ESG Archive

Jun 01, 1998
You find yourself wedged together, surrounded on three sides by water and the fourth by a wall o' cocktail party. The sound of a rushing waterfall somehow blots out the crowd, plunging both of you into an intimate silence that demands conversation. Naturally you're a state-of-the-art professional; you have a well-toned 'big picture', buffed opinions on all the issues. This is the 'networking' your company is paying big bucks for. What do you say? Perhaps you o...
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Jun 01, 1998
Doug Wilburne sees IROs as lone mavericks, out on the corporate range, over the horizon from the rest of the herd. As co-chair of the National Investor Relations Institute's 1998 conference, Wilburne naturally cottoned on to blazing the trail as a theme. It's just three years since Wilburne, IRO at AMP Inc in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, first attended a Niri event. 'Not only was it helpful in terms of information, the networking opportunity was phenomenal,' he r...
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Jun 01, 1998
It wasn't so long ago that sales figures and staffing levels were the only information German companies were willing to divulge. Now, as European monetary union approaches, globalization encroaches and the competition for capital intensifies, previously tight-lipped German companies are beginning to lay out the welcome mat to investment analysts, shareholders and even non-domestic investment bankers. Suddenly, Anglo-Saxon terms such as 'shareholder value' and ...
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Jun 01, 1998
The present-day corporate secretary function is a product of downsizing in the 1980s and the growth of a corporate governance cottage industry in the 1990s. That's according to the American Society of Corporate Secretaries' outgoing chairperson Carol Strickland. As corporate secretary for US Trust Corporation since 1979, Strickland has first-hand experience of a lot of those changes. 'The retrenchment of corporate America means that everyone is doing more with...
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Jun 01, 1998
The OECD's business sector advisory group on corporate governance, chaired by Ira Millstein, recently submitted its report, Corporate Governance: Improving Competitiveness and Access to Capital in Global Markets. The report's foreword says the OECD formed the advisory group because it perceived the significance of corporate governance to the economies of its member countries. The group was asked to determine whether 'the OECD could be of significant assistance...
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Jun 01, 1998
Investor relations professionals have a lot on their hands, shining the investment spotlight on their companies and meeting the constant demands of both Wall Street and their shareholders. But imagine having to handle investor relations for a whole industry. That's the chore that Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (Semi) has taken on. Semi is the industry association for 2,200 worldwide semiconductor equipment manufacturers (1,450 in the US, 3...
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Jun 01, 1998
Understanding how a Hong Kong-listed but family-owned company is run is a mystery for all but the most savvy of foreign investors. Still, these family-managed fiefdoms are the blue chips that dominate the Hang Seng Index, and investors have supported their rapid growth for the last decade with infusions of capital. Despite a growing interest in communicating with investors, the inner dynamics of these empires are not always as transparent as investors might like. Whi...
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Jun 01, 1998
Canadian companies are crossing borders, steering their financial strategies toward the US capital marketplace. Some say it is to tie in with products sold in the US market. Others like the access to a greater pool of capital, along with the breadth and depth of available financing vehicles. And still others consider the US as a global staging ground. Before you grab your passport, however, make sure you have done your research and gained an understanding of the inne...
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Jun 01, 1998
Polish copper mining company KGHM has had a hard introduction to the realities of capitalism. For starters, it had a particularly tricky IPO in July of last year with analysts split on where the copper price was headed, and some economists worrying about zloty devaluation. Then KGHM found out about ongoing IR. As a previously state-owned company, KGHM has found IR to be a new and sometimes unpredictable discipline. The investor relations function was set up as...
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Jun 01, 1998
For several short, giddy years earlier this decade, Mexico held Wall Street in thrall. Led by the intense IR efforts of flagship Telmex, Mexico's issuers basked in a collective passion for all things emergent. DR issuance flourished, the bolsa climbed, media and analyst coverage took a quantum leap. The tale of a misguided portfolio manager's desperation for information on a company known only by the name 'Grupo' is legendary within New York's IR consultant ci...
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