Posts Tagged: Article

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

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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

Global Earnings Synthesis: On Track for Modest Gains in 2016

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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

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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).

Supreme Court Ruling Highlights Clean Power Plan’s Potential

the entrance to the supreme court

On February 9, 2016, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) granted a stay to the implementation of the CPP rule by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In our view, the intensity of the challenge from the states and certain industries, and the SCOTUS ruling that CPP should be halted while being litigated, demonstrates that the CPP has significant implications for the sector.

Tracking our Thesis on Nutritional Feed Additives

A group of baby chicks, standing under a warming light on a farm.

As we discussed in our October 5, 2015 report Antibiotics and Animal Health: Value-Chain Implications in the US, a confluence of regulatory action and heightened consumer awareness is exerting pressure on livestock producers to reassess their usage of antibiotics. Our optimistic view on specialty and nutritional feed additives is supported by Adisseo and Novozymes’ recent launch of a probiotics product.

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

Waving in the wind Fabric Flag of Japan

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 »

Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update

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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.

FIA Brazil Students Declared Winners of $25,000 Grand Prize in Cornerstone Capital Inc.’s “Sustainable Games” Challenge

In the culmination of a year-long Cornerstone Capital Group initiative called “Sustainable Games: The Business Model Challenge,” a team of students from Fundação Instituto de Administração (FIA) in Sao Paulo Brazil was named the winner of the $25,000 Grand Prize. The business idea presented is a program to facilitate employment opportunities for disabled young adults while seeking market rate returns.

Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update

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

Seeding a Resilient Future

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Agricultural innovation is needed to enable production of not only more, but also better-quality and more nutritious, food. Crops need to become stronger while planted in increasingly harsh conditions such as soil degradation, salinization, and drought. The big difference between the advances of the last century and today’s challenge is that the new solutions need to be resilient: able to thrive in this new environment

TheNewFinancialLiteracy.com

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Co-Authored with Michael Marinello, Head of Global Communications for Innovation, Technology and Sustainability at Bloomberg LP and an Adviser to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) Money. Ever since the Code of Hammurabi was created around 1760 BC, money has served as a unit of account, a store of value, a medium of exchange for civil… Read more »

A Fresh Spotlight on Responsible Investment Practices

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It is generally accepted that the finance industry has been lagging behind other industries in terms of adopting sustainability practices. This is particularly true when it comes to product development, one of the most material sustainability issues. Could greater transparency provide an effective mechanism to spur the industry into action?

Market Summary

As we look back at 2014, an environment categorized by slow economic growth, low interest rates and minimal inflation rewarded investors that followed a long-term strategy and took prudent risk. Looking ahead, many investors expect a continuation of the post-crisis bull market, which is now the second-longest annual winning streak on record. While the global economic backdrop appears to be generally supportive of this view, there are several risks confronting investors…

A Virtuous Circle of Corporate Excellence Drives Sustainable Value

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

October Edition of the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking, Themed “Food & Nutrition”

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In the past month, as the prognosis for the health of the fragile global economic recovery has deteriorated with a concurrent spike in volatility, we turn to the theme of “Food and Nutrition” in this month’s edition of the “Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking” (JSFB).  This month we address a broad range of issues… Read more »

Sustainable Agriculture: What Drives Investor Decisions?

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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 »

Water & Sanitation: Everybody Needs Them, Especially During a Crisis

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“Readers, I selected this story–written by a colleague here at Oxfam–when I learned that the focus of October’s issue of The Journal of Sustainable Finance and Banking would be on food and nutrition. Although Oxfam has worked on food and hunger issues from our inception, far too few people recognize the significance that clean water… Read more »

7,000 Chemicals and Highly Sustainable

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Red wine, it is believed, has many virtues, from antioxidants to its high levels of resveratrol to promoting weight-loss. However, the virtues of wine can quickly be undone by harmful chemicals, pesticides and fungicides that are found in many varietals today. Unless a wine is certified organic and biodynamic, the consumer can be exposed unknowingly… Read more »

Rise of the Corporate Wellness Officer

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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 »

Eating Ourselves Thirsty

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As the world’s consumers increasingly eat their way up a middle class ladder replete with growing portions of meat, dairy, cooking oils and fruits and vegetables, farmers find their jobs growing harder by the day. Facing ever-hotter temperatures, record-busting cycles of drought and flood and finite amounts of irrigation water, farmers have the unenviable task… Read more »

Impact Measurement to Enable an Effective Market

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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 Search for a Sustainable Cuisine

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For several years, I’ve tried — with an astounding lack of success — to persuade the students studying at The Culinary Institute of America, that the houses of PhD biologists are not haunted. They contain no ghosts. But even if they did, they’d be benevolent ones like “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” or the “Ghost of… Read more »

Investing in Seafood is Smart for Business, People and Planet

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Will Baird also contributed to this article.   Solving non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity is one of the biggest challenges facing sustainable financing. Two thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese,[1] and the cost of heart disease is projected to reach $818 billion by 2030.[2] Heart disease is the… Read more »

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

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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 »

A Closer Looks at GMOs

Experiment with green seedlings in the lab

Are laws requiring the labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) justified? Do consumers have a right to know what is in their food, or will the labels simply confuse the public?

Transforming Snacks for Foodies: Exo Bars and Runa Tea

EXOBars_Margarita

The soft drinks and snacks markets are changing. Consumers are progressively turning towards healthier, and more sustainable alternatives. Three deep trends are behind this slow evolution: our greater understanding of how climate change affects water, energy and food systems; increased awareness of how our choices affect communities that produce food commodities; and growing health consciousness…. Read more »

The Future of Urban Agriculture in U.S. Cities

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Co-authored by Viki Radden and Doug Lawrence   Today, the U.S. population is over 316 million.   In less than 40 years, the U.S. Census Bureau projects we’ll reach a national population of 450 million, a 42% increase.   Where is this population going to live?  The answer to that question appears relatively clear; the U.S. Census Bureau… Read more »

The Future of Food and Sustainability…A Call for Action

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The current U.S. agriculture model is not sustainable.  It is losing more than one acre of farmland a minute to development and causes the erosion of four billion tons of topsoil per year. It accounts for 82% of fresh water use while our major water sources such as the Ogallala Aquifer, Lake Mead and the… 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

People Planning in a Conference and Innovation Concept

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 »

Regional and Sector Strategy October Update

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Still defensive — We maintain our relatively defensive posture given pockets of economic weakness globally. We are Overweight Health Care in the U.K., North America and Europe ex U.K. We are Underweight or Neutral Energy, Materials and Utilities in the majority of regions Regional strategy — We upgrade the U.K. to Overweight from Neutral, in large part because the earnings outlook has improved materially. We downgrade CEEMEA to Underweight from Neutral….

Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals — a Serious Health Risk for All, a Potential Opportunity for Business

Bpa Free Label Illustration

In our daily lives we are constantly exposed to a large number of chemicals, affecting us and our health – without us even realising it.  These chemicals stem from a broad-range of products we use every day; plastic food containers, shower curtains, sunscreens, pesticides, furniture, toys, cosmetics and even the cash receipts or lottery tickets… Read more »

Ebola as a Challenge to Health and Investment

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The latest Ebola outbreak has killed at least 1,200 people and probably infected 3,000 to 4,000 more across several West African countries, making it the biggest on record. From an initial start in Guinea, the focus of this deadly virus has shifted to Liberia and Sierra Leone (with limited numbers in Nigeria and Senegal), devastating… Read more »

Are You Thinking Like a Universal Owner?

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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 »

Paths to a Fossil-Free Future Create Disruptive Business Opportunities

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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….

Balancing Nature and Energy

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.   When discussions about the imperative to lower greenhouse gases turn to the subject of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, tensions get white hot. Opponents cite the horrors of gas and… 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 »

The 2014 El Niño: Disrupting the Climate for Business?

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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 »

Hillel’sVoice.net

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As leaders from across the globe are set to convene this month in New York City at the United Nations and an unprecedented number of citizens worldwide are expected to take action in support of a comprehensive response to climate change, we are reminded how important it is to amplify the voices of progress. We… Read more »

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

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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 »

Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals — a Serious Health Risk for All, a Potential Opportunity for Business

This is an abstract from the September edition of The Cornerstone JSFB. Subscribers can read the full article here. In our daily lives we are constantly exposed to a large number of chemicals, affecting us and our health – without us even realising it.  These chemicals stem from a broad-range of products we use every… Read more »

Accelerating Impact in Real Asset Investing

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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 »

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

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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….

Regional and Sector Strategy: Monthly Update

In this Executive Summary, we introduce the inaugural edition of a regular monthly update of our regional and sector strategy models, both of which explicitly take into account Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) factors. More defensive — We extend our relatively defensive posture given more pockets of economic weakness globally. Regional strategy — We upgrade… Read more »

Summer Edition of the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking

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This month as we strive to make sense of the increasingly complex world around us, the “Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking” (JSFB) delves into the world of “Learning” – what do we know about the nuances of investment process and sustainable finance, and how can we can we learn about critical Environmental, Social and Governance issues to better guide our decisions?

The Cornerstone Capital Strategy Update: Less Cyclical, More Defensive

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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 »

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

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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….

Update on Golf Industry

As we proceed through earnings season, our concerns (read our “Par for the Course” article published in the June edition of The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking) about demographic secular headwinds is starting to play out.  Our thesis, which began with near-term overhangs in the golf value-chain, are coming to fruition. First, as of… Read more »

What is Shareholder Engagement… Why is it Important?

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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

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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….

Open Hiring: A Culture of Training and Learning

CornerstoneJSFB_Summer2014.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro

Greyston celebrated its 32nd Anniversary this year and we are extremely proud of our heritage as a pioneering social enterprise. Over these past thirty-two years the concepts of social entrepreneurship, conscious capitalism and environmental sustainability have become common terminology in many business and political circles. What has not changed is the inability for individuals with… Read more »

June Edition of the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking

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This month’s edition of the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking (JSFB) puts the focus on “Sports, Media and Entertainment,” understanding the broad influences they have on cultures, businesses and nations. Against the backdrop of a World Cup tournament drawing interest from fans across the globe, we look at important issues around governance in professional sports, across sectors and within regions … notably, India.

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

The Last Ship logo

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 »

The Cornerstone Capital Strategy Update

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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….

Embracing the New Market Opportunity: LGBT+A

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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.

TheLastSeat.net

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“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 »

Jazz Inspired Finance

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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 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 »

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

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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

roulette

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…

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, June 2014

The June edition of the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking puts the focus on “Sports, Media and Entertainment,” understanding the broad influences they have on cultures, businesses and nations. Read the CEO’s Letter on Sustainable Finance & Banking in Mandarin here. 首席执行官关于可持续金融和银行业的致辞

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 »

Sports Analytics for the Masses

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  Professional tennis players now sparring on Centre Court at Wimbledon have likely scrutinized every part of their game – from stance, to serving strength to baseline maneuvers — with a team of coaches at the ready. But what of the… Read more »

Governance & the NFL

American FLag Football Helmet on Grass with Dollar Symbol Clouds

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

India Flag And Money

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.

More Than a Game: Football Fans & Nationalism

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  It is conclusively clear from this discussion that football is an example of the interaction between the local and the global in regards to both to the globalization of the sport and to the impact that the game’s globalizing has… Read more »

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

Past And Present Of Media

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 »

Par for the Course?

Playing golf, ball on tee and golf club about to shot. Vintage,

The modern game of golf has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 15th-century Scotland, and its fans are some of the most ardent of any sport. Ironically, it is golf’s deep-rooted traditions that have left it struggling to adapt to structural shifts, and the industry is now facing declining interest in many… 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 »

The Cornerstone Climate Change Conference Call Recap

How should investors respond to the challenges of climate change?  On our June 12th conference call, Cornerstone Capital CEO Erika Karp and John Wilson, Head of Corporate Governance, Engagement and Research, provided investors and corporate constituents with our perspective on this pivotal issue. The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)… 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 »

A Statement on Climate Change

As global markets digest the implications of the latest move from the Obama Administration, we argue that investors must adapt to the evolving reality of climate change with transparency, engagement and pragmatism.  In this note, John Wilson, Cornerstone’s Head of Corporate Governance, Engagement & Research, articulates our firm’s position on this pivotal issue. Introduction Although… 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

copyright alex/Shutterstock

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

Pips Earn page courtesy of Wendy Gordon

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

Fillmore frame by Warby Parker. Mollyyoung/Wikipedia.org

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.”