Some companies have a simple story for investors. Ford makes cars. Apple designs and sells iPhones and other devices. Loews, a holding company that insures businesses, operates hotels, and produces energy, has a more complex tale to tell. Last summer, Chief Executive Officer Jim Tisch was talking with designers from Addison, the firm that produces Loews’s annual reports, about ways to spread the word about the company when he made an offbeat suggestion: What about a comic? “He was thinking of a way to present the information in an engaging way, as opposed to a 60-page PowerPoint,” says Mary Skafidas, vice president for investor and media relations at Loews, who was at the meeting.
After months of work with illustrators and Addison, Loews released The Adventures of Lotta Value, Investment Hunter! on its website on April 11. The 13-page graphic novel opens in the office of private detective Lotta, a female Sam Spade. Her client, Rich Stockman, a middle-aged man in a trench coat, needs help deciding whether to put money in Loews. He tells her the key to the company’s success is “tucked away in vaults at each subsidiary.”