Investing in Gray Matter: Evaluating a Firm's Human Assets

When an oil pipeline company suffers a spill, it shows up in the next financial report. But when a high-tech firm has its top product development team stolen by a competitor, you may never know, unless you work to find out. The real assets in today's growth companies are human ones.

"My assets walk out the door every night," says one high-tech CEO. "We have to be a good place to work so they'll come back the next morning."

Investing in Information Age companies calls for a new kind of due diligence from investors. You want to be confident that the companies you invest in have the best people and are taking every step possible to keep them.

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