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Selective Insurance Group Inc. Message Board

  • stockholderrr stockholderrr Dec 1, 2008 4:52 PM Flag

    Stockholder Value???

    Not to be redundant, but....

    Is there still anyone out there who doesn't realize the scam that was pulled on the market? There is no such thing as Stockholder value based on market manipulation alone. And manipulated value is short lived as we are witnessing today in the market.

    The only value in any stock is "how much it is able to return to it's investors on an annual basis. All the other hype about a stock is BS..... and criminal.

    I am hoping the new Administration starts to ferret out the culprits who introduced Derivatives, Swaps, (based on fictitious appreciation.. i.e. in mortgages, etc) and other more exotic means of robbing the countries innocent stock investors. The crimes go much deeper than just those committed against us stockholders..... How about the millions who have seen their retirement funds drop to near zero… and more…..


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    • Given the over 40% drop in the value of this stock in the past 12 months (approximately $10 per share) and loss of about $1/2 billion in market cap, plus the poor overall performance in 2008, is it fair to assume that no bonuses will be paid to anyone at this company and wage increases will be frozen? If bonuses and wage increases will be forthcoming, can someone please explain why.

    • While there have been several posts asking about what's happening with senior management and the departures and vacancies, there seems to be no apparent or reasonable answer. With the poor performance of this stock each and every day combined with the management issues, doesn't this indicate that something is very wrong with this company?

      While I am not an investment expert, I did reread the comments from a "shareholder" about the effects of the mark to market adjustment. And now I wonder why such a serious adjustment in the valuation of SIGI stock took place so late that it caused such a significant tumble with no apparent reason for an increase in pricing on the horizon. Shouldn't this adjustment have taken place periodically to avoid type of major market pricing impact?

      Ultimately, doesn't this reflect poorly on key executives' management decisions to put the stocks in this downward spiral? Yes. I know lots of major investment companies are in bad shape. But shouldn't you be able to expect more from the management of a small regional insurance-focused company? Guess not.

    • From what I understand, there are some difficulties among executive management internally in the home office and then there are problems between some people in the home office and the field. While these types of struggles are common place in many organizations, Selective prides itself on a "field based model" that seems to be being hurt more by this kind of disconnect than another company with a more "home office based model". It is also my understanding that the EVP of HR is leaving effective Friday, which means that in the last 13 months the company has lost the EVPs of Underwriting, HR and Claims. I don't know how many EVPs they have at the company, but this has to be a very high percentage of the executive team. Any idea where this company is going from a leadership perspective?

    • It's good to see that someone cares about the company and its investors. The real problem as I see it is that no one really knows what is going on with the management of the company. As pointed out by another, this company's executive team is jumping ship and there is no public explanation. I just don't understand why so many qualified people are leaving (especially in this market and economy). I can only think that people are fed up with something at the top. Any advice or information?

    • Gee. PTK, I didn't realize how much you cared...


      PS: Happy Dividends....

    • <<< What is your take on the EVP of Underwriting leaving in 2008 and there is no replacement? >>>

      I'll say it again: I don't know. If I don't know something, I don't pretend that I do. I'm as interested as you are in the answer, if anyone else has good information. The one aspect of this that I can speculate about is that I've noticed a fair bit of title inflation at Selective during the time I've followed them. That is, whether someone is an SVP, an EVP, or even a SEVP (Senior Executive VP) can have as much to do with their longevity as with their function. I'm quite sure underwriting is being handled at SIGI, whether the top person exclusively devoted to it is called an EVP or not is a separate question.

      <<< Also, do you have any insights into the culture of this company. Anytime I've seen this occur in other organizations, it means that there is dysfunction in the executive ranks. >>>

      The culture as I've grown to understand it is extreme orientation to detail and constant contact and communication with their supply chain (fancy term here for their agents). Whether the items you brought up add up to a "dysfunction" depends on more info. I can tell you that Murphy has been CEO for a decade and president for something like 12 years.

      <<< Do you agree that a company is only as good as its management team? >>>

      Close. I once heard it said by a master investor that when you buy a stock, you're buying a balance sheet and a management team, period. Your perspective actually helps against those on this board who argue that the stock's success depends almost entirely on the insurance cycle. I personally think it's better to buy quality companies at prices available when fearful investors are focused on the industry or macroeconomic news.

      <<< As far as someone trying to drive you off the board, I can only say that this should be a forum for the free exchange of ideas without people taking things personally or to heart. >>>

      I smiled when I read this. Once a year or so someone makes a remark like this. Sure ... in theory. Now go try it in practice. I'm serious, find a stock board where a poster with severe personal problems is attempting to dominate and censor opposing views. Just ignore his taunts but keep posting as often as he does. And keep it up -- for several years. It can't be done, and the reason I know that is that pjrio/stockholderrr DID drive several other consistent, reasonable posters off this board before I arrived. He then cursed at me, shouted at me, called me some actually quite vile names, told me I was an idiot in a hundred different ways, and dozens of times screamed that I was a SIGI employee, relative of the CEO, recipient of some shady executive compensation scheme -- all ridiculously false. Some other posters here do ignore Stockholderrr, but they only post once in a blue moon. If it weren't for me, then 95% of the time over the last few years, this board would have featured uncountered implications that SIGI was some sort of unscrupulous, borderline criminal enterprise, all having entirely to do with that poster's OWN personal and investing setbacks and nothing whatsoever to do with SIGI itself. The fact that the financial sector actually has proven to have such dodgy enterprises, which SIGI is the furthest thing from being, makes this especially ironic.

      Okay? Have a nice weekend.

    • Thank you for the response. But, with all due respect, I noticed that you never respond to ALL of the questions. Specifically, you didn't address the fact that 2 EVPs left the company in '08 and another is on his way in '09 (if he hasn't left already). What does that mean? What is your take on the EVP of Underwriting leaving in 2008 and there is no replacement? Also, do you have any insights into the culture of this company. Anytime I've seen this occur in other organizations, it means that there is dysfunction in the executive ranks. Lastly, do you agree that a company is only as good as its management team? And, as far as someone trying to drive you off the board, I can only say that this should be a forum for the free exchange of ideas without people taking things personally or to heart.

    • There was a major insurance executive, Jim Ochiltree, who retired in early 2008 in what appeared to be a planned transition. Greg Murphy even wrote about it in last year's annual report. As far as other changes, I'd have to let other knowledgeable people comment. I do have to say, no offense to people who do corporate human resources work, but the exit of an HR chief is not one I'm going to lose sleep over for one of my stock holdings.

      It's good to see new people take an interest in the stock so let me clarify something. I'm like you, "just" an individual investor but one that works hard at it. I'm not in the business and I've never met any of these people, although I wouldn't mind doing so someday. It's particularly ironic because when I first came on this board now almost 5 years ago, the board pest -- you can see who that is -- wasted a phenomenal amount of time and energy with wild accusations that I was a company insider or a friend of one of these people. He was clearly trying to push me off the board, and as you can see, it didn't work.

    • Gal,
      It doesn't look like anyone wants to address your question regarding turnover. I am relatively new to following this stock. However, I do believe that you are correct in your statements regarding management turnover. Perhaps Play the Keys will answer in time.

    • 1/6/09 always nice to see an up market and it has been for almost 3 do have to wonder it this is just a rally within a continuing bear market..looking at economic indicators and fundamentals I don't see positive change or good news that can support more share price increases..hope I am wrong..but this could be a great time to make adjustments to your portfolio while share prices have gone up and before we settle back into a down market again...just my thoughts..good luck

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