MISSION INTANGIBLE

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MISSION:INTANGIBLE, the blog of the Intangible Asset Finance Society, offers critical comments on intangible asset, corporate reputation, and finance; supplemented by quantitative reputation metrics. Intangible assets include business processes, patents, trademarks; reputations for ethics and integrity; quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience; and comprise 70% of the average company's value. MISSION:INTANGIBLE is a registered trademark of the Intangible Asset Finance Society.

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General Mills: With less relish than its peers

C. HUYGENS - Friday, February 22, 2013
Lest shareholders of other food sector businesses get overly excited, Berkshire's proposed acquisition of Heinz at a 20% premium to market value does not appear to be juicing up other staid enterprises. While equity investors at General Mills (GIS) did react favorably to the Heinz (HNZ) deal announcement, the reputational value metrics from Steel City Re reflect  different outcomes to companies with similar stories but different antecedent metrics. The key indicator is current RVM volatility.

RVM, a non-financial indicator of reputational value, indicates among other things a company's sensitivity to macroeconomic uncertainty. The Current RVM Volatility for General Mills shows a modest correlation with the volatility of VIX, the Chicago Board of Option Exchanges S&P500 Futures Volatility Index or Fear Index. The Current RVM for Heinz does not. If one expects an economic downturn, Heinz is the safer place to be. And if one has a senior claim on cash flows, one is can be less sensitive to an equity price premium.

The details on RVM and the other reputational value metrics are available at Reputation, Stock Price, and You (Apress, 2012).

Barclays: Stirring the pot

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The path to providence for a prodigal bank was never expected to be easy. Human nature delights in the fall of the mighty; more so the meek who once suffered at their hands. We are speaking, of course, of the hands of the masters of the Universe.

William D. Cohan, the author of “Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World,” is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was formerly an investment banker at Lazard Freres, Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Chase. He scoffs as Antony Jenkins, the chief executive officer of Barclays Plc., seeks to shred the banks old culture and restore ethics, integrity, and other critical values. Cohan wrote on Monday,

It’s tempting to trust this sweet-talking British banking executive, still in the flush of his new appointment to run the scandal-ridden institution. He is understandably anxious to distance himself and his bank from the atrocious behavior rampant at Barclays during the absolute monarchy of his predecessor, Robert Diamond.

Scoffing, as it is now abundantly clear, is a mainstream financial media concern. Last Thursday, the NYSE announced the start of a metric-based publication service tracking sentiment - a social media data analysis service. Call it a scoff meter. Barbara Gray, an analyst with Brady Capital, explains the demand in the financial sector for sentiment data this way.

Social media is creating a new form of appreciating equity called social capital and we are now starting to see an explosion in growth of the number and sophistication of social analytics tools. As these new tools turn more and more qualitative data on companies (previously ignored by investors that just focused on the numbers) into quantitative data, I believe social capital will become even more of a predictive variable for determining stock price performance.

Indeed, the scoff meter is a 17 year old idea whose time has come. As described in Reputation, Stock Price and You, as far back as 1996, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, a global accountancy, established that non-financial performance plays a critical role in how public companies are valued, accounting for as much as 35% of institutional investors’ valuation. In 2005, PwC, another global accountancy, reported controlled experiments showing that extra-financial data and intangible asset value calculations swayed 40% of analysts to change their target valuations of public companies. That same year, Thomson Extel, the publishing group, reported that 6% of buy-side brokerages devoted material resources to extra-financial data to determine intangible asset value. A year later, that figure was updated to 32% of buy-side brokerages.

The Society, in cooperation with Steel City Re, has been publishing reputational value metrics for several years. S&P/DowJones Indexes publishes an equity index (Ticker: REPUVAR)  informed by the same measures. These measures capture the expected economic consequences of stakeholder actions influenced by, among other things, the same data streams tracked by the scoff meters. In fact, the volatility of the RVM metric, a non-financial measure of reputational value, is a measure of stakeholder expectation alignment -- truly, a scoff meter. And CRR, a measure of reputational value premium, is an indicator of the relative value of those expectations among all stakeholders in terms of expected economic impact. When RVM volatilty is high, CRR naturally suffers.

Below, Barclays' most recent data from Steel City Re in both Investor Relations-friendly and traditional Risk Manager-centered actuarial formats. Looking first at the IR-friendly form of reputational value reporting, the data show that the measures of expectation alignment - the degree to which stakeholders believe what is being said about Barclays and plan to act accordingly, is around the 8th percentile relative to the other 49 firms in the financial services sector. The measure captures the expected economic impact of Cohan's scoffing, as shown on the same Peer Standing chart where the reputational value premium is around the 21st percentile. Two measures, both in the black box, indicating (optimistically) great upside potential.

Below, in the bottom left, a comparison of current alignment versus historic alignment. The measure appears to be decreasing, which could be interpreted to mean stakeholders are trusting the messaging less, or more aptly here, with the new messaging, stakeholders aren't accepting it...reference Cohan again.

Turning to more traditional economic measures, the Beta charts at right show that Barclays' economic returns have a Beta of 1.5 x both the group median and the S&P500; Barclays' reputational value metrics, on the other hand, have a Beta of 0.0 relative to the group median and the market measure of uncertainty -- the VIX. Barclays, from a reputational value perspective, is now in a league of its own.



The story is no different looking at the actuarial data below although time series data provide more nuanced insight. Barclays wild ride goes back to September 2012 and a steady rise in economic value not yet matched by a rise in CRR suggesting equity investors have a feeling for something others, like Cohan, are fighting tooth, nail, and blog.

Corporate Social Culpability Program - 22 February 2013 - Register Now

C. HUYGENS - Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Corporations are today the main agents of global, social and political change. Of course, governments are the political entities holding the national mandate for social responsibility. Some socially oriented stakeholders expect corporations to lead social change; others fear that corporate motivations are inherently antisocial and prefer governments to take the lead. Still others prefer government to act by incentivizing corporations. These varied expectations underpin social activism and voting patterns, reputations, stock price, and election outcomes.

Joining us on Friday, 22 February 2013 at 10h00 ET (15h00 GMT) are Daniel Diermeier, IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice and Director, Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and author of Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company's Most Valuable Asset; and Scott Childers, Director of Integrated Trade Management at The Walt Disney Company, and a member of the Society's Reputation Leadership Council. Jonathan Salem Baskin,  author of Tell the Truth, moderates. Learn more.

Since 2008, the Society's complimentary Mission:Intangible Monthly Briefings have been providing senior executives and corporate Directors with tools for increasing enterprise value. The programs are underwritten by the Society. There is no cost to joining our conversation by phone. Register now.

Walmart: Awful quarter

C. HUYGENS - Monday, February 18, 2013
Three months ago, Huygens reported that the reputation value metrics calculated by Steel City Re suggested that Walmart was on course for a reputational value crisis. It was a message easy to ignore, as Walmart's travails have been covered extensively by Huygens among many others and stumbling consequent to a host of reputational value crises has been long expected. It had to come eventually, although Huygens in December boldly predicted -- there's nothing all that bod about interpreting reputational value metrics, actually -- it would be evident by Spring 2013.

Hours before Bloomberg News leaked emails from Wal-Mart executives calling February sales a "total disaster," off to the worst start in seven years, the updated reputational value metrics showed yet another spike in RVM volatility. RVM, as described in the book Reputation, Stock Price and You,  is a non-financial measure of reputational value, and its volatility is an indicator of stakeholder expectation alignment with messaging. High RVM volatility values suggest poor alignment. Somethings 'a comin'.

Compared to Target, a much smaller company, Walmart's RVM volatility is leaping of the vital sign charts to the 71st percentile among the 15 companies in the Discount Store peer group. The company's CRR, a measure of reputational value  premium, is in the 93rd percentile. This measure should be a source of good cheer but for the corresponding RVM volatility and the fact that Walmart's ROE is comparable to Target's at the 77th and 69th percentiles, respectively. This mix of measures of reputational value make for an unstable picture as the four week rise in Current RVM Volatility suggests. Worst yet for Walmart, the reputational value Forecast Stability metric, the fifth of the five vital signs, suggests that this pattern of volatility can be expected to remain, well, stable.

Twenty hours after this chart was generated, the markets closed for the extended weekend. Walmart was down 2.18% for the day; Target was reflexively down 2.14%, and the S&P500 was down only 0.1%. Equity investors are event driven. With more thought, expect Target to rebound, and Walmart to continue to sink.

RepuStars 2013 February 16

C. HUYGENS - Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Reputation Index Metrics


At the close of trading February 15, 2013, REPUVART and REPUVAR stood at 3331.42 and 2849.85 respectively. Over the past four weeks, the former has changed by 0.83%, while the latter has changed by 0.69%. The benchmark S&P500 Composite Index stood at 1323.77 (31 Dec 2001=1000) and has changed over the past four weeks by 2.28%.

Over the trailing twelve months, REPUVART and REPUVAR have, respectively, changed by 18.33% and 16.37% respectively; the S&P500 Composite Index has changed by 11.65%. Over the trailing 36 months, the REPUVART and REPUVAR have changed by 75.61% and 68.20% respectively; the S&P 500 Composite Index has changed by 38.81%.

Other interval changes in the magnitude of the indices are shown below.

Analysis

The markets appear at once Brownian in motion at otherwise optimistic, but apparently not frightened. The VIX, an index of fear, is unremarkable. Europe is still caught up in its shorts and Germany is waffling; back on this side of the pond industries are consolidating. Realization of the value not seen late last year is apparent to some degree, but the year is still young.

Turning to companies whose intangible assets, in terms of their cash-generating potential (Reputational Value Premium), appear to have been undervalued at the start of this calendar year, the greatest gains in the portfolio for the year are being reported by Michael Kors Holdings (KORS), moves to first place with a year-to-date return of 21.14%. Lamar Advertising Co (LAMR) is new at second place with a return of 13.05%. Walter Investment (WAC) is new in the #3 position with 10.81% return for the year. These are three of the 19 firms identified by the RepuStars Variety algorithm at the start of the year as value opportunities.

As for those whose reputational value has not panned out so far, the greatest disappointments this year are Fusion-IO, Inc. (FIO) at -23.52%, Royal Gold Inc. (RGLD at -11.61% and France Telecom SA (FTE) at -8.86%.

Side Note: A description of the portfolio constituents and historical returns data from December 31, 2001 can be obtained on request from Technology Option Capital, its manager. Click Here.

Background

The RepuStars® Variety Corporate Reputation Index calculated by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes is the first-ever composite equity index based on a quantitative value strategy informed by the Steel City Re Reputational Value Metrics. The metrics comprise non-financial indicators of reputational value (RVM) and ranking (CRR). The RepuStars Variety Index has two versions: a total returns index and a price index, whose ticker symbols are, respectively, REPUVART and REPUVAR.  Click here for real time quotes.

The RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Index tracks up to 57 company stocks that appear to be underpriced relative to  Steel City Re’s proprietary Reputational Value Metrics™, which track 7400 companies weekly. The principles behind measuring reputational value are describe in the book, Reputation, Stock Price, and You (2012, Apress).

The RepuStars indices are reconstituted annually in the first week of January and posted by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes in the third week. The Indices were last reconstituted 20 Jan 2013.

Reputation, Risk and Finance

Reputation management through superior control of a company's intangible assets may be one of the best paths to value creation today. If it is not on your agenda, perhaps it should be. Here are several things you can do right now to start creating value for your organization:

1. Become better informed. Participate in our regular Mission Intangible Monthly Briefings held on the second Friday of every month, read the book, Reputation, Stock Price and You: Why the market rewards some companies and punishes others (2012)  or its predecessor, Mission: Intangible. Managing risk and reputation to create enterprise value (2010), available at the IAFS Store, specialty finance sector retailers, or other leading online book retailers
2. Become a member of the Intangible Asset Finance Society and engage.
3. Join our community on Linked-In and stay in the information flow.

Notices

Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”), a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”). “RepuStars” and “Steel City Re” are registered trademarks of C. Huygens & Co. LLC. The method underpinning the RepuStars Variety indexes is subject to a pending patent assigned to C. Huygens & Co. LLC. S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones, S&P and their respective affiliates (“S&P Dow Jones Indices”) makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the ability of any index to accurately represent the asset class or market sector that it purports to represent and S&P Dow Jones Indices shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of any index or the data included therein. Past performance of an index is not an indication of future results. All information provided by S&P Dow Jones Indices is general in nature and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group of persons. S&P Dow Jones Indices receives compensation in connection with licensing its indices to third parties. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Exposure to an asset class represented by an index is available through investable instruments offered by third parties that are based on that index. S&P Dow Jones Indices does not sponsor, endorse, sell, promote or manage any investment fund or other investment vehicle that seeks to provide an investment return based on the performance of any Index. Investment products based on the RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Indexes are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC, or their respective affiliates and none of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC and their respective affiliates make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such products. Inclusion of a company in any of the indexes in this piece does not in any way reflect an opinion of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC or any of their respective affiliates on the investment merits of such company. None of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC or any of their respective affiliates is providing investment advice in connection with these indexes.

Blackberry: Bye bye

C. HUYGENS - Friday, February 15, 2013
Reputational value is the benefit of stakeholder confidence in a company's future narrative. With a nod to comedian Jeff Foxworthy, you may be having a reputational value crisis...if your former CEO dumps all of his shares at rock bottom prices.

In a regulatory filing yesterday, former Blackberry Co-Chief Executive Officer Jim Balsillie said that by the end of last year he had sold his entire stake in the company. Balsillie, who stepped down as CEO a year ago, owned about 26.8 million shares, or a roughly 5 percent stake in the company, as of Dec. 31, 2011.

Heinz: Meal deal

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, February 14, 2013
Early Thursday morning, The Wall Street Journal and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, among many others, reported that H.J. Heinz Co. said it agreed to be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and private-equity firm 3G Capital for more than $23 billion. Under the terms of the deal, which has been unanimously approved by Heinz's board, shareholders will receive $72.50 in cash for each share, a 20% premium to Wednesday's close. As expected, Heinz Chief Executive William Johnson affirmed, "The Heinz brand is one of the most respected brands in the global food industry and this historic transaction provides tremendous value to Heinz shareholders."

Deconstructing the deal from a reputational value perspective, Berkshire Hathaway is paying a 20% equity price premium to acquire a company with the highest reputational value premium in its sector, as shown in the reputational value metrics charts from Steel City Re. As discussed in Reputation, Stock Price, and You (Apress, 2012), the potential equity value implied by the reputational value premium was there for the taking;  equity investors -- Warren Buffet, excluded -- just weren't seeing it. That value arbitrage, to give a name to Buffet's investment strategy, is what the RepuStars Algorithm attempts to expose through the RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Composite Equity Index (Ticker: REPUVAR).

Side Bar: Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital have pledged to maintain Pittsburgh as Heinz's global headquarters. The word "Variety" in the full name of the RepuStars Index comes from Heinz's tag line, 57 Varieties, for the reason that RepuStars comprises a portfolio of up to 57 names. RepuStars Variety returns are reported each week on this blog. Steel City Re, which calculates the measures of reputational value and volatility, is also headquartered in Pittsburgh.

Returning to the measures, as of last Thursday when these were last calculated, Heinz's CRR, a measure of relative reputational ranking, was in the 96th percentile. Return on equity was in the 56th percentile, and RVM volatility, a non-financial measure of reputational value volatility, was in the lowest decile for most of the year spiking only recently to the 68th percentile. Return on equity has been keeping with the median for the sector. Last, prospects for future change, as reflected in the CRR vector and the related indication of stability at the 86th percentile, suggested little expectation of change. In other words, each of the various stakeholder groups, holding expectations appropriate to their experiences with the company, thought that they were valuing the company properly. Those views were not aligned -- but which group was off the mark?

Buffet's actions today, affirming the logic of RepuStars, suggest that equity investors were missing the boat.

Finmeccanica: Ethical contradictions

C. HUYGENS - Tuesday, February 12, 2013
At least two of the 80 companies comprising the Aerospace and Defense sector are facing reputational issues. In the US, Boeing is wrestling with smoking batteries, allegations of conflicted safety review processes, and suggestions of supply chain management failures. Aircraft safety is the reputational value issue that nucleates the above. In Europe, Finmeccanica SpA is facing the more common issue in this sector: ethics and corruption. Here is how a trading blog summarized the problem:

Finmeccanica Chief Executive and Chairman Giuseppe Orsi was arrested over bribes allegedly paid to secure the sale of 12 helicopters to India, when he was head of the group's AgustaWestland unit, a judicial source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters... An Indian defense ministry source said kickbacks worth 40 million rupees allegedly paid to Indian officials to grease contracts for Finmeccanica were being probed and that Delhi was considering the deferral of the Finmeccanica helicopter deal, worth 560 million euros ($749.2 million)...Prime Minister Mario Monti said the Italian government would deal with management issues at the company... "There is a problem with the governance of Finmeccanica at the moment and we will face up to it," Monti told RAI state television.

The reputational value metrics provided by Steel City Re illustrate incongruities that should be unsettling, if not alerting. The company's reputational ranking, CRR, a measure of its reputational value premium, is only in the first decile relative to its peers, yet its return on equity is in the 90th percentile, peaking briefly at 50% ROE for the year. The company's RVM volatility, a measure of volatility of a non-financial measure of reputational value, is in the top decile yet the projected change for CRR is flat. While such an odd mix of leading indicators is not diagnostic of a pending reputational value problem, as discussed in Reputation, Stock Price, and You, it isn't a sustainable cocktail of measures in the usual course of business.


Barclays: CEO’s ethics talk creates value

C. HUYGENS - Sunday, February 10, 2013
There are three types of companies that can benefit from tinkering with the business bits that underpin reputation. Iconic firms can build in reputational resilience to help them in their ongoing battle with NGOs. Good firms in commodity businesses can signal points of value-added differentiation. The last group, of which Barclays is an unhappy member, can signal material efforts at repairing that which has caused them in the recent past reputational value loss.

The good news for Barclays and similarly situated firms is that evidence shows that reputation restoration works and, all things being equal, can create an additional 6.5% in market capitalization. The other good news for Barclays Plc is that Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins’s pledge to shred the legacy of his predecessor and fix the lender’s culture, as reported by Bloomberg,  appears to be creating value as stakeholder expectations are realligning.

The reputational value metrics, calculated by Steel City Re, show two important shifts. The volatility of RVM, a non-financial measure of reputational value, is high and rising. The value and direction of change of CRR, a measure of relative reputational ranking (the reputational value premium), is now above the median level for the 49 peers, and is rising rapidly. Profits and the commensurate equity bump, are sure to follow.



RepuStars 2013 February 9

C. HUYGENS - Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekly Reputation Index Metrics


At the close of trading February 8, 2013, REPUVART and REPUVAR stood at 3329.74 and 2848.42 respectively. Over the past four weeks, the former has changed by 3.29%, while the latter has changed by 3.14%. The benchmark S&P500 Composite Index stood at 1322.15 (31 Dec 2001=1000) and has changed over the past four weeks by 3.12%.

Over the trailing twelve months, REPUVART and REPUVAR have, respectively, changed by 20.22% and 18.21% respectively; the S&P500 Composite Index has changed by 13.06%. Over the trailing 36 months, the REPUVART and REPUVAR have changed by 81.85% and 74.18% respectively; the S&P 500 Composite Index has changed by 41.79%.

Other interval changes in the magnitude of the indices are shown below.

Analysis

While the US is bubbling a bit more, Europe is returning to form with more angst. Repustars Variety, which is algorithmically assembled, is materially exposed to European vagaries this year. The algo indicated back in early January that stakeholders expect Europe will get its act together and equity investors will recognize and appreciate the recovered value. With 8% of 2013 behind us, its time to settle back and watch.

Turning to the specifics and the names of companies whose intangible assets, in terms of their cash-generating potential (Reputational Value Premium), appear to have been undervalued at the start of this calendar year, the greatest gains in the portfolio for the year are being reported by VeriFone Systems Inc (PAY), which remains in first place with a year-to-date return of 14.04%. WellPoint, Inc. (WLP) is still in second with a year-to-date return of 11.79%. Michael Kors Holdings (KORS) is still in the #3 position with 9.32% return for the year. These are three of the 19 firms identified by the RepuStars Variety algorithm at the start of the year as value opportunities.

As for those whose reputational value has not panned out so far, the greatest disappointments this year are Fusion-IO, Inc. (FIO) at -20.71%, Royal Gold Inc. (RGLD) at -8.21%,nd Compagnie Generale de Gephysqu Vrts SA (CGG) at -7.50%.

Side Note: A description of the portfolio constituents and historical returns data from December 31, 2001 can be obtained on request from Technology Option Capital, its manager. Click Here.

Background

The RepuStars® Variety Corporate Reputation Index calculated by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes is the first-ever composite equity index based on a quantitative value strategy informed by the Steel City Re Reputational Value Metrics. The metrics comprise non-financial indicators of reputational value (RVM) and ranking (CRR). The RepuStars Variety Index has two versions: a total returns index and a price index, whose ticker symbols are, respectively, REPUVART and REPUVAR.  Click here for real time quotes.

The RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Index tracks up to 57 company stocks that appear to be underpriced relative to  Steel City Re’s proprietary Reputational Value Metrics™, which track 7400 companies weekly. The principles behind measuring reputational value are describe in the book, Reputation, Stock Price, and You (2012, Apress).

The RepuStars indices are reconstituted annually in the first week of January and posted by S&P/Dow Jones Indexes in the third week. The Indices were last reconstituted 20 Jan 2013.

Reputation, Risk and Finance

Reputation management through superior control of a company's intangible assets may be one of the best paths to value creation today. If it is not on your agenda, perhaps it should be. Here are several things you can do right now to start creating value for your organization:

1. Become better informed. Participate in our regular Mission Intangible Monthly Briefings held on the second Friday of every month, read the book, Reputation, Stock Price and You: Why the market rewards some companies and punishes others (2012)  or its predecessor, Mission: Intangible. Managing risk and reputation to create enterprise value (2010), available at the IAFS Store, specialty finance sector retailers, or other leading online book retailers
2. Become a member of the Intangible Asset Finance Society and engage.
3. Join our community on Linked-In and stay in the information flow.

Notices

Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”), a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”). “RepuStars” and “Steel City Re” are registered trademarks of C. Huygens & Co. LLC. The method underpinning the RepuStars Variety indexes is subject to a pending patent assigned to C. Huygens & Co. LLC. S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones, S&P and their respective affiliates (“S&P Dow Jones Indices”) makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the ability of any index to accurately represent the asset class or market sector that it purports to represent and S&P Dow Jones Indices shall have no liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of any index or the data included therein. Past performance of an index is not an indication of future results. All information provided by S&P Dow Jones Indices is general in nature and not tailored to the needs of any person, entity or group of persons. S&P Dow Jones Indices receives compensation in connection with licensing its indices to third parties. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Exposure to an asset class represented by an index is available through investable instruments offered by third parties that are based on that index. S&P Dow Jones Indices does not sponsor, endorse, sell, promote or manage any investment fund or other investment vehicle that seeks to provide an investment return based on the performance of any Index. Investment products based on the RepuStars Variety Corporate Reputation Indexes are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC, or their respective affiliates and none of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC and their respective affiliates make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in such products. Inclusion of a company in any of the indexes in this piece does not in any way reflect an opinion of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC or any of their respective affiliates on the investment merits of such company. None of Technology Option Capital, LLC, C. Huygens & Co, LLC, Steel City Re, LLC or any of their respective affiliates is providing investment advice in connection with these indexes.

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