A Wall Street analyst gasped and said, "Oh, My God!" when she was told that Campus Crest Communities CEO Ted Rollins had been investigated for possible child sexual abuse of his stepson.
Paula Poskon, of Robert W. Baird and Co., expressed concern when she learned that public records show Rollins was convicted for an assault on his stepson in 1995 in Franklin County, North Carolina. But she audibly gasped when she learned that Rollins had been investigated in 1993 for child sexual abuse involving the same stepson--a case that is reminiscent of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, which began in roughly the same time period. (See video at the end of this post.)
"I had not heard that," Poskon said, with a tone of alarm. Her company was one of about six underwriters on a $380-million Wall Street IPO that Campus Crest Communities completed in October 2010.
Poskon describes underwriters as "the matchmakers of the financial world," pairing up investors with companies in need of capital. She also noted that investors' perceptions about a CEO--regarding both his management ability and his personal integrity--are critical. "Perception is reality for most investors," Poskon said.
If Ted Rollins withheld information about his personal history, it could present serious legal issues for his executive team. And Paula Poskon made it clear that she was unaware Rollins has a criminal record involving child abuse--and was the subject of another investigation where a child possibly was victimized.
Poskons's reaction? "Oh, my God, I was not aware of any of that. . . . It certainly sounds like I need to do a lot more digging."
The Ted Rollins story includes a heavy dose of irony. As CEO of Campus Crest Communities, Rollins leads a firm that builds, manages, and markets student housing to young people and their parents. But records show that in Rollins' personal life, young people have a way of winding up abused.
"That's what makes this so concerning," Poskon said.
Our conversation with Paula Poskon went on to take some curious twists and turns. More on that in upcoming posts:
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.