Monthly Archives: May 2014

Entrepreneurism & Innovation

The May edition of the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance and Banking (JSFB) is all about Entrepreneurship.  We celebrate the creative, inspired and dauntless innovators who have the potential to drive disruptive change across industry sectors, and even entire markets. 

Good Governance: A Cornerstone of Entrepreneurism

“Corporate Governance.” Perhaps the term seems out of place in a journal devoted to entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship, whether found in a start-up or an established company, implies innovation, strategy and corporate renewal. Corporate Governance, by contrast, is seen as a “soft” form of corporate regulation that restricts and perhaps confines management. Moreover, decades of studies of different corporate governance approaches have not produced a consensus on whether and how corporate governance matters for corporate performance….

Introducing Cornerstone Capital Global Sector Strategy

In this note, we introduce the Cornerstone Capital Global Sector Strategy Model.  The model ranks the 10 GICS in the MSCI All Country World Index.  As discussed in detail below, the model employs a quantitative multi-factor methodology to generate sector recommendations based on proprietary measures of valuation and earnings.  The Cornerstone Capital model also takes… Read more »

PIP’n Good

I’ve been on a mission for close to half my life — to figure out how best to steer individuals toward more socially mindful daily life choices. Because really, from the coffee you brew in the morning to the way you get to work, your everyday decisions have an impact — on the environment, on… Read more »

Ceres Conference 2014

It has been 25 years since Ceres, the Sustainability Leadership Advocacy organization, was formed by a small group of investors to further the adoption of sustainable business practices that could protect the planet while ensuring long-term prosperity for its people. What better way to celebrate a quarter century of progress than to attend the Ceres Annual Conference, held April 30th in Boston….

Warby Parker

At the heart of any successful entrepreneur is the ability to identify and meet a market need. In some cases, meeting this need is premised on the introduction of an original, innovative product while in others it is about improving the process by which it is produced and delivered. The latter appears to be the case in the eyewear industry where startup Warby Parker is aiming to provide consumers with “high quality eyewear at a fraction of the price.”

Where Should “Human Capital” Fit in the Sustainability Agenda?

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION  If people are a firm’s “most important asset” – as CEOs repeatedly proclaim – why are they only reported as costs? What are the problems caused by this mismatch, and what would ameliorate them? In light of this, what actions can and… Read more »

Financial Impediments to Job Creation by Start-Ups and Small Firms

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION While older firms are important with regard to employment levels, it is new and young businesses (i.e., less than one year old) that are a key source of job growth. The U.S. economy is comprised of more than 6 million establishments with… Read more »

首席执行官关于可持续金融和银行业的致辞 – The Cornerstone JSFB CEO’s Letter in Mandarin, May 2014

首席执行官关于可持续金融和银行业的致辞 在这期的“Cornerstone 可持续金融和银行业的月刊”里, 我们看到全球市场在乌克兰局势压力缓解,强有力的美国经济增长,和中国政府有可能采取经济刺激的背景下逐渐好转。还有,市场的注意力很大程度上在关注欧盟委员会的领导团队,以及公司兼并购活动,如GE和Siemens各自对Alsthom电力业务并购的意图,以及Pfizer对AstraZeneca出价收购的失败,主要由于就业和知识产权仍然是谈判的核心。与此同时,关于收入不平等和公司治理的讨论越发激烈。 后者使我们对“遗产”开始讨论。一个重要的遗产是创业者最伟大的希望之一。创业者对资本报有最伟大的希望。 在这个月的期刊里,我们从多个角度讨论“创业精神”。我们先从具有特征的区域“BuildTheLadder.net”来进行讨论,在这里我们赞扬那些具有创造性,令人鼓舞的,无所畏惧的革新者和他们利用坚强的毅力来使想法和关系在成功的这个目标上达成共识。这其中的一些领导者会认同美国伟大诗人Maya Angelou,他在这个星期去世了。在他极不平凡的一生中,他总是鼓舞别人, Maya提到:“人们将会忘记你所说的,人们会忘记你所做的,但人们不会忘记你让他们有什么样的感觉。”当这些创业者在分享他们在自己的征程中所经历的感受时,我们赞扬他们经济上仅有的最好就业机会创造者的努力。 也是在这个月的期刊里,Cornerstone Captial的全球市场策略师Michael Geraghty进一步考察了“财务阻力对新兴公司和小公司创造就业机会的影响。”银行借贷和IPO市场提醒我们在政策制定上努力的重要性,例如JOBS法案。Janet Pegg,我们的估值和财会主管和我们进一步讨论“关于群众融资原则”的法律。伴随着SEC对“网络融资办法的不断改进,”我们注意到对伴有高透明度和可以理解的风险的公众融资作为一种可存在的融资和资本形成工具验证时的挑战和必需性。 这个月里我们也介绍一下Cornerstone Capital 的全球行业战略模型,在这里Michael Geraghty 对MSCI所有国家世界指数的10个GICS通过定性的多元素方法进行了排序。通过我们特有的估值和盈利(动量,再修正,和利润率)办法我们对行业进行推荐,并且同时考虑环境,社会,和公司治理等指标。 当我们期待我们的模型和过程进一步改进,我们最关键的ESG因素是通过行业来提供另一个视角来分析我们的资产配置。 目前,我们采取有点顺周期的立场来超配信息技术和可支配的消费品行业,而低配日常消费品和材料行业。 如Michael所提到的,对材料行业的配置程度应和地区策略保持一致,我们来到“Regional Imperatives”章节。在这个章节里,中国和巴西的两个创业例子所提供的见解应适用于全球。James Feldkamp在“明鉴:在中国对产品安全质量的测试”验证了需要真正是发明的母亲, 在巴西Camillo Sicherle在“退出:对风险投资的回顾”中讨论了为新企业融资的一个结构问题 — 一种想法会不时的削弱创业精神和资本的最高目的。   在“Open Source Excellence”章节,我们讨论世界上的三个领先公司为达到私有行业的优秀所共有的战略眼光。EBay的Lauren Moore讨论了“制造一个具有创业精神的生态系统来推动商业和社会价值。” Ben&Jerry’s的Jostein Solheim讨论了“拥护者,味道,和失败:从奶牛到冰淇淋筒的创新。”并且Novartis的Michael Fuerst和Integrity By Design的Dan Ostergaard强调了“当在营造廉政的文化时”,传统文化的融合也只能适应到这里。 并且,从开始最关键的事情我们应清晰知道并在检验和平衡中广泛意识到。 在这个月对创业精神进一步深度挖掘时,我们学到了多个的专家的见解。在“The Other Revolution”中,ShellyPorges展示了当“人才是普遍的,但机会不是”(如希拉里克林顿所阐述的)时,发挥人才潜力的巨大前景。David Lubin带来了他多年成功的经验和有价值的实用框架“创业者的工作:梦想制造者 – 梦想的摧毁者。”最后,Bob Lamb和Sadika Hameed建议我们在令人吃惊的地方应能吸取教训“那里安使投资者对进入怀有恐惧,创业者匆忙进入–但投资者通常不进入。” 投资者确实需要一个“提升的分析”世界,在这里我们引用Kara Hurst的工作,她认为可持续的投资者是:“研究很深,甚至寻找在产品层面上的衡量系统,”而Dr. Laurie Bassi问到“为什么“人力资本”能适用到可持续发展日程上?”在两种情况下,我们发现了一个更强大的对资本市场真正“食物链”的理解。最后,在这个月里,我们重点讨论在社会创业者中的“可持续的突出者”(3P Partners和FarmCo New York),对优秀的2014年Ceres年会的总结,对可持续眼镜制造商Warby Parker的评论,和一个来自于克林顿全球倡议组织的号召行动,即对那些愿意在全球资本市场加速影响的号召者给予明显的承诺。 真诚的致礼!… Read more »

The Cornerstone Capital Regional Strategy Update

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION In the April edition of The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking we introduced the Cornerstone Capital Regional Strategy Model. This month there is no change in our regional weightings. We provide a quick update by region. Michael Geraghty is the… Read more »

Fans, Flavors and Failure: Innovation from Cow to Cone

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. How do you measure success in your company’s innovation strategy? Ben & Jerry’s strives to create engagement, stories that are willingly shared and essentially present products that fans don’t want to live without, summarized in two words: “Flavor excitement.” Success, then, can… Read more »

The Work of an Entrepreneur: Dream Maker — Dream Killer

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. Successfully managing the dissonance between unwavering commitment to your vision and the plan, and accurately reading the business signals that forewarn trouble is the entrepreneur’s perpetual challenge. False negatives and false positives are coming at you in a steady stream. Overreacting and… Read more »

Going Deep: Measurement Systems at the Product Level

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. In a world of big data, radical transparency for corporations and sustainability reporting on the rise, we should see a major shift in how businesses are tackling the most intractable environmental and social issues, as well as a rapid pace of progress… Read more »

Why Compliance Programs Work Like Pushing a Rope… How Leaders Can Impact Behaviour

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. Few ingredients are as important to building a successful organization as culture and most CEOs will argue that integrity is one of the cornerstones. But how do CEOs foster an entrepreneurial spirit and ambitious drive to perform without compromising ethical standards? In… Read more »

Reimagining Impact, Reimaging ROI

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. Co-authored by Bob Harrison, CEO and Bulbul Gupta, Head of Market-Based Approaches at the Clinton Global Initiative If we care about meeting the economic, social, and environmental demands of the 21st century, and growing consumer demand for responsible products, then we need to… Read more »

“I Bought the Farm!”

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION Whether it was it for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation or the Open Space Institute, I had been buying and selling land to preserve it in perpetuity for historic preservation, habitat protection and recreational use. The work was non-adversarial, amply funded… Read more »

PIP’n Good

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION I’ve been on a mission for close to half my life — to figure out how best to steer individuals toward more socially mindful daily life choices. Because really, from the coffee you brew in the morning to the way you get… Read more »

Follow the Leader, Follow the Money…Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Banking – The Equator Principles

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION While images of Richard Branson or Elon Musk may come to mind upon hearing the term “social entrepreneur,” one does not require a huge public presence, a revolutionary new idea, or even billions of dollars to make a positive impact in meeting… Read more »

Where Angels Fear to Tread: Entrepreneurs Rush In, But Investors Don’t

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION Co-Authored by Robert D. Lamb and Sadika Hameed, Program on Crisis, Conflict and Cooperation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies A teenage girl sews some clothes and sells them to a vendor at the local market, grows her business, and eventually… Read more »

MingJian (消费明鉴), Testing for Safe Quality Products in China

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION The life of a consumer in China is akin to walking blind through a minefield; always fearful that your next purchase may contain hidden dangers. If you enter the words “product safety China” into Google, it will return more than 150 million… Read more »

Creating an Ecosystem of Entrepreneurship to Drive Business and Social Value

This is a complementary article for US SIF 2014 Conference participants from The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking, May 2014 edition. Subscribe today for access to expert commentary from leaders in the field of global sustainable finance and capital markets, corporate governance and much more. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In today’s market, shareholder value is increasingly measured in more ways than purely… Read more »

Making the Case for Crowdfunding Rules

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. Start-up companies and investors eagerly await SEC final rules implementing the JOBS Act’s crowdfunding provisions. The SEC, however, must ensure investors are adequately protected. Achieving this goal will help validate crowdfunding as a viable investment and capital raising tool. Janet Pegg, CPA,… Read more »

“Exit Left:” A Reflection about VC Investing & Entrepreneurship

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION We have seen this story play out again and again. An entrepreneur hatches an idea, then looks for independent sources of funding to grow and scale the business. Blame the practice of independent venture capital (VC) firms dedicating a lot of focus… Read more »

The Other Revolution: The Global Entrepreneurship Revolution

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. The global entrepreneurship revolution is the key to driving economic prosperity in all our economies.  Today, it is estimated that there are nearly 400 million entrepreneurs starting and running businesses in the 54 economies surveyed by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.  And if… Read more »

Introducing Cornerstone Capital Global Sector Strategy

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION We introduce the Cornerstone Capital Global Sector Strategy Model which ranks the 10 GICS in the MSCI All Country World Index. The model employs a quantitative multi-factor methodology to generate sector recommendations based on proprietary measures of valuation and earnings and incorporates… Read more »

Why Compliance Programs Work Like Pushing a Rope… How Leaders Can Impact Behaviour

Co-Authored by Dan Ostergaard, Managing Partner of Integrity by Design and Dr. Michael Fuerst, Senior Manager at Novartis View the article as a PDF. Few ingredients are as important to building a successful organization as culture and most CEOs will argue that integrity is one of the cornerstones. But how do CEOs foster an entrepreneurial spirit… Read more »

Alibaba’s Hybrid Corporate Governance Structure

The upcoming IPO has attracted media and market attention as one of the first efforts by a Chinese company to list on a U.S. Exchange. Founded 15 years ago, Alibaba is a giant in China’s e-commerce business, with online shopping sites combining the power of an Amazon and eBay with the ubiquity of a PayPal…. Read more »

Smoke & Mirrors: The E-Cigarette Conference Call Highlights

Recent announcements by the Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarettes are significant for the future of the $1.2 billion industry, not just because of the material impact of future regulations, but also because of the impact of the public debate and media discourse on the topic.  The FDA’s focus is on banning sales to… Read more »

Join Us at the CGI & SASB Sustainability Standards Corporate Roundtable May 13, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Cornerstone Capital Group will be participating in the upcoming Sustainability Standards Corporate Roundtable on May 13th, hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). This collaborative event will engage thought leaders to discuss SASB’s new sustainability standards, best practices for disclosure and methods to help drive… Read more »