Arms race and the savvy finance director

The battle lines have been drawn with the news today that investors are clearly at odds with company executives.
Fund managers Schroders has told its clients that it believes some companies will have pushed the accounting under international standards to a point where it clearly becomes ‘spin’. It’s now started screening company accounts on the look out for accounting trickery.
That kind of note is not going to do very much for executive/investor relations when the overriding assumption is that there must be faulty accounting out there. Nor does it help when fund managers like Schroders’ Peter McCullogh say things like there is an arms race on between investors and ‘savvy finance directors’. If Schroders is taking that attitude you can bet others are too and FDs are well and truly in their cross-hairs. We can only expect that kind of friction to increase as the year wears on. Attitudes like that could make for real fireworks in some of the investor meetings that will take place this year.

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