Publicly traded companies disclose an array of risks to their businesses in annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lawsuits and other legal proceedings are a big one, because they can spur huge monetary awards to plaintiffs.
In a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today, Yum said it made an important amendment to its corporate bylaws that now requires disputes between shareholders and the company be handled in North Carolina’s court system.
Why that state? Because, even though Yum is headquartered in Louisville — and the top brass works part of the time in suburban Dallas — the company itself is incorporated in North Carolina, where the fast food giant’s principal office is in Raleigh. (Of course, that office might be little more than a mailbox drop.) Adding a little confusion, the specific court is actually 167 miles away, in Mecklenburg County’s Charlotte.
The SEC filing doesn’t say what prompted the company to choose the N.C. court system. But it follows a high-profile dispute between dissident stockholder Keith Meister of Corvex Management that ended last fall when he was given a seat on the board of directors. Corvex had built up a 5% stake to press the company into spinning off its flagging China Division, a step it’s planning to complete by Oct. 31.
Kentucky regulators publish a laundry list of requirements to get a license to practice dentistry. At the top: Applicants must read, speak, and write English at least at the ninth-grade level. (The regulations don’t say anything about understanding patients’ garbled answers to questions asked during exams.) License applicants also must pass a nationwide criminal background check through the FBI or the Kentucky State Police. Would that have tripped up evil Dr. Christian Szell? More on that in a moment.
And they’re subject to discipline by the 10-member Board of Dentistry. It hasn’t dinged any this year, and only disciplined one in all of 2015. But in 2010, the board went after 72 dentists — far and away more than any other year. The board’s records don’t say why.
Nationwide, dentistry is one of the more segregated occupations. African-Americans hold 11.7% of all occupations nationwide, but are just 2.9% of dentists, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, for last year. They are just 3.6% of all dental hygienists, and 9.6% of dental assistants. (At the other extreme, they’re overrepresented among barbers, holding 40.7% of all.) Boulevard is trying to find comparable figures for Kentucky and for Louisville.
Scared of dentists? You’re not alone; up to 10% of U.S. adults are so afraid, they avoid dental care at all costs. Laurence Olivier only advanced those fears with his Oscar-nominated portrayal of Dr. Szell, a dentist and fugitive Nazi war criminal who tortures his patient in 1976’s “Marathon Man.” That’s him in the photo, top. Szell ranks as villain No. 34 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years … 100 Heroes and Villains” list.
If you knew all the hoops to jump to get barber licenses under Kentucky law, you’d tip your barber even more generously. The State Board of Barbering‘s governing law and regulations run well over 40 pages, covering everything from the regulatory board (whose five members are appointed by the governor) to how barber schools advertise. My favorite part of the license qualifications section: You must be of “good moral character and temperate habit.”
Outfitting a shop isn’t cheap, either. A traditional striped barber pole alone costs a whopping $1,035 at retailer Minerva Beauty of Monroe, Ga. (The history of poles is interesting, but not for the faint-of-heart.)
As for me, I get a haircut and beard trim every three weeks at Market St. Barbers in NuLu: $45, not including tip. (Today was the day.) The shop’s at 748 E. Market St. Ask for Ken Watts, senior master barber.