Questions for Bob Herz

submit a financial reporting question to former chair of FASB

This is a public Custom Hive  public

question

    Carl Olson
    Why no Sarbanes-Oxley prosecutions yet?
    question posted July 16, 2011 by Carl Olson, last edited April 23, 2012 
    2251 Views, 5 Comments
    question:
    Why no Sarbanes-Oxley prosecutions yet?
    details:


    
    Sarbanes-Oxley promised big fines and jail time for executives who sig3ed false
    financial statements.
    
    But so far there have been no prosecutions.
    
    How about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mae, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns,
    Countrywide, Merrill Lynch, etc.?
    
    Attorney General Holder needs to start prosecuting ASAP.
    
    Sincerely,
    
    Carl Olson
    P.O. Box 6102
    Woodland hills, CA 91365
    818-223-8080
    

     

    Comment

     

    • Robert E Jensen

      "Where There's Smoke, There's Fraud:  Sarbanes-Oxley has done little to curb corporate malfeasance. Therefore, CFOs should implement a range of fraud-prevention measures," by Laton McCartney, CFO.com, March 1, 2011 ---
      http://www3.cfo.com/article/2011/3/regulation_where-theres-smoke-theres-fraud

      As a convicted felon, Sam E. Antar, the former CFO for the now-defunct consumer-electronics chain Crazy Eddie, no doubt has regrets. Among them: he is no longer in the game at a time when corporate fraud is experiencing a resurgence. "If I were out of retirement today, I'd be bigger than Bernie Madoff," he boasts.

      In conjunction with CEO Eddie Antar (his cousin), Sam Antar helped mastermind one of the largest corporate frauds in the 1980s, bilking investors and creditors out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Today, he makes a living lecturing about corporate fraud (and shorting the stocks of companies he thinks may have inflated earnings).

      Antar says that despite the antifraud provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, it remains as easy today for bad guys, both internal and external, to loot corporate coffers as it was during the Enron and WorldCom days. "Nothing's changed," he says. "Wall Street analysts are just as gullible, internal controls remain weak, and the SEC is underfunded and, at best, ineffective. Madoff only got caught because the economy tanked."

      Antar won't get much of an argument from organizations that monitor corporate fraud. In fact, the consensus today is that financial shenanigans are markedly on the increase. "There's a lot more employee fraud and embezzlement today then there was 10 years ago, and this past year there was much more than a year ago," says Steve Pedneault of Forensic Accounting Services. "People blame the economy, but much of the fraud and embezzlement that's coming to the surface now was in the works for 4 or 5 years before the recession hit."

      Last year, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission's report on corporate fraud concluded that fraud continues to increase in depth and breadth despite Sarbanes-Oxley; the methods of committing financial fraud have not materially changed; and traditional measures of corporate governance have limited impact on predicting fraud. Median loss due to fraud, based on presence of antifraud controls, 2010No. of fraud cases, based on perpetrator's dept. (2010)

      In other words, same old same old, only worse: in its 2010/2011 Global Fraud Report, risk consulting firm Kroll found that business losses due to fraud increased 20% in the last 12 months, from $1.4 million to $1.7 million per billion dollars of sales. The report, based on a survey of more than 800 senior executives from 760 companies around the world, also found that 88% of the respondents reported being victims of corporate fraud over the past 12 months. If fraud were the flu, this would qualify as a pandemic.

      The most likely targets by industry are financial services, media, technology, manufacturing, and health care. Small and midsize companies are also more vulnerable. "Many of these organizations typically rely on a small accounting department, especially in today's economy," says Pedneault. They simply don't have the resources to catch fraudsters.

      That challenge becomes all the more daunting when one considers the many varieties of fraud that exist. Aside from various forms of embezzlement and outright theft, and the growing risk of information theft (think hackers), two other kinds of corporate malfeasance have come to the fore in recent years: fraud in the business model and fraud in the business process.

      The former is defined by a company selling illegal or worthless wares. "If the pharmaceutical industry sells alleged off-label drugs that have not been approved by the FDA, or the financial-services industry is offering worthless subprime mortgages, that can constitute business-model fraud," says Toby J. F. Bishop, director of the Deloitte Forensic Center for Deloitte Financial Advisory Services.

      Fraud of the business-practice variety, Bishop explains, can range from corporations ignoring or turning a blind eye to environmental or safety laws to the ever-popular practice of engaging in "window dressing" at the end of the quarter.

      An Action Plan With fraud on the rise, and with all parties that could possibly be tempted feeling more pressure to cross the line, how should companies respond? First, the bad news: "Most fraud today is uncovered by whistle-blowers, or by accident — a tip, a rogue piece of mail, or by happenstance," says Tracy L. Coenen, a forensic accountant and fraud investigator who heads up Sequence, a forensic accounting firm.

      In a sense, companies (at least those that are publicly traded) were supposed to self-insure against fraud by implementing, at great expense, the controls framework included in Sarbanes-Oxley. But a framework still requires an enforcer, and at many companies there is none. "There's often no single entity for oversight," says Deloitte's Bishop. "Many companies have no compliance or risk management at all."

      Even when they do, there's the issue of how effective it can be. It's not a job that wins friends and influences fellow workers. "The compliance officer is the most hated person in the company," notes Thomas Quilty, CEO of BD Consulting and Investigations. "Companies often retaliate against them," adds Antar.

      "Compliance staff frequently end up pushing paper [just] so it looks like the company has tried to do the right thing in case there's an investigation," says Coenen. "They're not effective."

      As for what to do, while no one has yet come up with a silver bullet, experts point to seven useful steps that all companies can take:

      Continued in a long article

      "ACCOUNTANTS BEHAVING BADLY," by Anthony H. Catanach, Jr. and J. Edward Ketz, Grumpy Old Accountants, October 3, 2011 ---
      http://blogs.smeal.psu.edu/grumpyoldaccountants/archives/332

      Bob Jensen's fraud updates ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

      Bob Jensen's threads on professionalism in auditing ---
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001c.htm

       

    • Robert E Jensen

      Ernst & Young Takes Another Big (CBS Sixty Minutes) Hit for Putting Client Interests Above Investor Interests
      The SEC and the Department of Justice Also Get Hammered for Doing Nothing Against Lehman and E&W

      "The case against Lehman Brothers," CBS Sixty Minutes, April 22, 2012 --- Click Here
      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57417397/the-case-against-lehman-brothers/?tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel

      Steve Kroft talks to the bank examiner whose investigation reveals the how and why of the spectacular financial collapse of Lehman Brothers, the bankruptcy that triggered the world financial crisis. Web Extras

      The case against Lehman Brothers Kroft: When to give up on accountability Inside the SEC More »

      Update: A statement from Ernst and Young: Lehman's bankruptcy occurred in the midst of a global financial crisis triggered by dramatic increases in mortgage defaults, associated losses in mortgage and real estate portfolios, and a severe tightening of liquidity.

      We firmly believe that our work met all applicable professional standards, applying the rules that existed at the time. Lehman's demise was caused by the global financial crisis that impacted the entire financial sector, not by accounting or financial reporting issues.

      It's hard to overstate the enormity of the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. It was the largest bankruptcy in history; 26,000 employees lost their jobs; millions of investors lost all or almost all of their money; and it triggered a chain reaction that produced the worst financial crisis and economic downturn in 70 years.

      Yet four years later, no one at Lehman has been held responsible. Steve Kroft investigates the collapse of Lehman Brothers: what the SEC did and didn't know about the firm's finances, the role of a top accounting firm, and why no one at Lehman has been called to account.

      The following script is from "The Case Against Lehman" which originally aired on April 22, 2012. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. James Jacoby and Michael Karzis, producers.

      On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank in the world, declared bankruptcy -- sparking chaos in the financial markets and nearly bringing down the global economy. It was the largest bankruptcy in history -- larger than General Motors, Washington Mutual, Enron, and Worldcom combined. The federal bankruptcy court appointed Anton Valukas, a prominent Chicago lawyer and former United States attorney to conduct an investigation to determine what happened.

      Included in the nine-volume, 2,200-page report was the finding that there was enough evidence for a prosecutor to bring a case against top Lehman officials and one of the nation's top accounting firms for misleading government regulators and investors. That was two years ago and there have been no prosecutions. Anton Valukas has never given an interview about his report until now.

      Steve Kroft: This is the largest bankruptcy in the world. What were the effects?

      Anton Valukas: The effects were the financial disaster that we are living our way through right now.

      Steve Kroft: And who got hurt?

      Anton Valukas: Everybody got hurt. The entire economy has suffered from the fall of Lehman Brothers.

      Steve Kroft: So the whole world?

      Anton Valukas: Yes, the whole world.

      When Lehman Brothers collapsed, 26,000 employees lost their jobs and millions of investors lost all or almost all of their money, triggering a chain reaction that produced the worst financial crisis and economic downturn in 70 years. Anton Valukas' job was to provide the bankruptcy court with accurate, reliable information that the judges could use to resolve the claims of creditors picking over Lehman's corpse.

      Steve Kroft: Had you ever done anything like this before?

      Anton Valukas: I've never done anything like Lehman Brothers. I don't think anybody else has ever done anything like Lehman Brothers.

      Steve Kroft: So your job, I mean, in some ways, your job was to assess blame?

      Anton Valukas: Our job is to determine what actually happened, put the cards face up on the table, and let everybody see what the facts truly are.

      Valukas' team spent a year and a half interviewing hundreds of former employees, and pouring over 34 million documents. They told of how Lehman bought up huge amounts of real estate that it couldn't unload when the market went south -- how it had borrowed $44 for every one it had in the bank to finance the deals -- and how Lehman executives manipulated balance sheets and financial reports when investors began losing confidence and competitors closed in.

      Steve Kroft: Did these quarterly reports represent to investors a fair, accurate picture of the company's financial condition?

      Anton Valukas: In our opinion, they did not.

      Steve Kroft: And isn't that against the law?

      Anton Valukas: It certainly, in our opinion, was against civil law if you will. There were colorable claims that this was a fraud, yes.

      By colorable claims Valukus means there is sufficient evidence for the Justice Department or the Securities and Exchange Commission to bring charges against top Lehman executives, including CEO Richard Fuld, for overseeing and certifying misleading financial statements, and against Lehman's accountant, Ernst and Young, for failing to challenge Lehman's numbers.

      Anton Valukas: They'd fudged the numbers. They would move what turned out to be approximately $50 billion of assets from the United States to the United Kingdom just before they printed their financial statements. And a week or so after the financial statements had been distributed to the public, the $50 billion would reappear here in the United States, back on the books in the United States.

      Steve Kroft: And then the next financial statement, they would move it overseas again, and file the report, and then move it back?

      Anton Valukas: Right.

      Steve Kroft: It sounds like a shell game.

      Anton Valukas: It was a shell game. It was a gimmick.

      Lehman misused an accounting trick called Repo 105 to temporarily remove the $50 billion from its ledgers to make it look as though it was reducing its dependency on borrowed money and was drawing down its debt. Lehman never told investors or regulators about it.

      Steve Kroft: This is really deception to make the company look healthier than it was?

      Anton Valukas: Yes.

      Steve Kroft: Deliberate?

      Anton Valukas: Yes.

      Steve Kroft: How are you so sure of that?

      Anton Valukas: Because we read the emails in which we observed the people saying that they were doing it. We interviewed the witnesses who wrote those emails, or some of those emails, and asked them why they were doing it, and they told us they were doing it for purposes of affecting the numbers.

      Steve Kroft: Do you think that Lehman executives knew that this was wrong?

      Anton Valukas: For some of 'em, certainly. There was concerns being expressed by-- at high levels about whether this is appropriate, what happens if the street found out about it. So, you know, there was a concern that there's a real question about whether we can do this, whether this was right or not.

      One of those people was Matthew Lee who had been a senior executive at Lehman and the accountant responsible for its global balance sheet. Lee was one of the first to raise objections inside Lehman about the accounting trick known as Repo 105.

      Matthew Lee: It sounded like a rat poison, Repo 105, when I first heard it. So I investigated what it was, and I didn't like what I saw.

      Continued in article

      Jensen Comment
      Lehman executives took an interesting tack when defending themselves from the SEC. Their defense is that the SEC knew in advance about the Repo 105 and Repo 108 transactions and could've prevented those deceptions from happening in the first place. Hence if the SEC sues over these deceptions the SEC will end up bringing a lawsuit against itself.

      In any case who cares about an SEC lawsuit. Director Mary Shapiro only throws marshmallows. Only the Department of Justice can throw people in Jail, which is what the Lehman Bankruptcy Examiner (Valukas) really wants in this case. But the DOJ is too busy trying to get itself out of the mess its in for sending terrifying weapons to the Mexican Drug Cartels.

       

      Former employees of Big Four firms (alumni) have a blog that is generally upbeat and tends not to be critical of their former employers
      However, with respect to the impact of the Lehman Bankruptcy Examiners Report, this Big Four Blog is unusually critical of Ernst and Young and predicts a very tough time for E&Y in the aftermath.

      The next few days will reveal how the regulators, erstwhile shareholders of Lehman and other stakeholders will move against E&Y. Valukas’ statement that there is sufficient evidence to show that E&Y was negligent is enough to spur a whole host of law suits. E&Y is in a very tough spot now, and while it may escape an imploding collapse like Andersen, the long tail of Lehman is sure to create a strong whiplash with painful monetary, reputational and punitive
      "Ernst and Young Found Negligent in Lehman Report, Tough Consequences," The Big Four Blog, March 17, 2010 ---
      http://bigfouralumni.blogspot.com/2010/03/ernst-and-young-found-negligent-in.html

      There’s been so much press on the recently released report on the spectacular failure of Lehman Brothers by Anton Valukas, so we’ll just focus on the key elements which involve Lehman’s auditor Ernst & Young.

      Valukas is highly critical of E&Y’s work, claiming that they did not perform the due diligence needed by audit firms, the ultimate watchdog of investors’ interests. He believes there is a case of negligence and professional malpractice against the firm. Though in a very limited sense Lehman perhaps followed standard accounting principles, and this is the basis on which E&Y signed off on their annual and quarterly filings, they wrongly categorized a repo as a sale to knowingly report a lower leverage ratio, they exceeded internal limits on the infamous Repo 105, and they found a loophole in the British system to execute these transactions, and keep them off the public eye.

      Lehman was clearly at fault and grossly fraudulent in hiding this from investors, and then obfuscating answers to clear questions from analysts. Is Ernst and Young equally culpable?

      E&Y should have been more rigorous in pursuing this issue, knowing that it was material, being misrepresented and highly abused. With full knowledge of its usage, and then signing off on SEC documents is definitely negligent.

      E&Y is now being investigated by the FRC in the UK and very likely in due course by the SEC. The Saudi government has already cancelled E&Y’s security license in the kingdom. The law suits are yet to hit the wires, but they are coming. The key is whether a criminal indictment of the firm is likely, recall that this is what brought down Andersen. Dealing with civil suits is only a matter of money, but a criminal charge is going to send clients away in droves. The critical question is whether the industry can withstand the loss of a $20 billion accounting giant, the consequences of a Big Three are quite hard to imagine.

      E&Y was recently hit with a $8.5 million fine by the SEC for its involvement with Bally Fitness, and in that settlement E&Y agreed to tighten internal procedures and refrain from audit abuse. So the SEC is unlikely to look favorably on this.

      The next few days will reveal how the regulators, erstwhile shareholders of Lehman and other stakeholders will move against E&Y. Valukas’ statement that there is sufficient evidence to show that E&Y was negligent is enough to spur a whole host of law suits.

      E&Y is in a very tough spot now, and while it may escape an imploding collapse like Andersen, the long tail of Lehman is sure to create a strong whiplash with painful monetary, reputational and punitive consequences.

      Bob Jensen's threads on the Examiner's Report aftermath can be found at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#Ernst
      Also see "Repo Sales Gimmicks" at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/eitf01.htm#Repo

      "Lehman's Demise and Repo 105: No Accounting for Deception," Knowledge@Wharton, March 31, 2010 ---
      http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2464

      "Auditors Face Fraud Charge:  New York Set to Allege Ernst & Young Stood By as Lehman Cooked Its Books," by Liz Rappaport and Michel Rapoport, The Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2010 ---
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704138604576029991727769366.html?mod=djemalertNEWS 

      "Ernst & Young — Cuomo Initiates Settlement Talks With Filing," by Walter Pavlo, Forbes, December 24, 2010 ---
      http://blogs.forbes.com/walterpavlo/2010/12/24/ernst-young-cuomo-initiates-settlement-talks-with-filing/?boxes=financechannelforbes

       

    • Robert E Jensen

      From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on September 12, 2013

      Where is Dick Fuld now? 
      Almost five years ago, Lehman Brothers went into the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, the fission bomb trigger to the thermonuclear event we now call the financial crisis. Since then, many former Lehman executives have found employment on Wall Street. Not so former CEO Dick Fuld, a character so outsize—even for a Wall Street filled with such types—that peers called him “the Gorilla” for his “brutish manner and aggressiveness.” Post-Lehman, Mr. Fuld might as well be called “the Dodo” because he has disappeared from his native habitat, the big money Wall Street scene. Mr. Fuld has sold off real-estate properties and art from his wife’s collection to pay for lawsuits filed by those organizations that lost heavily when Lehman’s $40 billion real-estate business went bust.  True, he has pitched deals to Blackstone and BlackRock, among others, but to no success Wall Street insiders tell Businessweek’s Joshua Green. Mr. Fuld and his wife are now major investors in a tiny Phoenix-based chemical company that grew out a holding company for a San Francisco strip club. “His real problem is that he’s forever associated with the Lehman bankruptcy, and anyone who hires him, or even speaks up for him, risks having this connection rub off on them,” writes Green. “Fuld has become Wall Street’s Hester Prynne, forever branded.”

      Jensen Comment
      If the SEC had any guts this gorilla should be looking out through bars.

      Bob Jensen's threads on Dick Fuld's wrong doings aided and abetted by a Big Four auditing firm are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Ernst
      Scroll down to the Lehman Bros. fraudulent reporting.

    • Robert E Jensen

      Aside from my hero Frank Partnoy, one of my favorite writers about Wall Street frauds is Michael Lewis. Aside from being experts on frauds they are extremely humorous writers. You can find a timeline of their books and articles and
      CBS Sixty Minutes interviews at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#DerivativesFrauds

      "Michael Lewis on the Next Crisis," by Brad Wieners, Bloomberg Businessweek, September  9, 2013 ---
      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-12/michael-lewis-on-the-next-crisis?campaign_id=DN091213

      Was Lehman unjustly singled out when it was allowed to fail?
      Lehman Brothers was the only one that experienced justice. They should’ve all been left to the mercy of the marketplace. I don’t feel, oh, how sad that Lehman went down. I feel, how sad that
      Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) didn’t follow. I would’ve liked to have seen the crisis play itself out more. The problem is, we would’ve all paid the price. It’s a close call, but I think the long-term effects would’ve been better.

      What surprised you most while reporting on the crisis?
      The realization that it had actually paid for everyone to behave the way they behaved. Working on The Big Short, I first thought of it as this bet, and there were winners and losers on both sides of the bet. In one sense there was—but on Wall Street, even the losers got rich. So that was the thing I couldn’t get out of my head: that failure was so well-rewarded. It wasn’t that they’d been foolish and idiotic. They’d been incentivized to do disastrous things.

      Henry Paulson, the man behind the bank bailouts, recently said, “The root cause of every financial crisis is flawed government policies.” Is that fair?
      Some of the government’s policies have been idiotic. But the idea that the story begins and ends with government policy is insane. Wall Street, all by itself, orchestrated the crisis by a web of deceit that was breathtaking. If Wall Street continues to operate in that spirit, I would argue that there’s almost nothing the government can do to prevent them from doing bad things. Incentives are at the bottom of it all. At the gambling end of Wall Street, the people who are making decisions are making decisions not with their money, but with other people’s money, [so] they themselves are not personally responsible.

      The other things at the bottom of it all are core to the human condition—optimism, gullibility, greed, panic. Is there any way, finally, to prevent people from behaving this way?
      Yeah, what can you do? Well, you can lessen the reward for behaving this way. You can punish people more for behaving in this way. Part of this story is the story of a moral problem, and the moral problem grows out of the change in the structure of Wall Street. When there were partnerships and people’s money was on the line … they were encouraged to behave in ways that were to the long-term benefit of the organizations they belonged to. Long-term behavior is just much different from short-term behavior—it encourages a different morality. And for several decades on Wall Street, the short-term sensibility has been encouraged and compensated very highly. So what you’ve got is a culture that is all about that. Whether they say it or not, that’s sort of the water in which the fish swim. I think as a result you have, basically, total neglect of social responsibility.

      Is this related to wealth inequity, the 1 Percent?
      It isn’t because of what people are worth. It’s because their incentive system has changed, [which has] changed the values of people who were there. I think that’s a big problem. And the result is that people don’t trust the system. Why would you? The cost of the mistrust is hard to measure, but it’s big. If you’d asked me [in 2008], is the reform process going to play itself out the way that it has, I’d have said, No way—there’s going to be a more drastic change in the system. But there hasn’t been. I don’t know what it takes, what other crises would have to come down the pipe.

      Has Silicon Valley replaced Wall Street as the place for bright young people to make their millions?
      My sense is that even though the financial crisis has lessened the appeal of the big Wall Street firm, it’s still appealing to kids in school, for the simple reason that unlike Silicon Valley, where you do have to know something to break in, the barriers to entry on Wall Street are quite low once you have the [Ivy League] credentials. If you’re a certain kind of kid who doesn’t actually know anything about anything, Wall Street is still a great place to go.

      Are you able to sleep easier now, or are things as tenuous as ever?
      I’m in an emotionally complicated position: The worse it gets, the better it is for me. In a weird way, the worst thing that could happen is for the financial sector to figure out how to behave.

      Continued in article

       

      From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on September 12, 2013

      Where is Dick Fuld now? 
      Almost five years ago, Lehman Brothers went into the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, the fission bomb trigger to the thermonuclear event we now call the financial crisis. Since then, many former Lehman executives have found employment on Wall Street. Not so former CEO Dick Fuld, a character so outsize—even for a Wall Street filled with such types—that peers called him “the Gorilla” for his “brutish manner and aggressiveness.” Post-Lehman, Mr. Fuld might as well be called “the Dodo” because he has disappeared from his native habitat, the big money Wall Street scene. Mr. Fuld has sold off real-estate properties and art from his wife’s collection to pay for lawsuits filed by those organizations that lost heavily when Lehman’s $40 billion real-estate business went bust.  True, he has pitched deals to Blackstone and BlackRock, among others, but to no success Wall Street insiders tell Businessweek’s Joshua Green. Mr. Fuld and his wife are now major investors in a tiny Phoenix-based chemical company that grew out a holding company for a San Francisco strip club. “His real problem is that he’s forever associated with the Lehman bankruptcy, and anyone who hires him, or even speaks up for him, risks having this connection rub off on them,” writes Green. “Fuld has become Wall Street’s Hester Prynne, forever branded.”

      Jensen Comment
      If the SEC had any guts this gorilla should be looking out through bars.

      Bob Jensen's threads on Dick Fuld's wrong doings aided and abetted by a Big Four auditing firm are at
      http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Ernst
      Scroll down to the Lehman Bros. fraudulent reporting.

       

    • Robert E Jensen

      Auditors had identified material weaknesses in financial reporting at about 30 percent of the companies that later disclosed accounting problems. Chief executives were named in 111 of the 127 fraud cases, and chief financial officers were identified in 108 of the cases ---
       New York Times:  Sarbanes-Oxley, Bemoaned as a Burden, Is an Investor’s Ally ---
       https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/business/sarbanes-oxley-investors.html