Monthly Archives: July 2015

Flagship Report: The Networked Corporation

We introduce two proprietary tools to help companies make the business case for improved stakeholder relations through shareholder engagement, “The Networked Corporation” offers a proprietary framework to help companies integrate social and environmental issues into business strategy, using shareholder dialogue as a means of corporate learning about stakeholder concerns.

Of Chore Wars and Talent Wars

While pop culture is full of stories of couples fighting over chores, most business leaders think these battles have nothing to do with work. Yet, who does what at home profoundly affects who can do what at work. Understanding that link is vital to fostering a work environment where everyone can thrive.

A Measure of Health

Since the introduction of the triple bottom line into business language, one of the most obvious so-called non-financial factors has largely been disregarded by stakeholders, including investors. That factor is the health of employees. Fortunately, things have changed.

Learning to Play: “Bridge” to Trading

Shortly after I moved to New York City in 1998, a friend introduced me to the head of a local options market-making firm. A few days later, I was asked to join his team on the American Stock Exchange as a trader. Was it because of my background in finance? No, I had none. I didn’t even know the difference between a call and a put. Why did they make the offer? Because I was a top-flight bridge player, and bridge and trading had a well-known link that had been exploited before by firm heads on the floor.

It’s All About the Tools

For individuals like me who’ve worked in and around the capital markets for 30-plus years, the development of the tools we use has moved at a breathtaking pace. While developing new ways to predict future value, newer, faster tools have led to both opportunities and challenges. We must integrate these new approaches into our day-to-day work to continue to create wealth for the investors who rely on our skill.

A Yogi’s Guide to Finance

At its core, yoga is a process of self-realization, a process through which one expands “awareness from a limited sense of Self to a sense of the eternal True Self,” according to Patanjali, the author of one of the oldest complete texts on yoga. It’s through this connection to the self that we experience a connection to others. Sustainable investing is a similar acknowledgement. It’s recognizing that we are part of a larger community and that our actions reverberate throughout the world.

In late May, the highly regarded Ceres organization, which advocates for sustainability leadership, partnered with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to issue “21st Century Engagement: Investor Strategies for Incorporating ESG Considerations into Corporate Interactions.” Cornerstone Capital is proud to have contributed to this publication. Our article is reprinted below. The smartest people we know,… Read more »

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 »

Scenario: What if electricity prices fell?

US electricity prices have steadily increased in nominal terms over the last five decades. However, using history as a guide, we observe two distinct periods of falling prices driven by technology and government subsidies. We believe that a confluence of factors could once again result in structurally lower prices – with potential impact to power market participants.

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 »