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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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.

Measure of the Reputation Crisis at Uber

C. HUYGENS - Monday, June 19, 2017
Cornerstones of #reputation—ethics and security— and weaponized social media exacerbate #risk per Steel City Re.

Uber’s annual growth in the US slowed to 40 per cent at the end of May, from 55 per cent in the previous year, according to the data from Second Measure.

An onslaught by San Francisco-based Lyft, is taking its toll, with Uber’s US market share dropping from 84 per cent at the beginning of this year to 77 per cent at the end of May, according to data from Second Measure, a research firm that uses anonymised credit card data.

Uber’s decline in market share was fuelled by the #DeleteUber campaign at the end of January, which encouraged users to stop using the company due to Mr Kalanick’s role on President Donald Trump’s business advisory council. The campaign hit hardest in New York, Boston and San Francisco, some of Uber’s top 10 US markets.

Read more in the Financial Times.

CEO’s Toxic Wake Creates Reputational Deficit

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, June 14, 2017
As Uber’s board was wrestling with core governance issues arising from its sexist environment as detailed in a commissioned report, board member David Bonderman directed s sexist comment at board member Arianna Huffington.

Ms Huffington laughed awkwardly and said it would be his turn to talk soon. After the meeting, Mr Bonderman emailed Uber employees to apologise — and later announced he was resigning from the board.

“We are in a reputational deficit,” admitted board member Bill Gurley. “It is going to take us a while to get out of this.”

Read more in the Financial Times.

Reputational Value Rarely Enhanced by Crises

C. HUYGENS - Sunday, May 21, 2017
Avoid #reputational #risk: manage stakeholder expectations, execute to expectations, and pre-position goodwill through 3rd-party validation of governance, risk and compliance excellence.

The half-life of corporate crises has undeniably shortened, helped by social media. Just ask Oscar Munoz, United Continental’s chief executive, how much time he had to react to an online video of a passenger being dragged off one of his airline’s flights in April. At the same time, crisis management specialists have an interest in fostering a nervous sense of constant uncertainty.

Such uncertainty cross-pollinates with the contagious concept of “never-ending disruption” and the alluring idea that all challenges are opportunities. Soon, managers assume they must foment a sense of crisis to get anything done. They are almost always wrong.


Read more from the Financial Times:

Activists Seek to Exploit Misplaced Expectations

C. HUYGENS - Thursday, May 18, 2017
A tsunami of emotionally charged disappointed stakeholders expected: #reputation #risk looks like this.

In a letter to investors earlier this month, explaining why they were opening to new capital, Mr Singer said he believes “that there has never been a larger (and more undeserved) spirit of financial market complacency in our experience”.


Read more from the Financial Times:

Activist Investors Have a New Bloodlust: CEOs

C. HUYGENS - Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Emotionally charged disappointed activist investors existential threat to CEOs as #reputation #risk roars through the boardroom and into the corner office. Culpability insurance is in limited supply and demand is growing.

Activist investors, a perennial nuisance for chief executives, are becoming an existential threat. Since January, they have helped push out the leaders of three high-profile S&P 500 companies: insurance giant American International Group Inc., railroad CSX Corp. and aerospace-parts maker Arconic Inc. They are gunning for the CEOs at other companies including Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. and Avon Products Inc.


Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

Why Boards Today Need Reputation Insurances

C. HUYGENS - Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Reputation insurance is an important part of any company’s risk management strategy, according to Dr Nir Kossovsky of Steel City Re

Directors are learning the hard way that they may personally be more vulnerable than the well-known corporate brands they oversee. Directors are being targeted and replaced, with 16 percent of board members at companies we studied having been replaced after reputational events.

On average, a corporate board member makes about $250,000 per year to sit on a board and usually serves on more than one. If a reputational attack leads to that board member stepping down—and potentially not being asked to serve on additional boards—it could represent significant lost personal income
.

Read more from Captive Insurance Times

Personal Reputation Risk Worth 32% Premium

C. HUYGENS - Friday, July 17, 2015
Personal risk to corporate directors is assumed to be covered by D&O liability insurance. Except that personal reputation isn't covered by D&O at all. Which is why Kathy Grant's story is so interesting.

Ms. Grant heads a cash-strapped Health Board in New Zealand. As its Commissioner, she is facing the need to make "extreme cuts" in benefits that will not be popular among the constituency. How extreme you may ask? So much so, explained a government spokesperson, that Ms. Grant's personal reputation is at risk.

Risk is not an impediment to progress if priced correctly. That's the logic, after all, in hazard duty pay. To bear personal reputation risk, the Health Board is paying Ms Grant a healthy 31.8% premium over the maximum customary rate of $1062 per day.

Read more.

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