The week in investor relations: Blacklists, misleading investors and human rights
– China is considering putting US companies on an ‘unreliable entity list’, reported Reuters. Companies that could be affected include Apple, Cisco Systems, Qualcomm and Boeing. The move would be in response to US plans to prevent Huawei from acquiring semiconductors made by US companies. The Reuters story is based on an article carried in the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper viewed as an unofficial mouthpiece for the Chinese government.
– The SEC charged two companies over allegedly misleading investors about coronavirus-related products, noted the Wall Street Journal. ‘Turbo Global Partners and Applied BioSciences were charged Thursday with having issued news releases that contained false and misleading information about finger-prick tests and thermal-scanning equipment used to detect the virus, according to complaints filed by the US SEC,’ said the story.
– The Financial Times (paywall) covered a report from ShareAction that claims many of the world’s largest asset managers are talking a lot about human rights but not backing that up with action. ‘As the Covid-19 pandemic shines a brighter light on the reality of labor market inequalities and imbalances in access to basic services, it also marks a critical opportunity for asset managers to step up and play their part in ensuring that human and labor rights are protected,’ said Felix Nagrawala, senior analyst at ShareAction.
– HC2 said it has reached a deal with activist MG Capital, according to the New York Times. Under the settlement, four new members will be added to the board. CEO Philip Falcone, himself a former hedge fund manager, will maintain his position as leader of the company. MG Capital had called for the whole board of HC2 to be replaced.
– Ford Motor has appointed Henry Ford III, the great-great grandson of company founder Henry Ford, to lead the investor relations department, according to Bloomberg. Previously Ford III was director of corporate strategy at the automotive company. ‘Investor relations is the best place you can put somebody you’re trying to groom for leadership because [he/she is] going to be dealing with complaints all the time,’ said Nell Minow, vice chair at ValueEdge Advisors. ‘It will give him a real reality check.’