Posts Categorized: Financials

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.

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.

Global Earnings Synthesis: On Track for Modest Gains in 2016

Building on the recent analysis in our Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update, we continue to embrace an outlook for just a single-digit increase in profits in 2016, which is in contrast to consensus estimates that imply a 21% gain in earnings.

Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update

We remain Overweight Information Technology (largest weighting in Overweight North America region) and Consumer Discretionary (largest weighting in Japan, our other Overweight). We continue to avoid regions with heavy exposure to commodities, most notably Latin America (Underweight), South Africa and Russia (both ranked Neutral).

Global Earnings Synthesis

As a complement to our Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update we introduce a new publication that will examine in detail the outlook for global earnings on a regular basis.

Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update

We are becoming a little more cyclical once again. We are now upgrading the Industrials sector to Neutral from Underweight, largely reflecting improved valuation. We remain Neutral on the two sectors that are widely considered the most defensive: Consumer Staples and Health Care.

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.

Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update

We are Underweight Energy, Materials, and Industrials. Our only Overweight is in Financials. We upgrade China and Russia to Neutral from Underweight.

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.

Regional and Sector Strategy: May Update

We are now underweight the most cyclically sensitive sectors: Industrials, Materials, Energy. While we upgrade the CEEMEA region to Neutral from Underweight — in large part because of an improved earnings outlook — this likely reflects a modest rebound in oil prices, which remain 40% below year-ago levels.

Updating the Global Equity Strategy Investment Clock

An Increasingly Cautious Near-Term Equity Outlook — Plotting our sector and regional equity recommendations on the face of an “investment clock” suggests an increasingly cautious near-term outlook for global equities. A Tilt Away from Cyclical Sectors and Regions — Last month, we tilted further from cyclical sectors and regions. As for sectors, we are underweight Energy and Materials, neutral Industrials. In terms of regions, we are underweight CEEMEA and Latin America.

Regional and Sector Strategy: April Update

We continue to have a defensive tilt in our regional recommendations, and are Underweight the commodity-rich regions of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) and Latin America …

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 »

Environmental Issues & Country Valuations: What Matters?

What Matters? — Some environmental issues that are the subject of popular focus — such as carbon dioxide emissions — do not appear to be statistically significant for global investors. Moreover, many countries’ environmental “health” has moved in the opposite direction of their economic development i.e., more pollution and higher per capita GDP.

The Economics of Automation: Quick Serve Restaurant Industry

Increasing cost pressure. Labor and food represent a significant portion of restaurants’ cost structure. While these inputs have been relatively predictable in the past, the twin threats of rising wages and increasingly volatile food prices suggest a more challenging environment ahead. It’s not clear that cost inflation can be consistently offset by raising menu prices, so companies are considering new strategies to protect margins . . .

Regional and Sector Strategy: March Update

Our regional strategy is unchanged. We continue to have a defensive tilt in our regional recommendations, and are Underweight the commodity-rich regions of CEEMEA and Latin America. Japan continues to be the top-ranked country. Over the past twelve months, share buybacks in Japan have been the largest of any country / region, the first time that country has been the global buyback leader since we launched the regional model in April 2014. We highlight changes in the Energy suggesting, perhaps, that stock prices in the sector have not fallen as fast as earnings estimates . . .

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 »

Regional and Sector Strategy: February Update

Our regional strategy is unchanged, even with a heightened focus on monetary policies and exchange rates in the past month driven, in part, by fears of deflation. We continue to have a defensive tilt in our regional recommendations, and are Underweight the commodity-rich regions of CEEMEA and Latin America. Our sector strategy is also unchanged and remains “less cyclical, more defensive.” We maintain our relatively defensive posture given pockets of economic weakness globally. We are Overweight Health Care in North America, the U.K. and Europe ex U.K. We are Underweight or Neutral Energy in the majority of regions….

Introducing the Global Equity Strategy Investment Clock

Developing a multi-class asset allocation model — that also incorporates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors — is a lofty undertaking. In this report, we take a first step by introducing our global equity strategy “investment clock”, which helps flesh out the equity outlook implied by our sector and regional recommendations….

“Legitimacy” in the Banking Sector

Earnings and valuation uncertainty – In a post Global Financial Crisis world, investors are questioning long-term earnings and valuation prospects for the banking sector. Tougher regulation, particularly on capital, liquidity and structure, are exerting pressure on the traditional banking business and clouding the outlook for investors….

Regional and Sector Strategy: January Update

This month we, upgrade Financials to Overweight from Neutral reflecting the combination of relatively attractive valuations and improving earnings momentum. In addition, Financials’ earnings estimate revisions are only modestly negative (i.e., downward revisions just outpace upward revisions), in sharp contrast to most other sectors where estimate revisions are strongly negative. Our regional strategy remains unchanged…..

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 »

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 »

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 »

SustainableShipping.mobi

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 »

Regional and Sector Strategy: November Update

This month we, upgrade Financials to Overweight from Neutral reflecting the combination of relatively attractive valuations and improving earnings momentum. In addition, Financials’ earnings estimate revisions are only modestly negative (i.e., downward revisions just outpace upward revisions), in sharp contrast to most other sectors where estimate revisions are strongly negative. Our regional strategy remains unchanged. We are Overweight or Neutral the majority of developed regions (Japan, U.K., Australia, North America) and Underweight most emerging markets (Latin America, CEEMEA)….

The Economics of Environmental Issues in Sector Strategy

Increasing environmental pressures — Corporations globally are experiencing growing pressure about environmental issues reflecting, in large part, regulatory initiatives that could potentially increase costs. Among the factors driving the growth and stringency of environmental regulations: energy security issues, public health challenges, impact of pollution on economic growth. We examine the implications of a potential increase in key environmental costs for ten industry sectors. Subsequent research will examine the implications — positive or negative — of social and governance factors for these sectors.

Sustainable Agriculture: What Drives Investor Decisions?

Sustainable agriculture ensures that production keeps up with both demographic changes and resource scarcity while providing economic development and investment portfolio growth. And agricultural production is big business, encompassing land, equipment, crop inputs (chemicals and seeds), expert production (farmers maximizing crop yields), value-added processing, and sales and distribution.  Agricultural sustainability depends on a number of… 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 »

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 »

SustainableGames.com

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…

Paths to a Fossil-Free Future Create Disruptive Business Opportunities

Fossil-free by 2075. That is the answer the International Energy Agency (IEA) found when it explored technology transition paths for the global energy sector consistent with stabilizing climate change. As an intergovernmental formation of industrialized nations, the IEA’s aim was the same target as the one repeatedly sought by in international negotiations – 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial global average temperatures, a level intended to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. While investment analysts are often bound to performance horizons of just a few quarters, the IEA view to 2075 has implications for capital allocations today….

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 »

The 2014 El Niño: Disrupting the Climate for Business?

Climate forecasters breathed a collective sigh of relief earlier this month as predictions of a “mega El Niño” on par with severe incidents that took place in 1997-98 were downgraded. Scientists now believe a more modest event will develop later this year and run through the winter of 2014/2015. Nonetheless, the revised “60-65% chance” forecast… 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 »

Accelerating Impact in Real Asset Investing

Written by James Lee, James Schaffer and Jaclyn Anku, Schaffer & Combs As the nation’s housing market rebounds, investors have taken notice. But with many still scarred from the protracted economic downturn, questions about risk remain.  But what if a real asset investing strategy could earn market-rate returns while simultaneously improving local communities?  OpenPath Investments,… Read more »

The Cornerstone Capital Strategy Update: Less Cyclical, More Defensive

We have updated the inputs to the Cornerstone Capital Sector Strategy Model in which we rank the ten GICs in the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI). Figure 1 summarizes the most recent rankings. Figure 1:  Cornerstone Capital Global Markets Equity Strategy Model Sector Overview Relative to the previous rankings (published in the June edition… Read more »

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….

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 »

Michael Baldinger and Eric-Vincent Guichard Join Cornerstone’s Board of Directors

Cornerstone Capital Inc., has appointed Michael Baldinger and Eric-Vincent Guichard to its Board of Directors, effective immediately. Baldinger currently serves as CEO of RobecoSAM AG, a Zurich-based investment firm that pioneered and specializes in sustainable investing. Guichard is Founder and CEO of Homestrings, an online portal that offers a range of tools to connect investors… 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 Cornerstone Capital Strategy Update

In the April edition of The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking we introduced the Cornerstone Capital Regional Strategy Model in which we ranked seven of the world’s regions/major economies. At the time, we excluded Australia and Canada but, following client feedback, we are now incorporating those two countries in our model – Australia as a stand-alone country, and Canada as part of the North America region….

Jazz Inspired Finance

Imagine if capitalism could harness the power of communication, collaboration and culture. Imagine if capitalism could serve its best and highest purpose of driving global economic prosperity. Imagine if capitalism were in the hands of leaders who strive for both long-term corporate profitability and to meet the needs of society for better nutrition, healthcare, education,… Read more »

The Cornerstone Capital Sector Strategy: Incorporating ESG Factors into Media Sector Valuations

Cornerstone Capital’s sector strategy model is overweight on the MSCI ACWI Consumer Discretionary Index, which contains a number of global media industries including Cable & Satellite (9% of the index’s market cap, the second largest weight after Auto Manufacturers), Movies and Entertainment (7% weight, fourth-largest in the index), and Casinos & Gaming (4% weight, tenth… 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…

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…

Feeding Fans Sustainably

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  When we think about sustainability in the context of the fan experience we take a holistic view of our opportunity and responsibility – from the restaurants supporting the sports events to the ingredients provided by our supply chain.  In doing… Read more »

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.

The Role of Media in India’s Election Outcome

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  The failings of India’s media during this election are symptoms of deeper ailments.  Most media companies are family owned.  Their decisions are driven more by personal and historical animosities, or agendas, than by long-term business strategies.  Those few that are… Read more »

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 »

Regional Strategy Update

  In the April edition of The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking we introduced the Cornerstone Capital Regional Strategy Model in which we ranked seven of the world’s regions/major economies. At the time, we excluded Australia and Canada but, following client feedback, we are now incorporating those two countries in our model –… 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….

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Introducing Cornerstone Capital Global Markets Regional Equity Strategy Model

In this note, we introduce the Cornerstone Capital Global Markets Regional Equity Strategy Model.  As discussed in detail below, the model employs a quantitative multi-factor methodology to generate regional recommendations based on proprietary measures of valuation and earnings.  The Cornerstone Capital model also takes into account corporate governance metrics by region.  We will be updating… 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 »

Increasing Access to Clean Water in Kenya: The Case for a Social Impact Bond

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. With limited public funding available for socially and environmentally responsible programs, a variety of initiatives have been developed to attract private capital into sustainable development. Although still in their infancy, social impact bonds (SIBs) offer a promising outlook for sustained public-private partnerships…. Read more »

Filling the Infrastructure Data Gap in Impact Investing

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. The OECD estimates USD 53 trillion in investment or the equivalent of an annual 2.5% of global GDP by the year 2030, to meet demand for infrastructure investment by 2030. Those numbers are so large and intimidating that most people are tempted… Read more »

CBA-BIM Using Established Tools to Achieve Standard for Infrastructure Project Valuation and Risk Assessment

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is changing the planning, design, building, and operation of infrastructure. When Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is added to BIM investors get both transparency of value and understanding of risks in complex infrastructure projects. CBA-BIM has the potential to… Read more »

New Tools, New Tricks: How Emerging Applications Are Becoming Game-Changers for Impact Investors and Infrastructure Development

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. The creation of standardized economic tools that can be used in the context of infrastructure exchanges may enable a new era of impact investing. Investors can use new standardized metrics to shape the definitions of new asset classes, including green bonds and… Read more »

Trinity River Vision Authority Applies Sustainability Rating and Business Case Analysis to Set Stormwater Management Principles

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. The financial benefits coupled with the benefits of maintaining the water quality of the lake and canals planned for Panther Island makes a clear case for expanding the use of green infrastructure in North Texas that will benefit the development community and… Read more »

Infrastructure Imperatives Drive Regional Competitiveness

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. Today, our urban areas face enormous threats and costs including those associated with the quality, integration and performance of their civil infrastructure systems. Over time, as comprehensive business cases become more common, users will realize additional benefits as projects are regionally bundled… Read more »

WCX Finalizes Project Principles and Standards

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. On January 2nd, the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX) released the final version of “Infrastructure Project Certification –Principles and Framework” which was developed by the WCX Business Standards Committee. The principles and project standards are the first-ever attempt by multiple US states… Read more »

Social Stock Exchanges: Democratizing Impact Investing

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. While impact investing is still far from being an accessible opportunity for the general population, investor demand for greater liquidity and platforms such as Kiva and Kickstarter make it clear that the potential for involving retail investors in the sector is immense…. Read more »

ChurchillsVoice.com

Among the many extraordinarily articulate statements from Winston Churchill is one which has exceptional resonance in today’s global economy and to today’s investment imperatives.  In the mid-1940’s after the Battle of Britain when the House of Commons was being rebuilt following the bombings, Churchill made the statement: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”… Read more »

Global Diversity Leadership Exchange

On Thursday, March 27th, Erika Karp participated in The Global Diversity Leadership Exchange “Connecting Cultures & Corporate Value” in the “Establishing New Measures of Success” session at the United Nations Headquarters.  Some highlights are available by the American Sustainable Business Council, click here to read the commentary.   The Session Topic: We have often heard the mantra… 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 »

Defining Crises: Catalyzing Sustainable Growth

Oftentimes, the way a corporation responds to a crisis ultimately leads to a binary outcome: the company stumbles and fails to survive or, alternatively, it responds effectively and thrives. As the focus on sustainability continues to grow, it’s likely that corporate crises will increasingly involve ESG issues. While most crises are idiosyncratic in nature, in some instances there are commonalities, both in terms of the precipitating factors and the responses of the companies involved. It’s for this reason that analyzing successful responses to prior crises can be enlightening for managements and investors….

ArbitersofCool.net

For better or worse, we live in a culture in which the coveted social label, “cool,” drives fickle fashion and retailing tastes, molds entertainment and media content, and sets the cultural lexicon.  What’s cool generally equates to what’s relevant right now.  Yet as the corporate sustainability and impact investing movement scales, a new class of… 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 »