VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow is quoted in this Washington Post story about executive stock sales at a biotech firm working on a COVID-19 vaccine.
As shares of biotech firm Moderna soared in May to record highs on news that its novel coronavirus vaccine showed promise in a clinical trial, the nation’s senior securities regulator was asked on CNBC about news reports that top executives had been selling their stock in the company.
Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, responded that companies should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. “Why would you want to even raise the question that you were doing something that was inappropriate?” he said….
Nell Minow, an expert in corporate governance and vice chair at ValueEdge Advisors, said it is inadvisable for Moderna’s corporate insiders to be selling stock, particularly in the midst of major news about its leading product.
“It can send the market a signal that is opposite to all of the positive things that they are trying to communicate,” she said. “By definition, it is very concerning.
“Whether it is preprogrammed or not, it’s hard to believe that anybody who thought the company was going to be tremendously successful with this vaccine would be selling,” Minow said.