Posts Categorized: Corporate Governance

Governance and the Ungovernable: Implications of Blockchain Proliferation

Overview Theory and politics. The blockchain and related innovations represent a new and relatively complex set of potential investment opportunities. The technology has received significant attention from a range of individuals and institutions, from computer scientists to corporations to private equity groups. We outline the theory of the technology as well as the governance implications… Read more »

Extractive Company Values: Environmental & Social Issues as Indicators of Strategy Execution Potential

With a market cap of over US$6 trillion, the extractive sector encompasses over 5,000 companies. It provides raw materials for everything from energy creation to high-tech manufacturing to electronics. Even as the world starts to transition from greenhouse gas emitting commodities like oil and coal, natural resource extraction will remain essential. Smartphones and electric vehicles, for instance, require metals sourced from extractive operations around the world. Yet natural resource extraction is, by its very nature, environmentally destructive and socially disruptive — and managing the risks inherent in mining is of prime concern to extractive companies and the host countries in which they operate. Extractive companies’ success will be in part determined by their ability to position themselves for this future.

Evolving Lifecycles in an ESG Materiality Matrix

For most sectors, the likelihood of adverse ESG events and their potential financial impacts evolve through a lifecycle. ESG lifecycles determine the time it takes for a sustainability issue to become relevant to a sector as well as the magnitude of the financial impact. We believe the ability to anticipate ESG lifecycles can enhance the investment decision-making process.

A Video Interview with BlackRock’s Edkins on “The Shareholder Alignment Frontier” (SAF)

We are pleased to share a recent video interview with Blackrock’s Michelle Edkins and Cornerstone’s John Wilson in which we discuss the value of the “Shareholder Alignment Frontier TM (SAF).” The SAF is a tool inside Cornerstone’s proprietary framework which was specifically developed to help companies make the business case for improved stakeholder relationships through shareholder engagement thus building value for the long term

Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update

Our earnings momentum metric has been refined. In addition, we have also introduced a methodology for weighting ESG factors in sectors and regions. These modifications have resulted in an unusually large number of changes in recommendations.

Japan’s Corporate Governance Reform: A Powerful Driver of Earnings Growth

Executive Summary A Shift in Corporate Priorities. For decades, Japan’s corporations were managed to protect market share, headcount and influence, all at the expense of profits. Today, driven by a shift in corporate priorities, pretax margins are at record highs even as economic growth has been lackluster. Two Phases of Reform. Even before some recent… Read more »

A Shifting ESG Materiality Matrix: What Has Mattered, What May Matter

As we continue our research on sustainability factors that play a role in market outcomes, we embrace a more nuanced view. ESG factors that impact different sectors are not static, and are determined by a wide range of lifecycles.

Alibaba: Uniquely Conflicted

With Alibaba’s first annual meeting scheduled for October 8, we conducted an examination of its corporate governance structure. We are not aware of another corporation that lists its corporate governance structure as a risk to shareholders. In fact, numerous concerns about the company’s corporate governance have been widely cited.

Sustainable Investing: Addressing the Myth of Underperformance

Despite growing demand for sustainable and impact investment solutions and a body of evidence to support the effectiveness of sustainable investing from a strictly financial perspective, many investors are still unclear about the relationship between ESG factors and financial performance.

Four Questions for Alphabet

Google’s impending restructuring into a holding company called Alphabet doesn’t change the underlying business so much as make explicit the company’s dual-track nature. On one track, Google has a mature search/advertising business; on the other, an investment company with a focus on speculative technology investments and basic research. The new structure, intended to provide transparency to investors about the relative performance of each side of the business, will be welcomed by investors.

Learning from History: How do Historical and Forecast Electricity Prices Connect?

We believe that the rising electricity prices forecast by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) in their Annual Energy Outlook 2015 do not account for the dampening effect of rapidly declining renewable energy costs and low financing costs. In particular, rooftop solar should act as a cap on the price that utilities will be able to charge retail customers while falling wholesale solar prices, set at a fixed price for up to 20 years, could reduce wholesale electricity prices for the long term.

Uber: Red Light, Green Light

The decision by New York City to drop a proposed bill that would limit growth of for-hire vehicle (FHV) companies – such as Uber and Lyft – attracted significant media attention. Based on prior analysis, we reiterate our view that the status of providers (i.e., employees versus independent contractors) poses a greater risk to FHV companies…. Read more »

Dissecting the “Sharing Economy:” Business model opportunities and risks

Between Uber’s $50 billion valuation, Etsy’s IPO and the large venture capital infusions into Airbnb, the “sharing economy” is transitioning from a social movement to a large-scale commercial business model.

Proxy Access: A Core Shareholder Right or the Latest Corporate Governance Fad?

The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law required all companies to provide proxy access to shareholders, but the implementation of this rule has been tied up in court. A small number of companies have moved ahead, and this proxy season roughly 40 companies have made “proxy access” available to shareholders. Meanwhile, the New York City Pension System filed proxy access requests to 75 companies in May. Below we provide some background on the issue, in the form of responses to questions we’re frequently asked.

Japan’s New Corporate Codes – Studying the Impact on Valuations

Corporate governance represents the relationship among various corporate stakeholders that determines the strategic direction of a company. Practically, corporate governance adjudicates the balance among key stakeholder interests within the firm. Japan is unveiling a new corporate governance code for companies …

Judges Announced for “Sustainable Games” Competition

Harvard Business School, Intel Education among Business and Entrepreneurial Leaders to Select Winner of $25,000 Prize Five global leaders from across business, the capital markets and academia have been selected as judges for “Sustainable Games:  The Business Model Challenge.”  The competition, which offers a $25,000 prize, is sponsored by Cornerstone Capital Inc., together with the Clinton… Read more »

Towards Decent Jobs and Sustainable Business: the Long Road Ahead for Walmart

Walmart surprised the markets last week when it announced, along with its year-end results, a salary increase for 500,000 of its employees, raising company minimum wages to $9 per hour in April 2015 (bringing the average wage to $13) and $10 per hour beginning February 2016. The retail giant’s financial results were otherwise unremarkable, with… Read more »

A Closer Look at Alibaba’s Corporate Governance

The recent, apparently resolved conflict between Alibaba and the Chinese government agency SAIC over counterfeit goods raises questions about whether shareholders should have confidence in the future growth of the company. With a valuation of over 30 times earnings, the market is pricing in a high degree of conviction about the company’s future growth. In… Read more »

China & Russia: Policies and Markets

Cornerstone Capital Group hosted a call on Jan. 12 with geopolitical expert, Lionel Vairon, CEO of CEC Consulting. Dr. Vairon spoke about implications for the global economy given closer ties between Russia and China – including likely developments in energy, politics and the financial sector. Click below to listen to the call.   Dr. Lionel… Read more »

The Social Costs of Business: Implications for Sector Strategy

Executive Summary The social responsibility of business — In pursuit of the goal of increasing profits, businesses incur costs to nurture relationships with key stakeholders: local communities, suppliers and their workers, the company’s own employees, customers.  Some of these costs are straightforward; others are tougher to quantify.  To be sure, many business‑stakeholder relationships have benefits too…. Read more »

Harnessing ‘Sustainable Brand Power’

How does a brand stay true to its purpose?  And how does a company create an emotional connection with its stakeholders, employees and consumers? These were just a few of the questions addressed by Jostein Solheim, CEO of Ben & Jerry’s during a Roundtable session Nov. 19th on “Sustainable Brand Power” at Cornerstone Capital Group. … Read more »

ESG Essentials – A Guide for Investors

There is increasing recognition globally that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are relevant and material for investment decisions. If you are involved in the world of finance, the words “sustainability” or “ESG” have either crossed your desk or are about to. For investors that are new to the topic, this report will serve as a primer that provides a basis for additional avenues of inquiry. For those that are already familiar with the subject, this report will act as a supplement and may offer new or different perspectives on the most critical issues.

Income Inequality: Market Mechanism or Market Failure?

Tools to assess corporate performance and enhance investment decisions Income inequality is a normal feature of a free market economy. However, in recent years, it has been on the rise in most developed countries and has reached relatively high levels, especially in the US. Extreme income inequality affects economic growth prospects and societal stability. It… Read more »

A Virtuous Circle of Corporate Excellence Drives Sustainable Value

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) is a Fortune 250, $12 billion global industrial gas company headquartered in Danbury, CT. It is the largest industrial gas company in the Americas and operates in more than 50 countries. Praxair consistently leads the industry in profitability and return on capital through a culture of operational excellence, capital discipline and… Read more »

Navigating the Recycling Industry

My journey to the recycling world, is a circuitous one primarily driven by environmental and social motives. A child of immigrants from India and the UK, and one of six children, I never sought easy answers. We came from England with just the clothes on our backs. My parents had big dreams of not only… Read more »

Nils Anderson, the CEO of AP Moller Maersk, spoke at this month’s BSR Conference in New York City and articulated his company’s aspiration to be “Taking the lead in a world of change.”  This company represents the ultimate player in global trade. And, if one subscribes to the economic theory of comparative advantage, then the… Read more »

Rise of the Corporate Wellness Officer

Co-authored by Melissa Musiker and Julie Jack   Nutrition has now entered the C-suite. Progressive food and beverage companies are demonstrating an increasingly sophisticated approach to managing health and wellness issues.  Facing a world of 9 billion people, the prism through which food and beverage companies view health and wellness has expanded to include the… Read more »

Impact Measurement to Enable an Effective Market

Co-Authored with Kelly McCarthy   Investors in sustainable finance and banking may have noticed a recent focus on the importance of impact measurement. A number of government initiatives are emphasizing rigorous social and environmental performance tracking, including an announcement last month from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that Impact Small Business Investment Companies (Impact… Read more »

The Diabetes Challenge: The Unintended Health Consequences of Reformulating Food Products

Diabetes can be characterized as a new type of pandemic. It is probably the first pandemic to be mostly caused by our modern lifestyle: what and how much we eat and how much we exercise[1].  Historically, people over 65 years of age used to develop diabetes. Today, however, younger people tend to develop diabetes, especially… Read more »

Market Summary: Overview

In a year of surprisingly muted market volatility, this month we saw risk assets tumble as investor concerns reached a decisive tipping point. Anxiety over a less accommodative Fed, the pace and sustainability of global economic growth, continued conflict in Ukraine, escalating violence in the Middle East, and even the Ebola crisis have investors fleeing… Read more »

In an effort to ignite and support the efforts of the next generation of business leaders, and a form of capitalism that is based upon greater collaboration and transparency, we launch this initiative among the world’s students who will be essential drivers of sustainable innovation…This is a call to action for social entrepreneurship: “Sustainable Games:… Read more »

Are You Thinking Like a Universal Owner?

Imagine it is 2006, and a savvy and perspicacious Chief Investment Officer of a large pension fund foresees a looming threat to the stability in the financial markets. Having lost confidence in the banks, what can she do? Unlike hedge funds or active managers, she cannot short or even exit the shares of the financial sector because her fund is so large that it must hold every name in the public markets…

The Great Negotiator

This is an abstract from the September edition of the JSFB. Subscribers can read the full article here. For more information on subscribing to the JSFB, click here.   Sustainable finance is a relatively new enough concept that it can encompass everything from climate change solutions and infrastructure development to better healthcare systems, improved education… Read more »

Making the Case for Intrinsic Motivation

This is an abstract from the September edition of The Cornerstone JSFB. Subscribers can read the full article here. Learn more about the JSFB here.   We are in the middle of a radical transformation of the workplace as it becomes much more fluid and dynamic. By 2020, Intuit reports that 40% of us will… Read more »

Not Just a ‘Flash,’ But a Call to Arms

I was still at the Securities and Exchange Commission, overseeing the Division of Trading and Markets, when I first heard about a small band of traders and technology experts at the Royal Bank of Canada who were using technology to tilt the playing field back in favor of ordinary investors. I could hardly have imagined… Read more »

Risk Mitigation — the Basis for Chemical Safety

This is an abstract from The Cornerstone JSFB’s September edition. Subscribers can read the full article here. Chemical safety, especially when it comes to our everyday consumer products, is a topic of increasing relevance for the public. Almost weekly, news about food being contaminated, poisonous toys due to use of lead paints or unhealthy indoor… Read more »

Flagship Research: Gauging Governance Globally – Macro & Micro Metrics

Much analysis has attempted to find an empirical link between Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) factors and investment returns. By contrast, the focus of our research has been the significance of ESG factors for equity valuations….

Cornerstone Summary of “Earnings Guidance A White Paper from KKS Advisors & the Generation Foundation”

The fact of the matter is that capital markets have moved away from a long-term mindset and more towards a focus on short-term results. This trend has been well observed by market participants and academics alike, yet the question as to what will serve as a catalyst to reverse the trend remains. To this end, it’s worth highlighting a recently released white paper by The Generation Foundation and KKS Advisors focusing on the impact of regular Earnings Guidance. Thorough examination of the topic leads to the following conclusions….

What is Shareholder Engagement… Why is it Important?

The article by Susan Baker and Jonas Kron provides a fascinating example of how Trillium Asset Management has used its influence as an investor to impact corporate policies on an important social issue. But is Trillium’s story an outlier or part of a trend? Do companies change their governance practices in response to input from shareholders? If so, why? And more importantly, does it benefit the bottom line?

Confirmation Bias in the Investment Process

The ancient Greek historian, Thucydides, wrote, “It is a habit of mankind . . . to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy.” The phenomenon to which he speaks manifests itself in all walks of life, from politics to religion and investing. Today, this concept is termed “confirmation bias” and refers to the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses….

How Purpose-Driven Programs Can Solve the Employee Engagement Problem

The ripple effect of Gallup’s recent research on the State of the Workplace continues to widen. Their report basically indicted companies globally for their inattention to criticality of an engaged and motivated employee base. Based on their research, only 13% of employees worldwide are actively engaged in their work. For the U.S. alone, they assert,… Read more »

A Look at the Reynolds/Lorillard Deal: Ramifications for E-Cigarettes

Transaction Overview Reynolds American (ticker: RAI) announced an agreement to acquire Lorillard (LO) for $27.4 billion in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $68.88 per LO’s share (based on RAI’s closing price on 7/14/14).  As noted by Reynolds, this price represents a premium of about 40% to Lorillard’s stock price on February 28, 2014, which was… Read more »

Top Sports, Media & Entertainment Brands: A Focus on ESG Metrics

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION Since 2009, Bloomberg has been uploading key corporate ESG metrics to its database from companies’ own financial and sustainability reports. They have over 800 data points – 10 to 12 are considered key ESG metrics for all companies to disclose to the capital markets.  Sustainability… Read more »

The Last Ship

I am a producer of Broadway musicals who has been nurturing my obsession with the form since appearing in my first musical, a temple Purim play, in the fourth grade. Instead of repeating the Old Testament story of Queen Esther, our ingenious director juxtaposed our Jewish heroine’s quest to save the Jews from the evil… Read more »

Embracing the New Market Opportunity: LGBT+A

The traditional courting of the “gay market” ignores a much larger market opportunity. LGBT friends and family i.e. Allies, are showing their support not only as citizens, but also as consumers — making purchasing decisions that align with their views on LGBT equality. The latest estimates (2012) put the total buying power of the adult LGBT population at nearly $800B. When you add Allies, that number is far greater. This is the “LGBT+A” market.

“Intentionality” has been a word used a great deal lately as the definition of “Impact Investing” has been evolving. Front and center is the clearly stated intent to not only drive financial returns, but to seek measurable positive impact towards societal and environmental goals. In this note we simply argue for the same kind of… Read more »

The Last Ship

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION The Last Ship is about finding pride in our work. Work that gives purpose to our lives. Work that helps forge our identity and contributes something tangible to society. It’s about community and being responsible to each other. It is our contribution to the… Read more »

Principles of Responsible Gaming

A Chinese proverb says, “If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.” Unfortunately, in not heeding this advice, some casual gamblers find themselves grappling with gambling addiction. Partly because of the well-documented adverse effects of compulsive gambling, a subset of ethics-based investors exclude gaming companies, along with other “sin stocks,” from their investment universe…

Fantasy Sports – Business Versus Social Implications

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  Fantasy sports is big business. A fanatic fan base and highly desirable demographic has turned it into a $3 billion industry in just the U.S. and Canada, growing over 12% annually.  The fantasy sports phenomenon caught fire with the advent… Read more »

Governance & the NFL

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION. In sports, fixing the game is the ultimate sin, and all sports leagues work hard to prevent contests from being decided by anything other than the skill and the effort of the players and coaches. No sport survives for long if it does not make the delight of its fans its central purpose…

The Power of Sports: From the Field to the Business World

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  As you bring your daughter to her sports clinics this weekend, to Tae Kwon Do or swimming or soccer, or wherever else her passion lies, celebrate. She’s not just playing. She’s not just exercising. She’s actually building critical life skills, such… Read more »

The Spin on Spin-Offs

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  Time Warner Inc. completed the spin-off of Time Inc. earlier this month. Likewise, CBS Corp. announced that it would split off its remaining shares in CBS Outdoor Americas Inc. It’s clear that tax-free spin-offs continue to be popular transactions for… Read more »

A Focus on India

The outlook for Indian equities likely remains supportive. GDP is a key driver of corporate profits in India and, as noted, GDP estimates have started to trend up. Moreover, given current low capacity utilization rates and margins near historic lows, a modest improvement in profit margins could result in a meaningful boost to earnings. In terms of valuation, the Indian market is currently trading at around 15x one year forward earnings, which is in line with historical averages.

Let’s Dance: The Virtuous Cycle of Creativity

Mom and Dad would be proud. It only took 24 years from when I received my Bachelor of Music degree to locate the convergence between fine arts and sustainable finance. Sustainable practices in entertainment and media are perhaps not as obviously critical as they might be in extractive industries, food services, or manufacturing. What is… Read more »

Business of CSR and Sustainability in India

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  Four years ago, a good friend and a very senior government colleague here in India, Pravir Kumar, asked me to weigh the prospects of getting into the area of CSR. Given that his thoughts and ideas were way ahead of… Read more »

A Perspective on GoDaddy’s IPO

This commentary is co-authored by John Wilson and Janet Pegg. Some recent comments in the media raise concerns about how GoDaddy Inc.’s upcoming initial public offering will be impacted by the original shareholder’s retention of future tax benefits from GoDaddy’s prior tax losses.  However, care should be taken before drawing conclusions about the company’s tax… Read more »

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….

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Unleashing Impact Capital into Public Infrastructure and Building Projects

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. Our national economy is in a world of hurt when it comes to its very foundation: the public infrastructure and buildings that enable and support economic activity.  Bridges, highways, transit, energy, and environmental infrastructure as well as social infrastructure including healthcare, education… Read more »

Maersk: Sustainability as a Driver for Growth

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. It is our experience that sustainability adds value if it is tied closely into business and is allowed to help the company take a longer term perspective on material matters. At its core, it adds value through better risk management whether it… Read more »

Lack of R&D Tax Credit Will Complicate First Quarter Earnings

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Investors should be aware that first quarter earnings could have a little extra “noise” in them this year, and may not be comparable to previous years.  The problem results from Congress not extending the R&D tax credit again.  The credit has a… Read more »

ESG & Credit Risk: New Study Demonstrates a Clear Link

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Using data contributed by RepRisk, a Swiss-based ESG business intelligence provider, the authors examined the effect of CSR-related negative media attention on credit default swap spreads.  According to the study, companies that are criticized in the news for irresponsible ESG practices have… Read more »

Design to Serve the Changing Needs of the Reasonable Investor

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. The reasonable investor of 2014 is not the same as the reasonable investor of 1973. However, investors don’t have information to determine how companies are adapting to this new reality. In this situation, investors need comparable environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data… Read more »

Private Investors Exploring Emerging Asset Classes

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Now that ESG (environment, social, governance) criteria are uncovering sound, long-term investments, private equity, family offices and pension funds are looking even farther afield for more such opportunities.  This new biomimicry asset class is the focus of Ethical Markets research in our… Read more »

Nestlé: Leading Company in Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. Climate change is integrated into our company-wide risk management processes and in 2013 we further strengthened their commitment to lowering GHG emissions associated with the production and distribution of our products. Nestlé also commits to designing products that help consumers lower their… Read more »

Purecircle: Stevia Replacing Nutritive Sweeteners with PureCircle Stevia to Make a Positive Impact on Carbon

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. It is our vision to lead the global expansion of stevia as the next mass volume natural sweetener and encourage healthier diets through the supply of natural ingredients to the global food and beverage industry.  And it is our mission to scale… Read more »

Accounting for Timber – Lack of Convergence Illustrates the Differences between Historical Cost & Fair Value Accounting

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. Over the past few years one of the dominant hot topics in investment analysis has been fair value accounting.  After the credit crisis, there was a call by some to require fair value accounting for financial instruments.  The issue of the appropriateness… Read more »

Fibrea: A Leader in Sustainability

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. Fibria began 2014 by celebrating great achievements. The company was recognized in the 2014 Sustainability Yearbook released by RobecoSAM, which is responsible for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). The company received the prestigious Gold Class Sustainability Award for its leadership in… Read more »

Constructive Dialogue Bears Fruit

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. It has become more and more clear that shareholders can have tremendous leverage to influence corporate and industry practices globally, often in collaboration with coalitions of other shareholders and activist organizations. While one voice can make a difference, the collective voice of… Read more »

A Call to Action

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. Investors are becoming increasingly aware of supply chain issues in their companies, whether it is through conflict minerals, poor working conditions, deforestation or any number of other concerns, and are focusing on what company management is doing to recognise and address these… Read more »