Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Waning of the Jade Stem: Gornt’s Feng Shui Outlook in the Year of the Ox

Dear Fellow Shareholders,

As esteemed members of Hong Kong’s business community, you will no doubt be aware of the importance of Feng Shui. This custom becomes increasingly important as we approach the Year of the Ox.

Perhaps the most the endearing feature of Feng Shui is that it touches all Hong Kong-based firms. Its influence extends from global powerhouses and industry leaders, such as Rothwell-Gornt, all the way down to insignificant family-run dai pai dongs.

A good Feng Shui advisor is rather hard to find: In past years, no small number of consultants have warned me of “challenging periods” or “rocky patches”, only for their predictions to be incorrect. Ironically, in certain cases their prophecies became self-fulfilling, with consultants disappearing under somewhat mysterious circumstances.

But not all consultants are merely full of “hot feng”, and my current advisor speaks Great Truths. In the Year of the Ox, for example, he has forecast that the Taipan of the Noble House will suffer from a waning of the Jade Stem. It is a serious condition that can only be rectified through regular practice of the Eight Jade Dragon exercises.

Happy New Year Taipan! And to my fellow shareholders - Best of joss in the Year of the Ox,

Quillan Gornt
CEO and Taipan
Rothwell-Gornt Holdings

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Webb and Williams Taught Lesson by Taipans

Dear Fellow Shareholders,

May the best of New Year joss guide your asset allocations in 2009!

As you know, Hong Kong’s Taipan’s are often at each other’s throats: We are constantly vying for business - trying to outbid each at prime land, fine art, and charity auctions (as well as offers for customized Sunseekers and Gulfstreams). However, just occasionally, an issue emerges which brings us closer together.

HKEx’s proposed extended blackout period on director trading is one such issue – even Dunross of the Noble House is with me on this one. Richard Williams’ proposal – clearly a disaster for the city’s financial czars – would lead to company directors being unable to trade their own shares for up seven months of the year.

As the Exchange has now learned, the collective might of the Taipans, notably their wealth and guanxi, can be rather overwhelming. Needless to say, a few phone calls later (“there’s always Shenzhen, Shanghai, or Dubai”), and after wiring a few transfers to numbered accounts in Singapore, there are signs that they will renege on this decision.

Of course this didn't happen without a duff counter offer (the Exchange desperate to save face). And if quarterly reporting is their wish, then that is what they shall get! In fact this works out rather well – Rothwell-Gornt has a policy of only accepting attractive, fresh, young female accountants from the Big 4 to “handle” its books and reports (and the Taipan).

And so, fellow shareholders, company directors shall continue to manage their net worth for 10 months of the year. Williams, Webb et. al. – may this be a lesson to you!

Best of joss,

Quilllan Gornt
CEO and Taipan
Rothwell-Gornt Holdings