Frequently sporting a $2 billion plus market capitalization, Acadia Pharmaceuticals brings to mind the work of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. His 1929 painting “The Treachery of Images” depicts a pipe with the inscription “This is not a pipe,” suggesting that an image and its meaning don’t necessarily correspond with each other.
It was corporate skulduggery at its most audacious. Last September Frank Newbould dined at Scaramouche, a swanky downtown Toronto restaurant, with a businessman who said he would like to hire Newbould as an arbitrator. In reality, this was a ruse to engineer an attempted sting on Newbould, a retired Ontario judge, as the National Post reported.
For eight years, Craig Boyer was a senior executive at Callidus Capital, and by the time he quit in 2016 he was its chief underwriter and vice president. But last year Boyer sued Callidus for CA$100,000 in damages, claiming the company had denied him health and other benefits and seeking the return of his stock options.
Veteran card players pride themselves on their ability to discern what’s known as “the tell,” a series of involuntary mannerisms that can betray a rival’s strategic deceptions and even suggest a possible next move. On rare occasions a tell metastasizes into a red flag, a clear indication that something is terribly wrong. An example of the first is buried deep in a transcript of DaVita Inc.’s annual “Analyst/Investor Day” presentation in New York City.
If you put together all the chief executive officers from the financial services industry in one room and asked them, “Who looks back on the years 2007 to 2009 with fondness?” it’s a very safe bet that only one hand would be raised. That hand would be on the arm of Gregory Garrabrants. The enterprise he has run since October 2007, BofI Federal Savings in La Jolla, California, is about as unlikely an institution to have prospered in those years as can be imagined.
BofI Federal Bank’s disclosure practices seem baffling at best if the standard it’s judged by is how well it informs investors about developments that could potentially change the risk profile of their capital.