Let us begin by congratulating Stern IR client Gilead, who ranked highly in this year’s II awards across several metrics, including best investor relations program, best CEO and CFO, and best communication of strategy and risk management amid COVID-19. Go GILD!
Board IR Engagement:
Earlier this week, IHS Markit wrote about the results of the 2020 PWC Corporate Directors Survey, calling out a few key takeaways that are relevant to our work:
- Board/Investor Engagement: 58% of survey participants report that a non-CEO member of their board is now directly involved in shareholder engagement (up from 42% in 2017) and 76% believe that this engagement has a positive impact on investment decisions.
IHS Markit also highlighted one emerging theme in ESG – the growing importance of international regulations for US-based companies. The EU recently passed the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, or SFDR, which requires all financial market products sold in the EU to disclose their approach to ESG beginning in 2021, and, in early 2022, to report on their portfolios with respect to a series of “Principal Adverse Impacts” measurements that evaluate non-financial outputs of their holdings (such as carbon emissions, energy consumption intensity, biodiversity, waste ratios, etc.). We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this regulation is implemented and enforced, but it’s definitely an important thing to keep in mind, especially for companies with strong EU-based shareholder bases and investors that consider themselves “sustainable funds.”
The markets were a bit turbulent this week, but ultimately stabilized with the NASDAQ, DJI, and S&P 500 closing down 1%, 2% and 1% respectively. Following the election and the news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, the VIX was down 8% this week, sitting at 25.35 as of market close on 11/12, substantially below pre-election levels. The biotech markets were largely flat, with the NBI and BTK closing up 1% each, and the XBI losing 2% week over week.
This week was relatively quiet in the public markets, as expected on the heels of the election week. We saw the following follow-ons price: Five Prime Therapeutics ($141M), TherapeuticsMD ($30M) and Pacific Biosciences of California ($87M).
We saw a bit more activity within the private markets, including Stern IR Client Decibel (Series C, $82M), as well as: Adagio (Series B, $80M), Congenica (Series C, $50M), Inipharm (Series A, $35M), Inmagene (Series B, $21M), Metagenomi (Series A, $65M) and Prometheus (Undisclosed, $130M).