February 12, 2018

Structural Complicity: Sexual and gender-based violence as an emerging investment risk

“Time’s Up”… #MeToo … allegations of abusive behavior by corporate chiefs … the groundswell of public attention to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is revealing how pervasive it is at all levels of society, in all industries. From an investor’s perspective, the burgeoning movement to root out abuse raises the question of whether capital markets… Read more »

February 6, 2018

Equity Outlook: Fundamentally Sound, Valuations Still Key

On January 26, 2018 the S&P 500 closed at a record high, and up 7% for the year to date. On February 5, the S&P 500 was down 1% for the year-to-date, reflecting a decline of 8% from its record high. Fundamentally, not much has changed. If anything, the earnings outlook has actually improved. Download… Read more »

January 22, 2018

Equity Outlook: Tax Reform an Earnings Wildcard in 2018

Summary Robust Earnings Environment. The combination of favorable bottom-up factors (sales growth, margin expansion) and a solid economic environment (synchronized global growth) has created a healthy earnings environment. 2017 S&P 500 earnings growth is on track to have been the fastest since 2010. Rising estimates. Earnings estimate upgrades have been outpacing earnings downgrades lately, in… Read more »

December 14, 2017

Peak Uncertainty: Evaluating oil company governance at the dawn of the electric transport age

Executive Summary Can investors be confident that International Oil Companies (IOCs) are sustainable for the long term? Technological, policy and market trends intended to mitigate climate change threaten permanent displacement of oil demand. The long-term investments of oil companies may prove to be liabilities if future demand falls short of expectations. The potential implications for… Read more »

November 29, 2017

Blockchain: Rearranging Trust

In the view of blockchain proponents, one of the technology’s major advantages is that it doesn’t require trust to conduct transactions. In today’s world, transactions require trust or, in the place of trust, intermediaries, which exist to facilitate the transaction, record the details, and serve as guarantors that each party has sufficient assets. However, intermediaries cannot always be trusted…

September 12, 2017

Making Sense of Blockchain Opportunities

Executive Summary: A blockchain taxonomy for investors. Blockchain technology is being used in a growing diversity of applications, offering a complex array of investment opportunities. While the technology is so new that any investment in it is speculative, patterns of use are emerging. In this report, we propose a taxonomy to enable investors to more… Read more »

August 2, 2017

August 2017 Equity Outlook: Tough Comparisons in 2018

Executive Summary Earnings Growth Set to Slow in 2018. S&P margins and earnings are now at record levels, while sales growth has accelerated in recent quarters. Likely reflecting tough comparisons, as well as anticipation of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes that could curb economic growth, the consensus expectation is for earnings growth to slow sharply… Read more »

July 6, 2017

Equity Outlook: US Equities on Track for More Gains in 2017

Executive Summary Accelerating Earnings Growth. With earnings reporting season about to begin, Q2 2017 S&P 500 operating earnings are forecast to rise 19% from year-ago levels, an acceleration from the 13% rate of growth in Q1 2017. Stable Earnings Expectations. Consensus 2017 S&P 500 estimates have been relatively stable — in contrast to the trend… Read more »

June 21, 2017

Governance and the Ungovernable: Implications of Blockchain Proliferation

Overview Theory and politics. The blockchain and related innovations represent a new and relatively complex set of potential investment opportunities. The technology has received significant attention from a range of individuals and institutions, from computer scientists to corporations to private equity groups. We outline the theory of the technology as well as the governance implications… Read more »

June 5, 2017

Global Equity Outlook: A Global Earnings Rebound

Executive Summary Climbing Out of the Trough. In the US, the Europe/Australasia/Far East (EAFE) region and in Emerging Markets, earnings seem on track to keep climbing out of the 2016 trough. Regional Preferences. Developed Markets look more attractive than Emerging Markets. Within Developed Markets, the EAFE region — and Europe in particular —looks more attractive… Read more »