UPDATE: Subsequent to our lawyers’ letter and the below release, John Hempton posted this retraction and apology on Twitter.
Our lawyers have today written to Australian hedge fund manager John Hempton demanding that he retract and apologise for a tweet in which he accuses Intellidex of accepting bribes, apparently in respect of our report Investment Research in the Era of Fake News: A study of activist short selling and Viceroy Research. Should Hempton not comply with this demand, we will take action on the basis of legal advice.
The legal letter can be downloaded here, and the relevant tweet is here.
For the record, Intellidex applies the strictest standards of ethics in all its work and would not take bribes or any inducement to bias any of its work. In the case of the Viceroy report, we accepted the commission from Business Leadership South Africa on condition that we were contractually guaranteed editorial independence, that the report would be published regardless of our findings, and that all remuneration was paid to us prior to publication of our final report.
These conditions were set to ensure the independence of our research. BLSA complied with these conditions. All remuneration received was from BLSA in terms of this agreement.
The report was written by four analysts with strong research credentials including two PhD-holders. Two of the report’s authors hold the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and are subject to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct of the CFA Institute. Intellidex has a 10-year track record of producing high quality research.
We have publicly released our report under our own name and we stand by our findings. None of the analysts had any exposure to the instruments mentioned in the report.
Says Intellidex chairman Stuart Theobald: “We take our professional and ethical commitments very seriously. I would welcome the opportunity to demonstrate this to a court.”
The full report can be downloaded here.
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