The Wall Street Journal today posted an article about how RockPort Capital may have crossed the ethical line…they did three things that alone would seem innocent, even praiseworthy:
1) The serve on a Pentagon panel to help the U.S. government find emerging technologies;
2) They invested in Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer; and
3) They lobbied on Solyndra’s behalf to win a contract with the U.S. Navy.
Nice of them to provide the “extra value” to their portfolio company, which is a desired outcome for most entrepreneurs when they select a capital firm to support them. But, taken together, was their lobbying effort a conflict of interest with their other patriotic activity of guiding the govenrmnent’s support of emerging technologies?
As board member of the American Institute of Ethics, our mission is to raise awareness of ethical issues. To learn more, visit www.aieweb.org or contact me directly. Keep the conversation going…