Would You Invest With Net Element’s CEO Oleg Firer?


Barron’s recently published an article raising serious concerns about the management of Net Element (NETE) including its CEO, Oleg Firer.  We advise investors to closely read this article before buying NETE stock.

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We thought it would be interesting to analyze how NETE shareholders have done under Firer’s leadership and how he personally has done during the same time period.  What we found is that since Firer became CEO in April of 2013, NETE’s stock price has fallen 97%. Even more amazing is that while shareholders suffered staggering losses during this period, Firer personally benefitted by receiving compensation of $13.6 million during this period.

The below table illustrates Firer’s total compensation by year since Firer became CEO:

Year Total Compensation
2013 $0.4 million
2014 $2.8 million
2015 $4.1 million
2016 $4.2 million
2017 $2.1 million
Total $13.6 million

The below table illustrates the change in NETE’s stock price since Firer became CEO:

Date Change in Stock Price
Dec. 31, 2013 58%
Dec. 31, 2014 (59%)
Dec. 31, 2015 (93%)
Dec. 31, 2016 (97%)
Dec. 31, 2017 (96%)
May 14, 2018 (97%)

Considering how poorly NETE shareholders have fared under Firer’s tenure and how well he personally has done, we wonder why any shareholder would invest with him.  We also wonder why the Board’s Compensation Committee continues to reward Firer with such compensation considering how poorly the stock price has performedThen again, we have lots of questions for the Compensation Committee which includes James Caan, the 78 year old actor (about whom NETE says “We believe that Mr. Caan’s tenure working as an actor and director in the film and television industry, qualifies him to serve as a director of the Company “) and of Jon Najarian of CNBC (whom as this story explains, we believe has committed securities fraud by failing to file Form 4s for NETE stock he claims to have purchased).