Elon Musk and the Trumpification of investor relations

Elon Musk likes causing a stir on Twitter. Last year he announced his plans to avoid traffic in Los Angeles by digging large tunnels between his home and his office on the site. But the CEO might have dug an ever deeper hole for himself this week by tweeting that he was seeking to privatise Tesla at $420 a share with funding secured.

  • By Sam Kerr
  • 09 Aug 2018
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Musk made his announcement during market hours without prior warning meaning that investors who weren’t following his twitter feed were not made aware of material information affecting the shares.

His nine word tweet caused Tesla shares to rocket and likely hurt the short-sellers with whom Musk has been publicly feuding.

Tesla’s board released a statement on Wednesday saying the matter had been discussed the week before, but it's wording failed to match the strong statement of intent delivered by Musk and did not confirm if he was approved to send the tweet.

If the funding is not as secure as Musk makes out, then he has questions to answer to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was as of Wednesday evening reportedly investigating the tweet.

Even if we take Musk at his word, it marks a CEO, who only owns 20% of his company, acting seemingly without the approval of his board and legal team.

Is Musk taking his lead from the US president? Donald Trump famously uses twitter to make sweeping foreign policy announcements which affects the entire US and its allies, without sign off from advisers or Congress.

But Trump's example should not be followed by CEOs of listed companies. Regulatory announcements are carefully constructed for a reason and protections are necessary so that investors can operate on a level playing field. Charisma and vision are necessary qualities of any leader. But so too are patience and a respect for the frameworks which govern responsible companies including surety of funds. The financing had better be there.

  • By Sam Kerr
  • 09 Aug 2018

All International Bonds

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 Citi 304,500.91 1183 8.05%
2 JPMorgan 297,722.75 1300 7.87%
3 Bank of America Merrill Lynch 278,326.06 937 7.35%
4 Barclays 230,541.51 857 6.09%
5 Goldman Sachs 206,469.72 679 5.46%

Bookrunners of All Syndicated Loans EMEA

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 BNP Paribas 43,227.81 174 7.04%
2 JPMorgan 38,825.76 78 6.32%
3 Credit Agricole CIB 33,071.14 158 5.38%
4 UniCredit 32,366.25 145 5.27%
5 SG Corporate & Investment Banking 31,330.98 120 5.10%

Bookrunners of all EMEA ECM Issuance

Rank Lead Manager Amount $m No of issues Share %
  • Last updated
  • Today
1 JPMorgan 13,024.03 55 8.90%
2 Goldman Sachs 12,162.67 59 8.31%
3 Citi 9,480.20 54 6.48%
4 Morgan Stanley 8,083.13 49 5.52%
5 UBS 7,976.88 32 5.45%