The Marc Faber Affair: In Praise of Sprott, Inc. and its CEO

By Otto Rock

The whole sordid Marc Faber issue may have indeed exposed that erstwhile thought leader and industry paragon for what he truly is, i.e. a grubby and pathetic racist, but it has its silver lining. Over the years this humble corner of cyberspace has been largely agnostic about the big industry player Sprott Inc (SII) but the way in which that company acted swiftly and decisively when faced with the fact that they’d unwittingly brought a bigot onto their board of directors deserves the fullest praise. There was no hesitation, the tone was set immediately and I am quite sure the way in which Ivanhoe and NovaGold quickly followed suit (not to mention the media companies who have vowed not to book Faber again) was at least in part to the lead given by Sprott Inc and its CEO Peter Grosskopf.

But special praise goes out to Kevin Hibbert, CFO of Sprott. He happens to be an African-Canadian and around midday yesterday sent this internal mail to his colleagues at Sprott. IKN has got its hands on the mail and it’s well worth a wider view. Well said Kevin Hibbert and full kudos to Sprott.

Note: One name has been redacted from the mail.

From: Kevin Hibbert
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:06 PM
To:
Subject: RE: IMPORTANT

Many of the people who reached out to me including a couple of my CFO peers on the street, one of the analysts covering our stock, and even (name removed) said how impressed they were with how it was managed.

I respectfully disagree with Dr. Faber’s views. In my view, we are a smarter, more capable society when we are all embraced for who we are and what we can bring to the table. I like to think that if the concept of diversity and inclusiveness was in place 200 years ago (and admittedly we still have a ways to go as a society), that perhaps our world would be in a much better place than it is right now. To suggest that a majority group established to a large degree on institutionalized discrimination, racism and oppression was somehow “beneficial” in any way to a society (economic, political or otherwise as Dr. Faber suggested in his comments) is puzzling to me. I am still a little shocked and embarrassed to know that a board member of a company I was so proud of working for could have these views.

Actions speak louder than words, and clearly, the way Sprott responded to this matter shows me that this is truly home.

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