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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Artful Dodger When Reputation in the Cross Hairs

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, September 14, 2017
Even when dutiful, loyal and competent, the personal #reputations of senior executives and board members stand in the crosshairs.

“CEOs need new tools like reputation assurance products to provide third party warranties and demonstrate good governance in a way that creates an easy to understand, and completely credible alternative narrative when stakeholder dissatisfaction rears its head.”

Read more in Industry Week.

Regulators Leverage Fund Managers to Up Pressure On Boards

C. HUYGENS - Tuesday, September 05, 2017
Increasing pressure from regulators and politicians worldwide to.

“…hold companies to account on excessive executive pay, a lack of gender diversity and inaction on climate change. ”

Read more in Financial Times.

Consequences of Reputation Impairment: Executive Branch Edition

C. HUYGENS - Monday, August 21, 2017
“…a photo [opportunity] with the president…increasingly meaningless; …fear of retaliation also [has] waned.”

Read more in the Financial Times.

Failing Governance Creates Reputational Risk For Board

C. HUYGENS - Monday, August 14, 2017
“…CBA’s board was forced to act decisively due to the reputational risks prompted by Austrac’s legal action and concerns shareholders could trigger a “spill motion” against the entire board…”

The Financial Times explains that a spill motion is a shareholder vote to determine if all board directors should stand for re-election, and can be triggered when a company’s remuneration report receives a No vote of 25 per cent or more in two successive years.

Read more in the Financial Times.

Wells Fargo Digging Deeper Hole for Board

C. HUYGENS - Sunday, July 30, 2017
Senator Warren calls (again) on Fed to remove Wells Fargo board members, report Reuters, after The New York Times reported Friday that more than 800,000 Wells Fargo customers were charged for auto insurance they did not request. Activists such as Scott Stringer, who oversees public pension funds that hold roughly 11.6 million Wells Fargo shares, wants a new Chairman at least.

In a letter sent Friday to Yellen, Warren, a Democrat, said the recent revelation of more improper charges at the bank indicates "deep risk management problems," and called for the removal of all board members who served from 2011 to 2015, when the activity reportedly occurred.

The question stakeholders must be asking is "exactly how big is that iceberg of unethical behavior that has not yet been disclosed?"

Until Wells Fargo can authentically communicate to stakeholders that all that is being disclosed now comprises "sins of the past," they will continue to be on a downward reputational spiral. And with the battle over regulatory controls looming in Congress, as Kate Berry reports in American Banker, the bank's risk of further reputational damage with regulators is undercutting its objective of eliminating the CFPB.

Read more in the New York Times.

Activist Bloodlust: CEOs and Chairmen…Who’s Next?

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, July 06, 2017
In June, 8 CEOs resigned or announced their departures. In the first five months of 2017, 13 companies with market values of more than $40 billion installed new CEOs—including American International Group Inc. In at least 1/3 of the cases, activists were involved reports the Wall Street Journal.

The bloodlust continues.

Meanwhile, at Ericson where Chairman Leif Johansson is stepping down under pressure according to the Financial Times, “activist shareholder (Cevian Capital) quickly heaped heavy criticism on Ericsson’s board given the group’s poor performance, with Christer Gardell, Cevian’s co-founder, saying they had “done a very poor job”.”

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

Reputation Crisis Triggers Bloodbath at Uber

C. HUYGENS - Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Uber has become a charnel house

“The ferocity and velocity of attacks in this era of weaponized social media often leads companies to try to satisfy the blood lust with human sacrifice – in the form of resignations, terminations and compensation claw-backs.”

Read more in the Insurance Business America.

Wells Fargo: Regulators and Litigators Want Board Member Scalps

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, June 22, 2017
Regulators and litigators want board member scalps--Buffet may be outgunned. The reputation crisis at Wells Fargo now enters the regulatory phase, which by Steel City Re's metrics, is typically a very costly process.

"I urge you to exercise your legal authority to remove the holdover Wells Fargo Board members. Federal Reserve regulations and guidance impose clear risk-management obligations on the Board — obligations that are quite demanding for a bank as large and complex as Wells Fargo," Warren wrote. "The Board did nothing to stop rampant misconduct in the Community Bank that resulted in more than 5000 bank employees creating more than two million fake accounts over four years."

Read more in Business Insider.

Board Allowed Long-lasting Reputational Damage to Wells Fargo

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Senator Warren, writing to the Fed demanding the removal of all 12 directors of Wells Fargo…

…argues in the letter that the directors failed in their risk-management obligations, resulting in "massive financial losses" and "long-lasting reputational damage to the bank that has eroded the bank's customer base."

Read more in the Business Insider.

Another CEO Head, This Time Deservedly, Handed to God(s) of Reputation

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, June 21, 2017
From the man who noted last week that Uber was suffering from a “reputational deficit”.

“There will be many pages in the history books devoted to [Travis Kalanick],” wrote Bill Gurley, an Uber board member representing one of the firms that demanded Mr Kalanick’s resignation, in a tweet. “Very few entrepreneurs have had such a lasting impact on the world.”

Read more in the Financial Times.

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