Safeguarding Intangible Assets: Responsibilities for Security and Company Management Teams!

Michael D. Moberly    December 5, 2014    ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

“Intangible assets take years to build and a second to lose”! That’s a statement attributed to Gerald Ratner, a former UK retail magnate following the demise of his £500M jewelry business. As unfortunate as that circumstance was for Mr. Ratner, his company, its employees, and stakeholders, as an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist, the statement speaks volumes when it’s understood that…

  • 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, profitability, and sustainability today lie in – evolve directly from intangible assets!
  • unlike conventional forms of intellectual property, i.e., patents, copyrights, and trademarks, etc., each of which, by the way, are categories of intangible assets, governments’ issue no certificate that tells company’s what their intangible assets are. So, identifying, assessing, and safeguarding the contributory value of a company’s intangible assets are (fiduciary) responsibilities of management teams’ regardless of a company’s sector, size, or headquarters.
  • growing percentages of companies operate in aggressive, hyper-competitive, and predatorial business transaction environments wherein intangible assets are at risk to an ever expanding array of asymmetric events, acts, and behaviors which can rapidly cascade to adversely affect asset value, sources of revenue, competitive advantages and otherwise entangle assets in costly, momentum stifling, and often irreversible circumstances.

Why? Because regrettably, intangible assets are frequently not identified as value-revenue contributors, therefore they go unrecognized, under-utilized, under-valued, and un-protected. In large part, this is related to intangible assets’…

  • lacking physicality.
  • falling under conventional ‘MBA light’ radar.
  • mistakenly presumed to be the sole/primary function of legal and/or accounting.
  • seldom, if ever being reported on balance sheets or financial statements.

So, is Mr. Ratner’s statement relevant to global businesses, and should companies’ begin engaging intangible assets they produce, possess, and become embedded as value laden intellectual, structural, and relationship capital? Absolutely!

As always, reader comments are respected and welcome!


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