Climate change is everything. This is the first in a planned series highlighting the pervasive impacts of climate change across all facets of our global society. Not only is climate change physically altering the planet, it is taking an increasing toll on human health, the supply chains for a host of products, and, as we discuss in this note, the financial services sector.
Climate change is now. The western U.S. is burning, hurricane-force winds have wreaked havoc in Iowa and Utah, and the Gulf Coast is still struggling to recover from several deadly hurricanes in recent years.
Consumers of financial services will bear the cost. Costs and availability of mortgages and insurance are already beginning to reflect climate change risks, depending on location, and this trend will likely grow.
Financial institutions are waking up. On September 9, 2020, the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission released a landmark report that states in no uncertain terms: “Climate change poses a major risk to the stability of the U.S. financial system and to its ability to sustain the American economy.” The report provides a series of concrete recommendations for financial market participants, including regulators, financial institutions and asset owners, to execute the necessary transition to a low-carbon future without destabilizing the economy. Notably, the report reflects a consensus across a range of financial markets participants.
What should investors know? In this report we provide a digestible overview of the key categories of risk and potential impacts, how financial sector participants are beginning to respond, and what questions investors should ask their advisors about how they are factoring systemic financial risk into portfolio allocations.
Continue reading for our report overview, or download our full report Climate Determinants — Financial Services.
Overview: Transformative risks in the provision of financial services
Extreme weather and disasters fueled by climate change take a major toll on society in terms of human suffering, individual losses and systemic risk. The financial services sector, which includes banks, insurers, investment service providers and asset management firms, is highly exposed to the potential costs related to climate change. The series of natural disasters in just this past year — including the coronavirus pandemic — has thrown these risks into even starker relief.
In the U.S. alone, there have been 273 weather-fueled disasters since 1980.[i] Altogether these events cost a staggering $1.79 trillion. Looking just at wildfires, the 50 years leading up to 2015 averaged approximately $1 billion per year (inflation-adjusted). That figure jumped to $10 billion in three of the past four years. While proving a direct link between the rise in weather-fueled disasters and climate change is complicated, an October 2019 scientific paper by the PNAS[ii] documented “an increasing trend in extreme damages from natural disasters, which is consistent with a climate-change signal…. with most pronounced increases in… catastrophic events. This pattern is strongest in temperate regions, suggesting that the prevalence of devastating natural disasters has broadened beyond tropical regions and that adaptation measures in the latter have had some mitigating effects on damages.”
The depth and breadth of climate risks to the financial underpinnings of our society are only beginning to be fully appreciated. While insurance companies have begun to reflect climate risks in their policies and large investment banks are beginning to consider them in valuations, the complexities are not well understood by many investors, including many professionals.
The financial services community is beginning to respond in a more concerted manner, however. Notably, the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has just released a very detailed assessment of the various climate-related risks — physical, transition, and liability risks — as well as their impact across sectors. The report, a collaboration among more than 30 financial markets participants, offers a comprehensive set of recommendations for regulators, financial institutions and asset owners to carefully execute the transition to a low-carbon economy. This is a significant achievement, particularly in the current political climate.
However, while investors may not fully appreciate the nuances of climate risk, the markets provide nearly instant information on how they react to an exogenous shock to the outlook for a region, sector or company. A sudden shift in investors’ perception of the future risk of climate change on asset values could precipitate their decline, destabilizing investor portfolios and financial institutions’ balance sheets.
On average, there has been only a modest stock market response to large climatic disasters. Results, however, vary widely across disasters. Hurricane Katrina, which resulted in total damage of roughly 1% of U.S. GDP, triggered only a modest stock market reaction, with no discernible drop in the U.S. stock market index. The 2011 floods in Thailand, which hit Thai GDP with a 10% decline, resulted in a drop in the Thai stock market index of over 8% soon after the disaster and a cumulative drop of about 30% after 40 trading days. 
Market impact aside, the recorded costs of damage from such disasters are estimates of the spending needed to rebuild properties and businesses. The full costs include investments not made because of the need to rebuild — investments that might have instead helped grow the economy. The true impact of more frequent destructive weather events may be immeasurable.
[ii] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
 International Monetary Fund – Global Financial Stability Report, April 2020 Chapter 5: Climate Change – Physical Risk and Equity Prices; May 29, 2020
 Global Financial Stability Report, April 2020 Chapter 5: Climate Change – Physical Risk and Equity Prices; May 29, 2020
Gender lens investment approaches have expanded in recent years. All asset classes have seen a tremendous increase in the number of funds and assets under management since 2014. Fund strategies range from empowering women and funding women-run businesses to reducing gender violence and poverty for women and children.
At the same time, investors have also been seeking ways in align their activities in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cornerstone Capital Group has contributed to this effort by introducing the Access Impact FrameworkTM, which illustrates the alignment of investment strategies to each of the SDGs. We identified the concept of access — the ability of individuals and societies to achieve desired social, economic and environmental outcomes — as a key common denominator of the SDGs and identified 11 “access themes” that translate the SDGs into investable opportunities.
SDG 5 is “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” For investments to have an impact related to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls, investors do not have to invest solely in gender lens funds. Our approach to gender lens investing incorporates traditional gender lens themes with an analysis of the access themes that align most closely to SDG 5.
In this report we discuss each of the access themes that underpin SDG 5 in some depth. We also offer examples of investment vehicles that bolster access to these themes for women, their families and communities. Download the full report here.
Wall Street is catching hell from the left and the right during this U.S. presidential campaign. “No one should be too big to jail,” notes Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump believes “the hedge fund guys get away with murder.” Yet finance performs essential functions that businesses and citizens need — from safekeeping our money to facilitating payments to mitigating risk. Perhaps the most important is what is known as “intermediation,” or, as the third Lord Rothschild put it, “taking money from point A where it is, to point B where it is needed.” This can mean pooling savings to fund a mortgage, helping build an efficient power plant, or facilitating retirement savings. In other words, finance is a service business. Finance provides neither food nor shelter, but without it, we could have neither, at least not at a scale appropriate for the modern world.
So why is there such a strong belief that financial types reap an unfair share of the financial rewards without a care for the rest of us? Perhaps because finance has lost its sense of purpose, and serves itself at least as much as it does the real economy.
It costs about 2% to move money from point A to point B. That doesn’t sound like much, but it has cost the same 2% since the age of the railroads. In those 130 years, we have invented computers, cars, and telephones; landed people on the moon, eradicated diseases; increased life expectancy. In almost every human endeavor, we have become more productive. Except in finance.
Partially as a result of that lack of efficiency, almost one out of every 12 dollars in the U.S. economy finds its way into the pockets of the financial sector.
This is not to say there have been no efficiencies at all. We have electronic payments, automatic teller machines, affordable mortgages, efficient trading markets, and a host of other improvements. But, the benefits of these efficiencies have stayed within the financial sector. Why? A number of explanations are relevant, but two have pride of place.
First, the number of financial intermediaries has grown exponentially. One study shows that it takes 16 intermediaries to escort your money from A to B. Each intermediary needs to be paid, so that while each transaction may be more efficient, the aggregate is not. This adds up. Consider, for example, that British banks make about $7 trillion in loans each year. But only $2 trillion of that is with non-financial borrowers, or, as economist John Kay terms it, “businesses that do things.” The remaining $5 trillion is intra-financial sector, and in each of those transactions, finance people get paid. Ultimately, the real economy pays fees on $7 trillion, but gets $2 trillion of service.
The second reason is that there are misalignments between the financial system and the needs of the real economy. For example, there are 79,669 mutual funds in the world. I do not know the optimal number, but I am pretty sure it’s less than 79,669. Why so many? They serve an important marketing purpose. But the lack of economies of scale makes investing more expensive. High frequency trading is another example. Some argue that it increases liquidity in the market. Even if you accept that premise — and my opinion is that it increases liquidity for large capitalization stocks during quiet markets, where and when extra liquidity is needed least — it is hard to see what benefit the real economy gets from being able to trade shares of Apple 3,000 times a minute.
Make no mistake about it: The people who work in finance are largely hard-working and decent. But they work in a system that has become inwardly focused on the needs of the intermediaries. The question is how to realign it so that efficiencies accrue outwardly, to benefit us all.
Here are three pragmatic ideas which can do just that. They, and scores of other ideas, are detailed in our new book, What They Do With Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us and How to Fix It.
- Reduce the number of agents: Large asset owners, such as a number of Canadian pension plans, are increasingly making direct investments into “businesses that do things,” rather than going through intermediaries.
- Make the fees we pay explicit: Markets move on information. Making fees transparent encourages investors and borrowers to select lower cost alternatives. Denmark and Holland passed legislation forcing pension managers to say exactly how much is being taken out of their account — not in percentage terms, but krone and euro. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a similar “financial nutritional label” would save U.S. citizens some $1.2 billion a year … and that is just from savers not having to search for the data. That $1.2 billion in savings doesn’t even include what would be saved from our making more informed decisions.
- Stop advantaging high frequency trading by providing it faster, differentiated access to order flow.
In sum, we can “fix” finance. We can cut that two percent incremental cost of capital. And that would increase economic growth, create jobs, and provide a tailwind in financing the infrastructure of the future. It’s time to refocus finance on its purpose: Serving the real economy.
Jon Lukomnik is the co-author of What They Do with Your Money: How the Financial System Fails Us and How to Fix It and executive director of the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute.
Discovery Ltd. is an innovative insurance company that was founded over 20 years ago. Today, its core purpose – making people healthier and enhancing and protecting their lives – is central to its shared-value business model.
When Discovery was founded in 1992, the complexity of the South African healthcare environment at the time provided a powerful incubator for innovation. South Africa’s high disease burden, an undersupply of doctors, and the vision of changing the way healthcare works required a new framework for addressing healthcare challenges. Health promotion and chronic disease prevention, as opposed to healthcare during illness, offered such a framework.
Incentivizing Behavior Change to Bring Down Insurance Costs
As reflected in its business model, Discovery’s focus has always been on placing the needs of society at the core of its strategy. Discovery designs its innovative insurance products around its shared-value approach, which manifests in its health-promoting integrated insurance programme, Vitality. These products use behavioral economics to translate positive behavior into immediate rewards, which in turn inspire long-term positive behavior change. Changed behavior results in lower insurance costs, and the savings are used to fund incentives that encourage the positive change in behavior. Members benefit from better health, increased insurance value and financial rewards; the insurer benefits from lower costs, and customer loyalty and retention.
Expanding Business Model
Discovery’s shared-value insurance model has become even more relevant in the context of the growing importance of the societal trends shaping the insurance industry. Shared-value health, protection and savings products that are dynamic in nature, offer people the opportunity to manage their evolving health needs throughout their lives and be rewarded for improvement. This will become increasingly important as populations age. For example, as the latest WHO report on aging has highlighted, effective health promotion programs that reduce the risks in older people for cognitive and mobility-related functional impairments save costs for individuals, families and society, as they allow people to live their lives to the fullest. On this chassis, Discovery can grow the business further in existing sectors and expand into new territories in adjacent sectors. The financial and societal success of the Vitality model has led to shared-value insurance becoming a compelling proposition for other insurers. Discovery recently established the Global Vitality Network, comprising partner insurers that employ the Vitality business model and participate in collective network assets such as global rewards partnerships, technology collaborations, and academic and media partnerships. Over the past five years, Discovery has partnered with AIA in Asia and Australia, Generali in Europe, John Hancock in the United States, Manulife in Canada, and Ping An Health in China – all of whom have evolved into ambassadors and proponents of shared-value insurance.
Targeting New Territory to Inspire Positive Change
By applying the same shared-value model, Discovery aims to expand into adjacent industries. Our evidence-based insights about many peoples’ inherent short-termism and seemingly “irrational” behavior has implications well beyond health insurance and applies, for example, to motor vehicle insurance. Discovery’s vehicle insurance business uses technology to track and measure clients’ driving behavior. The rewards programme incentivizes clients to improve their driving behavior and lower their risk.
Current available results validate the relevance of the shared-value approach in this area too: Driving behavior improves significantly, leading to fewer claims and lower claims costs for the insurer, and immediate and long-term benefits for clients in the form of financial rewards and savings, as well as increased safety on the roads. Considering the “irrationality” people generally display in their savings behavior, an opportunity exists to disrupt traditional business models in Discovery’s next targeted adjacency, the banking industry, through a shared-value model.
With this global expansion and because Discovery leverages personalized technologies to enable Vitality members to monitor their health and driving behaviors, the privacy and confidentiality implications from collecting large amounts of data are significant. To address this, Vitality has released a set of guiding principles for the responsible innovation of personalised technologies and the appropriate stewardship of data from these devices.
In August 2015, Discovery ranked 17th on Fortune’s first Change the World List, which recognizes organisations that have made significant progress in addressing major social problems as part of their core business strategy. This recognition for and impact of our model propels Discovery to continue to work towards and beyond our 2018 ambition of being the best insurance organization in the world and a powerful force for social good.
Gugu McLaren is Senior Sustainability Specialist at Discovery Limited. She has 10 years’ experience in driving the development and delivery of sustainability strategic frameworks and projects.
It is my opinion that the activities of asset owners are due for a fundamental change which will have a transformational impact on the capital markets.
As we know, ownership comes with certain rights depending on the financial instrument owned. Ownership also comes with responsibilities. These responsibilities should reflect each owner’s beliefs about the risks affecting their investments and their reputations, and should not end at the minimum standard of responsibility as set out by law. Furthermore, it is not enough that owners articulate their beliefs, they must have the will and the fortitude to act on them.
Ownership without action makes owners complicit in problems when they arise, as was the case with the recent financial crisis in 2008. While the boards of directors and managements of financial institutions failed to oversee the activities of their organizations, owners of financial institution instruments also failed to act as responsible owners. Coming out of the financial crisis, they should have asked themselves what they were doing in the lead-up to the financial crisis, and applied those lessons to ensure that they are doing things differently now. It is not enough to say that the capital markets in the US have recovered since 2008 and that there are stricter laws in place now than there were then, so there is nothing left for owners to do differently. Owners have a responsibility to take action.
Action may include making investment decisions in accordance with one’s beliefs, or divesting of certain companies or asset classes if they behave in ways or promote behaviors which are counter to one’s beliefs. These activities should apply across the spectrum of owners as everyone has beliefs that they feel strongly about, and the necessary work should be done to uncover and articulate these beliefs so that they may be acted upon. Other actions may include activities such as engagement, which should be aimed at changing the behavior of the organization the owner is engaging with. It is insufficient to engage for the sake of engaging without demonstrating the impact of this activity. As well, any engagement program must be well thought through, including the use of engagement escalation strategies, and what the consequences may be in the event that change is not forthcoming.
Furthermore, ownership responsibilities are not simply demonstrated by the policies outlining how, for example, an owner expects to vote its shares or deal with climate change, or about the number of staff in a responsible investment function. Rather, ownership responsibilities are demonstrated by the actions that an owner takes to hold others accountable to them, and themselves accountable to their beneficiaries or members.
Owners and Investment Managers
Owners must be active in overseeing their managers, and not rely on the quarterly or annual reports supplied to them by their managers as the most significant part of a compliance oversight process. Assuming that the due diligence selection process includes deep probing of how the owner’s beliefs will be reflected in the manager’s activities, there is much that should happen between the point that assets are given to the manager to invest, and the decision, should it happen, to leave the manager. This is precisely where the transformation of ownership activities can have a critical impact on the health and sustainability of capital markets.
A simple place for owners to begin would be to actively monitor how managers vote the shares entrusted to them. Should managers be found to be voting contrary to the owner’s beliefs, there is no reason why an owner shouldn’t undertake actions to understand why this is, and when they can expect this to change. While a manager’s proxy voting policies are insightful, it is how the policies are translated into action which is important and should be monitored on a regular and timely basis. It is equally important to fully understand which companies the manager engaged with on the owner’s behalf, what the reasons for the engagement were and what results were achieved. How engagement targets are selected, whether the process is proactive or reactive, can provide important insights to an owner. As well, the owner should ensure that they understand whether and how the manager is acting on the owner’s beliefs vis-a-vis investment decisions.
By definition, investment managers are themselves not owners, they are agents acting on behalf of owners just as boards of directors of corporations are agents acting on behalf of share owners. Therefore, like boards of directors, investment managers are unlikely to think and act exactly as owners think and act. If owners affect their ownership responsibilities by investing and acting in accordance with their beliefs, this will serve to mobilize a transformation that will benefit the long-term and sustainable heath of the capital markets.
Catherine Jackson is an independent consultant. She formerly held positions with Dutch pension fund manager PGGM, and with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) just held its annual Future of Energy Conference in New York. The theme of the conference was “The Age of Plenty, the Age of Competition,” a reference to the growth in energy options through fracking, solar, wind and storage and the relentless competition reducing costs and driving innovation. Below we summarize the main messages from the conference.
In our view, a major takeaway was the exponential growth in renewable energy deployment. However, due to the expenditure required to continue pushing down the cost, it remains unclear how investors can benefit aside from direct investment in projects.
While utilities are waking up to a “customer first” focus, we believe their capacity to deal with changes is limited, particularly with a slow-moving regulatory environment. There is an understandable fear that Silicon Valley is turning its attention to the power markets; one need only look at Uber and the taxi industry to consider the impacts of technology-driven disruption on incumbents. To this end, we observe the rapid growth in the number of companies developing software to manage sections of the grid from the generation to the household.
Utilities see the role of renewable energy as a part of the electricity generation mix, to be integrated by extending the grid through additional transmission infrastructure. Conversely, battery storage providers see the possibility of using renewables to downsize the grid and avoid transmission capex. The jury is still out on the winner, but the recent history of solar and wind provides evidence that storage could be substantially cheaper and more widely adopted than many industry observers currently forecast.
Batteries represent a new era for electricity, enabling warehousing and driving new applications that we have only begun to explore. In discussing the positon of storage in the system, “behind the meter” – at the customer location — seems superior as it generates all of the benefits of in-front-of-meter with the added advantage of reduced consumption and exposure to peak prices. Corporates appear to be major drivers in the uptake of storage.
Turning our attention to the transportation industry, electric vehicles are being viewed as a way to engage consumers in an energy discussion and increasingly as a “device that you drive.” One emerging idea for EV charging payments is block chain. This could enable seamless payment for EV charging anywhere on the grid. EVs may also be a boon for utilities as a new source of electricity demand with consumption potentially adding 11% to demand over the next decade.
In the traditional energy space, the nuclear discussion in the US remains focused on regulatory barriers, but new technology is coming. Small modular reactors, such as NuScale Power’s SMR, could be in operation by 2024-2025, and Transatomic has updated an older technology, the molten salt reactor, enabling it to use nuclear waste as fuel. Oil & gas companies are concerned about short term prices but the technology breakthrough in fracking has been breathtaking, enabling cost reductions and lower breakeven prices, notwithstanding the low price environment.
The investor panel discussed the selloff in Yieldcos. Panel members reiterated their confidence in the YieldCo model, though pointed to the need for improved governance. (For more on this topic see our report Are YieldCos Looking After Their Investors?) In discussing growing demand for green bonds, an investor said that price premiums relative to similar corporates will signal a new level of confidence in green bonds. Finally, asset owners are increasingly demanding that environmental, social and governance factors be considered in their investments, and divestment considerations are now becoming part of the discussion for ‘mainstream’ asset managers.
Michael Shavel is a Global Thematic Analyst at Cornerstone Capital Group. Prior to joining the firm, Michael was a Research Analyst on the Global Growth and Thematic team at Alliance Bernstein. He holds a B.S. in Finance from Rutgers University and is a CFA Charterholder.
Sebastian Vanderzeil is a Research Analyst with Cornerstone Capital Group. He holds an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Previously, Sebastian was an economic consultant with global technical services group AECOM, where he advised on the development and finance of major infrastructure across Asia and Australia. Sebastian also worked with the Queensland State Government on water and climate issues prior to establishing Australia’s first government-owned carbon broker, Ecofund Queensland.
On April 6th, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued new regulations requiring financial advisors and brokers handling individual retirement (IRA) and 401(k) accounts to act as “fiduciaries,” or in the financial best interest of their clients.
Cornerstone Capital heartily welcomes this change. We consider fiduciary duty to be fundamental to the advisor-client relationship, and the DOL’s explicit recognition of this fact reinforces Cornerstone’s philosophy and values. These new regulatory changes establish a standard consistent with Cornerstone’s existing advisory business practices, and we hope they will accelerate a trend towards refreshed examination of the sustainability of financial services industry incentives, governance and regulation.
Despite the “customer comes first” marketing broadcast by many financial services firms, the DOL’s new regulation significantly shifts the legal requirements for an industry whose advisors have until now been obligated to recommend only “suitable” investments to clients, a lower legal standard of care. Put simply, the “suitability” standard has for many advisors come to permit the recommendation of expensive (and higher commission paying) funds – even when an otherwise similar, cheaper fund could offer an equal or better alternative for clients.
The Obama administration, citing extensive academic research, has estimated that misalignment of incentives embedded in the financial services industry, and permitted by the “suitable” clause, cost Americans $17 billion a year and depresses aggregate annual investment returns by about 100 basis points.
Under the new rules, any advisors or brokers who handle retirement assets must act explicitly in clients’ financial best interest, even if doing so will cost the advisor or broker some potential income. The change extends an existing law, commonly referred to as ERISA, which compels “fiduciary duty” on the part of investment advisors, to include non-employer-sponsored retirement assets, such as IRAs and Roth IRAs, in addition to the 401(k) accounts and SEC-regulated advisors already covered. There is significant money at stake: According to the Investment Company Institute, 401(k) type plans held $6.7 trillion at the end of 2015; IRA-type accounts had $7.3 trillion.
Wednesday’s pivotal regulatory change does not come without public review; the DOL has received roughly 400,000 comments, held numerous meetings, and modified preliminary regulation details to reflect industry feedback. The rule comes after years of opposition from many well-known wealth management firms, who argue it will drive up costs, curb commissions and ultimately harm customers as firms abandon clients with smaller, less lucrative accounts. However, backed by a large body of academic research, supporters of the rule, including consumer groups, retiree advocates, and indeed many other wealth managers, believe that the change will promote transparency and protect investors from being sold expensive and unnecessary financial products.
The new Fiduciary Standard rule will go into effect in spring of 2017.
John K.S. Wilson is the Head of Corporate Governance, Engagement & Research at Cornerstone Capital Group. John has close to 20 years of experience in socially responsible investing and corporate governance.
Caleb Ballou, CFA is an Associate at Cornerstone Capital Group. He is currently pursuing a dual MBA and MA in international affairs at Columbia University.
Sustainability and the IRO: “The Momentum Keeps Building”
A conversation at Bloomberg with Erika Karp, founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital Group, and Greg Elders, senior ESG analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence
Elders and Karp both agree that new guidelines for ERISA pension funds allowing economically targeted investments break down a mental barrier. ‘The reality is, speaking as a fiduciary, to not systematically analyze ESG performance in the investment process would be a breach of fiduciary responsibility, not the other way,’ Karp adds.
Chartered Global Management Accountant panel discussion: Lisa Westlake of Moody’s, Prem Parameswaran of Jefferies & Co. Inc., Erika Karp of Cornerstone Capital, Inc. site adherence to core values, social responsibility and an inclusive mindset as key to organizational success. Discover how the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation recognizes the strategic role management accountants play in business.
Among the most well-known and well-loved sentiments of Mahatma Gandhi is that we should aspire to “be the change you want to see in the world.”
For our part at Cornerstone Capital, there are changes we would like to see in the functioning of world’s capital markets. We would like to see a system where there is greater collaboration and transparency among leaders in the financial services industry. We would like to see more diversity of thought and perspective in the economic and business decision-making processes across banks and regulators. We would like to see constructive dialogue regarding creative and pragmatic solutions to the financing of economic growth and prosperity. We would like to see diplomacy, compromise and respect for all forms of capital (human, natural and financial) be the new order of the day.
Given these aspirations of Cornerstone, the next step was to ask what any individual can do to help “be the change?” We considered what skills our firm could contribute to making progress in healing the investment banking profession. Could we suggest ways to progress the discipline of finance such that there is a more systematic analysis of both the risks and rewards associated with the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) imperatives necessary for capitalism to prosper? Could we offer any tools to facilitate the flow of capital to small and medium-sized enterprises which are pursuing sustainable growth and development? Could we find ways for great corporations to better articulate the extraordinary progress they are making with some of their own business initiatives? Could we help financial experts better serve the needs of their own clients?
And finally, could we find the resources, the partners, the patience, the strength and the courage to leave companies we knew for many years and start a new venture that would reflect our own vision? Could we help to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that, despite all the daunting challenges, complexities, trade-0ffs and barriers, there need not be a dichotomy between long-term profitability and addressing societal needs? We think so. We hope so.
With that, the Cornerstone Capital Inc. Board of Directors, Staff, and Global Advisory Council aspire to help “be the change we would like to see in the world.”
Moderator Helen Winch, Director of Policy and Research, PRI