The FT has a piece today on corporate brokers charging investors for access to their CEO clients (or should that be clients’ CEOs?) The general feeling appears to be one of outrage, despite the fact that this has been common knowledge to anyone is the City for years. I remember it being something that came up during my early work on the Kay Review back in 2011.
I do think that many of the comments miss the point here. There is one question about on which terms CEO (and CFO, etc) time should be made available to current and potential investors. There is another question about who intermediates that exchange, and how openly. I am at least as interested in the second question as the first.
If corporate brokers can resell CEO time for £10,000 per hour as a matter of course, it seems to me that CEO time is undervalued by their own organisations. Allowing corporate brokers to market this time and pocket the fee is tantamount to corporates throwing a lucrative freebie at their brokers. Where this happens, corporates should write this off against brokerage fees. Either that, or hire a secretary specifically to disintermediate and sell CEO time directly. Three hours sold would make that broadly cost-neutral.