Monthly Archives: July 2014

Summer Edition of the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking

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

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”

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?

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 »

Open Hiring: A Culture of Training and Learning

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 »

Cornerstone Hires Petrofsky and Benezra to Executive Team

Cornerstone Capital Inc. has hired two business experts to new posts on its executive team, it was announced by Erika Karp, founder and CEO. Alice Petrofsky, CFA, was named Executive Director, Institutional Business Development, reporting to Tanya Khotin. Karen Benezra joins the firm as Head of Strategic Marketing and Communications, reporting to Karp at Cornerstone… 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 »

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 »

Five Governance Questions Shareholders Should Have Asked General Motors

The consequences of GM’s product safety failures are now becoming tangible. It will recall more cars this year than it will sell, affecting almost every one of its models. Kenneth Feinberg, an attorney best known for dispute resolution in cases of terrorism and corporate accidents, will be distributing a minimum of $1 million to each… Read more »