuer is registering.

  • What Is Rule 144A?

    Rule 144A of the Securities Act of 1933 provides a “safe harbor” from certain restrictions normally imposed to protect public investors. It can be applied when reselling private securities to qualified institutional buyers (QIBs)-that is, buyers that are considered financially sophisticated and are legally recognized by securities market regulators as needing less protection.

  • What Is Section 16 (Forms 3, 4, 5)?

    Section 16 of The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires corporate insiders to publicly disclose their company affiliations, material changes in their holdings or unreported insider transactions through various regulatory filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Specifically, Section 16 mandates that Forms 3, 4 and 5 be filed by insiders—in other words, company investors who are directly or indirectly beneficial owners of more than 10% of stock in a company or directors and officers of the issuer of the securities.

  • What Is Section 508 Compliance?

    As part of the US Rehabilitation Act, Section 508 outlines responsibilities for access to people with disabilities. According to Section 508 guidelines, federal agencies and their contractors are required to make public documents accessible to people with physical, sensory or cognitive disabilities.

  • What Is a Securities Offering?

    To raise funds for expansion, businesses often opt to raise capital through a securities offering. Many small companies offer equity in the form of common stock, while more established companies may also offer bonds representing their debt obligations.

  • What Is SEDAR?

    SEDAR is an acronym for System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR), Canada's electronic filing system for disclosures by public companies and investment funds. This system allows regulated company and securities information to be consistently collected, shared and filed with the 13 provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities (the Canadian Securities Administrators, or CSA) in the SEDAR filing system.

  • What Is the US GAAP Taxonomy?

    GAAP is an acronym for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the standard accounting recording and reporting procedures used to compile financial statements to meet US industry standards and regulations. The GAAP aims to ensure consistency in financial reporting, so that investors can better assess financial statements for investment purposes.

  • What Is XBRL?

    XBRL is an acronym that stands for “eXtensible Business Reporting Language,” the interactive standard for communicating financial data introduced by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) program. In technical terms, XBRL is an XML (extensible markup language) that allows financial data to be tagged consistently, so that it can be more easily organized, shared and tracked.

  • What Is a Virtual Data Room (VDR)?

    A virtual data room (VDR) is a highly secure online repository for storing, managing, collaborating on and distributing highly sensitive data and documents. It offers a highly efficient method of sharing critical business information.

  • Content Management System (CMS)

    A Content Management System or CMS is used to manage the workflow of media (e.g. documents, files, video, etc.) in a collaborative environment.

  • ISO 13485:2003

    ISO 13485 is based on ISO 9001 with a focus on the design, development, production and installation of medical devices and related services. This standard emphasizes “maintaining” effectiveness of processes, rather than the “continual improvement” that is stressed in ISO 9001.

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