Reputation is difficult to build but easy to lose. How we hope people in the investment industry respect this for a fact. Sadly, most don’t!
“We’ve given you so much information on our business. Now what can you do for us?” I was stumped to hear this from the CFO of a “reputed” mid-size Indian IT services company when I went to meet him sometime in 2009. I had received several such requests from lower rank managers of other companies in the past, but to expect this from a CFO was like too much!
This harmless-sounding question – “What can you do for us” – means a lot when you are stock market analyst who is preparing to write a report on a company. When a top manager asks an analyst as to what he can do for the former’s company, he is indirectly nudging the latter to write a positive report (a ‘Buy’ recommendation) on the stock. Yeah, that’s true!