The latest salvo in the debate over the role of the corporation in society was struck by Jamie Gamble, a former lawyer for the insurance company American Insurance Group during the financial crisis and beyond. He proposed in an essay that modern executives are “legally obligated to act like sociopaths,” because of settled law for most corporate charters that puts shareholder rights above employees, the environment, customers and the community at large.
“ESG” investing sounds like a great idea. Who can argue with steering your company toward environmental, social and governance practices that reflect the greater good?
But for a company ready to formalize its commitment to ESG, the problem is defining what it means and what qualifies.
Private equity is on the prowl for good deals in the healthcare space right now. There’s a lot of competition and money searching for an investment opportunity. Sometimes, those opportunities involve public companies looking to go private.
The next major cyber threat isn’t in the healthcare industry. It isn’t banking, either, thanks in part to both of those industries’ strict regulations. Manufacturing is undergoing a transformation that will increase risk in that industry, so is that the next major area at risk of cyber threats?
In the past few years activists have broadened their horizons, targeting even small and mid cap companies. Institutional investors are supporting activists more and more, and if you didn’t already have enough keeping you up at night, there are two new trends in this ever evolving landscape that put your company at risk.
Although it’s rare, boards and corporate leaders should prepare for potential challenges from hedge fund activists targeting environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Here’s how.
Last year was a good year to be an activist; not so much to be a company on the receiving end of a campaign. The wave of shareholder activism last year had corporate leaders on edge.
It’s not a secret that activist hedge funds may not represent the interests of a company’s shareholder base. But a report from Institutional Shareholder Services shows that they don’t look like them, either.
Every year, growing companies consider exploring public markets, where they can find the huge benefit of immediate access to capital. But taking that step also can be a large expense, and it can change the way companies operate, what management teams focus on and how autonomous they are. Senior executives making decisions about going public have a lot to think about.
Companies and boards should consider a public outrage as a potential risk to their reputation and operations, and prepare a crisis management response playbook.