Monthly Archives: December 2015

Cornerstone Capital Group 2015 Holiday Party Gallery

Cornerstone Capital Group gathered with clients, colleagues and friends at our Holiday Party recently in New York City for a special evening themed, “Survival of the Fittest: The Evolution of Sustainable Finance and Investing.”  Guests learned about efforts to maintain balance in Arctic habitats, create sustainable zones for endangered species and ways to protect some of our… Read more »

December Edition of the JSFB: “Through a Health Lens”

As the Federal Reserve deftly orchestrated a short-term rate rise for the first time in nearly a decade, there is less clarity on the pace of the normalization ahead. Clearly, both Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi have articulated that progress will be predicated upon the health of their respective economies.  And so in this month’s… Read more »

Our Principles of Corporate Engagement

Consistent with our mission as a purpose-built, research-driven sustainable finance platform, Cornerstone Capital Group engages with asset owners, asset managers, and companies to help them integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their capital markets activities.  The specific objective of our corporate consulting business is to encourage companies to adopt best disclosure practices that… Read more »

Placement Power: How Tesco Is Helping Curb Customers’ Sweet Tooth

We are facing major global health challenges that have potential consequences for shoppers and for retail companies. The obesity issue, which is forecast to get worse, is already contributing to high rates of chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Consumers are actively looking for supermarkets to take a lead in helping them live healthier lives, and external stakeholders expect us to play a role as well.

Novo Nordisk: Rethinking the Challenge of Diabetes

Almost 100 years ago, Novo Nordisk set out on a journey to change diabetes. Today we supply close to half the world’s insulin and are the largest private investor in the research of diabetes, including the search for a cure for type 1 diabetes. Our founders could hardly have envisioned the company we are today, but neither could they have grasped the way diabetes would turn into one of the 21st century’s most pressing public health challenges.

A Vision for Innovative Health Care Delivery

We face a unique opportunity in growth markets today, a by-product of the profound demographic shifts occurring at the confluence of a growing middle class, urbanization, ongoing challenges in battling infectious diseases and the rise in non-communicable diseases. These shifts are driving the need for substantial investment in infrastructure and innovation to enable the delivery of quality healthcare that is both accessible and affordable.

How Life Insurers Can Support Healthy Living

A natural alignment exists between consumer health and longevity and the goals of the life insurance industry.  In fact, life insurers have been strong proponents of healthy living and disease prevention for more than 100 years.  After all, longer, healthier lives are in everyone’s best interest; individuals who live longer support the financial goals of life insurers and can lead to a society that’s more productive.

Healthy Heart Africa: A Business Plan for Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases

AstraZeneca launched Healthy Heart Africa in October 2014 to support the governments of Africa in their effort to reduce the burden of heart disease – specifically hypertension. In doing so we recognized that we could not achieve our mission solely by increasing access to high-quality medicines through an in-kind contribution program. Instead, we approached it as a market-creating effort, one which would strengthen local healthcare systems, help build our own capabilities and, most importantly, benefit patients.

Health, Happiness, Performance: Formula for Success

A wealth of evidence points to the fact that the health and happiness — and, in turn, motivation — of a company’s workforce have a direct correlation with its performance. The holistic range of programs offered at Unilever were inspired by our company mission to help people look good, feel good and get more out of life. This sentiment applies to our employees as much as it does to our customers and consumers.

Doing Right, While Doing Well: The SDG Opportunity

For more than a decade, the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) harmonized, energized, and expanded the first collaborative agenda to help the world’s most vulnerable populations. While unfinished business remains, the MDGs succeeded in spurring governments and the private sector to donate billions of dollars, and to cooperate along with civil society in ways that could not have been imagined just a few years earlier. Now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched this year by world leaders, offer business a more comprehensive array of new ways to “do right, while doing well.”

A Model for Collaboration

Twenty five years ago, McDonald’s and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) worked together to develop a groundbreaking model for industry and nongovernmental organization collaboration. It was the first partnership between an environmental group and a Fortune 500 company in an era when environmental and business interests were typically not aligned. The focus was not on philanthropy, the traditional model at the time; rather, the focus was on improving business practices.

Transforming Tobacco

The negative health effects of smoking are top of mind when society looks at Philip Morris International (PMI). For us, this translates into a societal mandate to transform our business by developing and offering to adult smokers an innovative range of alternative tobacco and nicotine products that have the potential to reduce risks for smokers and in turn reduce population harm compared to continued smoking. We refer to these revolutionary products as “Reduced Risk Products” (RRPs).

“Wellness:” More than Healthcare Dollars Saved

At KKR, we focus on improving a company’s operations and enhancing its value over a number of years. A longer time horizon allows us to look beyond quarterly earnings and instead focus on long-term value creation. Using this approach, we work to identify multiple ways to enhance a business. Workplace wellness is an evolving area of focus for us with multiple benefits for companies – and the communities where they operate.

American Voices on Health & Wellness

A man in North Carolina said: “Health care is a human right. Companies should not cut corners on this aspect.”

A woman in Idaho said: “Most companies now hire workers part time so they don’t have to provide insurance.”

A woman in Pennsylvania said: “When firms were required to provide health insurance to full-time employees, they cut the hours of full-time employees so they became part-timers. That was manipulative.”

Paris Agreement: Validates national and local actions

We view the Paris Agreement as accelerating the ‘race to the top’ in responding to climate change. Developed countries will need technologies and business models that de-carbonize their existing economies. Developing nations will focus on technologies that drive strong economic growth and improve living standards.

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

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

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.

Thoughts on Paris and Shareholder Alignment

As world leaders, investors and members of civil society meet in Paris to forge a new global accord on climate change, we are seeing a greater appreciation for the value of  systematically analyzing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors not only at the policy level, but also as part of shareholders’ holistic assessment of corporate strategies. Beyond… Read more »

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.