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VOCE Capital Comments on ISS Argo Report



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Urges Argo Shareholders to Vote on the BLUE
Proxy Card FOR Voce’s Highly-Qualified Nominees and FOR Its Proposals

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Voce Capital Management LLC (“Voce”), the beneficial owner of
approximately 5.6% of the shares of Argo Group International Holdings,
Ltd. (NYSE:ARGO) (“Argo” or the “Company”), today issued the following
statement in response to the recommendation by Institutional Shareholder
Services (“ISS”) regarding Argo’s upcoming 2019 Annual Meeting:

While we respect the team at ISS, and have been before them several
times in the past, its formulaic conclusions regarding Argo are baffling
to us. We have acknowledged from the beginning that Argo’s stock price
has appreciated over time. If that’s the end of the inquiry, as it
appears to have been for ISS, then with all due respect, there’s no need
for a third-party to analyze or weigh in on this proxy contest. The far
more relevant questions are why has Argo’s stock performed the way that
it has, should it have done better and can it improve going forward?

Corporate governance is neither a checklist nor an algorithm. In order
to properly assess corporate governance, one must evaluate the context
and culture in which a company’s governance structure operates and the
way in which it is applied. What is so puzzling, and in our view
erroneous, about ISS’s report is that it acknowledges many of the
governance concerns that we have identified, yet then fails to consider
them at all in reaching its lopsided recommendation.

Most fundamentally, if TSR is as paramount and decisive as implied by
ISS’s report then why do all of the leading institutional investors and
ISS itself spend so much time talking and writing about corporate
governance? If this campaign – which has been sharply fought and
centered over corporate governance from the very beginning – can be
dismissed simply by consulting the stock price, then what does that say?
At a minimum, it would imply that shareholders should limit themselves
to challenging underperforming companies rather than those that are
governed poorly, no matter how egregiously so. If so, a large part of
the corporate governance community, of which Voce proudly considers
itself a member, would be nugatory. We disagree with such a narrow and
cramped definition of corporate governance in the strongest possible

ISS’s commentary acknowledged Argo’s inflated expense structure, lack of
adequate disclosure to investors, cherry-picking of metrics, misaligned
executive compensation and the risks represented by the comingling of
the CEO’s self-promotion and the Company’s marketing – yet apparently
none of the following conclusions by ISS were sufficient to warrant the
replacement of even a single legacy Director with one selected by

  • The dissident campaign has raised relevant
    , especially regarding executive compensation and
    perquisites, that have benefitted shareholders by refocusing the
    board’s attention. To its credit, the dissident also recruited
    a slate of credible nominees seemingly well-suited to effect positive
  • ‘Where Argo fails, relatively speaking, is that it
    spends more money to achieve poorer results
    . Argo has a
    relatively high expense ratio that is coupled with a relatively high
    loss ratio.’
  • ‘Equally frustrating is when the Argo board is unnecessarily cherry-picking
    in an effort to make the company look better
    . Choosing to
    report a return on average equity metric that shows a 20.1 percent
    return in Q1, when the 2018 return on equity was a defensible 7.1
    percent, is an easily spotted example of selective reporting.
    Similarly, emphasizing the 5-year gross written premium CAGR of 9.4
    percent is fine, but citing an expense-free figure when the dissident
    is highlighting excessive expenses demonstrates an
    unfortunate lack of awareness
  • ‘The company returns frequently to the phrase “best in class” to
    describe itself. And while it has shown in its operating metrics that
    it is a good performer, it’s a stretch to
    describe Argo as best in class relative to its peer group
  • ISS noted that ‘there is room for improvement in regard to Argo’s
    disclosures to shareholders.’
  • ‘For a business that requires constant risk-assessment, it’s
    ironic that none of the directors saw the risk in a self-promoting CEO
    whose interests and hobbies were inextricably intertwined with Argo’s
    marketing budget
    . Some degree of complacency, perhaps as a
    byproduct of the company’s Bermuda domicile, may have played a role

Voce urges its fellow shareholders to vote on the BLUE
proxy card FOR its highly-qualified nominees – Bernard C. Bailey,
Charles H. Dangelo, Admiral Kathleen M. Dussault, Carol A. McFate and
Nicholas C. Walsh – and FOR its proposals. For more information,
investors can visit”

About Voce Capital Management LLC

Voce Capital Management LLC is a fundamental value-oriented,
research-driven investment adviser founded in 2011 by J. Daniel
Plants. The San Francisco-based firm is 100% employee-owned.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

Voce Catalyst Partners LP, Voce Capital Management LLC, Voce Capital
LLC, and J. Daniel Plants, (collectively, the “Participants”) filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a definitive proxy
statement and accompanying form of proxy on April 12, 2019 to be used in
connection with the solicitation of proxies from the members of Argo
Group International Holdings, Ltd. (the “Company”). All members of the
Company are advised to read the definitive proxy statement and other
documents related to the solicitation of proxies by the Participants
when they become available, as they will contain important information,
including additional information related to the Participants and
information about the Participants’ director nominees. The definitive
proxy statement and an accompanying proxy card will be furnished to some
or all of the Company’s stockholders and are, along with other relevant
documents, available at no charge on the SEC website at

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

All statements contained in this press release that are not clearly
historical in nature or that necessarily depend on future events are
“forward-looking statements,” which are not guarantees of future
performance or results, and the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,”
“potential,” “could,” “opportunity,” “estimate,” “plan,” and similar
expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking
statements. The projected results and statements contained in this press
release that are not historical facts are based on current expectations,
speak only as of the date of this press release and involve risks that
may cause the actual results to be materially different. In light of the
significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking statements,
the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a
representation as to future results. Voce disclaims any obligation to
update the information herein and reserves the right to change any of
its opinions expressed herein at any time as it deems appropriate. Voce
has not sought or obtained consent from any third party to use any
statements or information indicated herein as having been obtained or
derived from statements made or published by third parties.


1   Permission to quote ISS was neither sought nor obtained. Emphasis


Okapi Partners LLC
Bruce H. Goldfarb /
Patrick J. McHugh
(212) 297-0720 or Toll-free (877) 259-6290
[email protected]

Sloane & Company
Dan Zacchei / Joe Germani
[email protected]
/ [email protected]

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Innocan Pharma Announces Study Findings that LPT-CBD maintains its prolonged release in Rabbits




HERZLIYA, Israel and CALGARY, AB, Feb. 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Innocan Pharma Corporation (CSE: INNO) (FSE: IP4) (OTCQB: INNPF) (“Innocan” or the “Company”), a pioneer in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, is pleased to announce the latest findings from the Company’s pharmacokinetic study of its LPT-CBD platform in rabbits.

The fundamentals of LPT-CBD lay in its ability to slowly release CBD into the blood stream. Studies conducted in various animal models including mice, dogs, goats, and sheep showed long pharmacokinetics of CBD that persisted up to several weeks. In the Company’s latest study conducted on rabbits, the results showed additional supportive data for the long exposure of CBD obtained following a single subcutaneous LPT-CBD injection.   

The Company is encouraged by these study results as they confirm the approach the Company is taking with its LPT platform. The results from studies of several organisms injected with the Company’s liposomal CBD –have consistently demonstrated that a detectable CBD level could be maintained for weeks following one injection. The Company will continue with human trials in the near future.

Pharmacokinetics (PK) is an important tool that helps evaluate the bioavailability and exposure level of a specific drug. Parameters such as maximal blood drug concentration (cMax), time to reach cMax (Tmax) and half-life of the drug are calculated based on data collected from blood analysis of the drug across a determined time. The collected PK parameters along with other tests help to define the required dose of a drug to achieve a maximal therapeutic effect. In the study conducted on rabbits, the animals were collected for blood analysis of the drug for up to 11 days. As expected, the animals presented a persistent CBD concentration in their blood that maintained through the entire testing period. This correlates to PK results obtained from other species, supporting the long CBD exposure and the necessity of only a single LPT-CBD injection to obtain a long and wide therapeutic window for CBD.   

About Innocan Pharma:

Innocan is a pharmaceutical tech company that operates under two main segments: Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Wellness. In the Pharmaceuticals segment, Innocan focuses on developing innovative drug delivery platform technologies comprises with cannabinoids science, to treat various conditions to improve patients’ quality of life. This segment involves two drug delivery technologies: (i) LPT CBD-loaded liposome platform facilitating exact dosing and the prolonged and controlled release of CBD into the blood stream. The LPT delivery platform research is in the preclinical trial phase for two indications: Epilepsy and Pain Management. In the Consumer Wellness segment, Innocan develops and markets a wide portfolio of innovative and high-performance self-care products to promote a healthier lifestyle. Under this segment Innocan has established a Joint Venture by the name of BI Sky Global Ltd. that focuses developing on advanced targeted online sales.

Contact Information:

For Innocan Pharma Corporation:
Iris Bincovich, CEO
+1 5162104025


Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information

Certain information set forth in this news release, including, without limitation, the Company’s plans for human trials of its LPT-CBD platform, is forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond Innocan’s control. . The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by Innocan, including expectations and assumptions concerning the anticipated benefits of the products, satisfaction of regulatory requirements in various jurisdictions and satisfactory completion of production and distribution arrangements.

Forward-looking information is subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or expectations expressed in this news release. The key risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: global and local (national) economic, political, market and business conditions; governmental and regulatory requirements and actions by governmental authorities; and potential disruption of relationships with suppliers, manufacturers, customers, business partners and competitors. There are also risks that are inherent in the nature of product distribution, including import/export matters and the failure to obtain any required regulatory and other approvals (or to do so in a timely manner). The anticipated timeline for entry to markets may change for a number of reasons, including the inability to secure necessary regulatory requirements, or the need for additional time to conclude and/or satisfy the manufacturing and distribution arrangements. As a result of the foregoing, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking information contained in this news release. A comprehensive discussion of other risks that impact Innocan can be found in Innocan’s public reports and filings which are available under Innocan’s profile at

Readers are cautioned that undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking information as actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking information. Innocan does not undertake to update, correct or revise any forward-looking information as a result of any new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law.


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Schwazze Appoints Forrest Hoffmaster as Interim Chief Executive Officer




DENVER, Feb. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Medicine Man Technologies, Inc., operating as Schwazze, (OTCQX: SHWZ) (NEO: SHWZ) (“Schwazze” or the “Company”), today announced that Forrest Hoffmaster, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed to the additional role of interim Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”). This follows Nirup Krishnamurthy’s resignation as CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors (“Board”), effective February 20, 2024, due to personal reasons.

Mr. Hoffmaster, who joined the Company in January 2023, brings over 30 years of executive experience in finance and operations for both public and private companies. Prior to Schwazze, Mr. Hoffmaster served as CEO of New Seasons Market, a specialty gourmet food retailer, where he navigated the company through one of the most disruptive periods in the retail grocery industry. Under his leadership, Mr. Hoffmaster implemented a focused growth and cost optimization program, enabling the company to grow EBITDA by over 30% in two years. Prior to New Seasons Market, Forrest held leadership positions with other leading grocers including Whole Foods Market and H-E-B.

“Forrest is well-positioned to seamlessly step in and lead the Company’s day-to-day operations as we conduct our search for a permanent successor,” said Justin Dye, Chairman of the Board. “With Forrest’s proven track record and deep retail expertise, we plan to continue leveraging our operating playbook to drive strong Adjusted EBITDA margins and consistent cash flow generation. On behalf of the Board, I’d like to wish Nirup the best in his future endeavors.”

About Schwazze

Schwazze (OTCQX: SHWZ) (NEO: SHWZ) is building a premier vertically integrated regional cannabis company with assets in Colorado and New Mexico and will continue to take its operating system to other states where it can develop a differentiated regional leadership position. Schwazze is the parent company of a portfolio of leading cannabis businesses and brands spanning seed to sale.

Schwazze is anchored by a high-performance culture that combines customer-centric thinking and data science to test, measure, and drive decisions and outcomes. The Company’s leadership team has deep expertise in retailing, wholesaling, and building consumer brands at Fortune 500 companies as well as in the cannabis sector.

Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. was Schwazze’s former operating trade name. The corporate entity continues to be named Medicine Man Technologies, Inc. Schwazze derives its name from the pruning technique of a cannabis plant to enhance plant structure and promote healthy growth. To learn more about Schwazze, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” Such statements may be preceded by the words “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “intends,” “plans,” “strategy,” “prospects,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “approximately,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue,” “ongoing,” or the negative of these terms or other words of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future events or future operating or financial performance, although the absence of these words does not necessarily mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future events or performance, are based on certain assumptions, and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control and cannot be predicted or quantified. Consequently, actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) regulatory limitations on our products and services and the uncertainty in the application of federal, state, and local laws to our business, and any changes in such laws; (ii) our ability to manufacture our products and product candidates on a commercial scale on our own or in collaboration with third parties; (iii) our ability to identify, consummate, and integrate anticipated acquisitions; (iv) general industry and economic conditions; (v) our ability to access adequate capital upon terms and conditions that are acceptable to us; (vi) our ability to pay interest and principal on outstanding debt when due; (vii) volatility in credit and market conditions; (viii) the loss of one or more key executives or other key employees; and (ix) other risks and uncertainties related to the cannabis market and our business strategy. More detailed information about the Company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Investors and security holders are urged to read these documents free of charge on the SEC’s website at The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as required by law.

Investor Relations Contact
Sean Mansouri, CFA or Aaron D’Souza
Elevate IR
(720) 330-2829
[email protected] 

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Hemp, Inc. Reports: Hemp-Based Foods Market Set to Reach $8.36 Billion by 2028



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