From the Blogs

The New Sightholder Applications

You ever go on a job interview and get asked questions like, “What are your strengths?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” That’s what the new sightholder questionnaire is like—it’s page after page of those kinds of questions. Among them: “Why are you better than the competition?” “What is your ‘value capture’?” “What will your business be like in 2011?” I don’t think anyone—least of all De Beers—knows what their business will be like in 2011. I can only imagine the answers will be as painful to read as they are to write. What’s unfortunate about the new applications is they still all but ask sightholders to “game” them. For example, they ask sightholders the “minimum acceptable” amount of diamonds they want for each band. But this puts sightholders in a bind. What if the number they give is too low? Or too high? For a process that is supposed to be “transparent,” this is all still pretty mysterious. Rob Bates, Cutting Remarks