Research

Our Research team produces in-depth thematic and sector reports, connecting environmental, social and governance issues with industry and equity market analysis to identify investment opportunities and risks at the sector level. Our equity strategy work informs our asset allocation decisions, and we use our thematic work to engage asset managers in an ongoing dialogue on critical investment issues.
April 2, 2018
Investing for Impact and Performance: The Essentials
Partnerships for the Goals

Investing for Impact and Performance: The Essentials

Executive summary: The language of impact. At Cornerstone Capital Group, we apply the discipline of environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis along with financial analysis in assessing…

March 23, 2018
Water Investing in 2018: Near-term crises and technology for long-term trends
Clean Water and Sanitation

Water Investing in 2018: Near-term crises and technology for long-term trends

In this report, we examine which trends may emerge to catalyze private water investing and how investors gain exposure to opportunities for investing in solutions. Water scarcity is an…

March 22, 2018
Equity Outlook: Still Positive, Risks Increasing Modestly

Equity Outlook: Still Positive, Risks Increasing Modestly

Summary Even as stock price volatility has increased in 2018, the U. S. equity outlook remains fundamentally sound.   Strength in corporate profitability is broad-based, with nine of the eleven sectors in the…

February 12, 2018
Structural Complicity: Sexual and gender-based violence as an emerging investment risk
Gender EqualityReduced InequalitiesPeace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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…

February 6, 2018
Equity Outlook: Fundamentally Sound, Valuations Still Key

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…

January 22, 2018
Equity Outlook: Tax Reform an Earnings Wildcard in 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.…

December 14, 2017
Peak Uncertainty: Evaluating oil company governance at the dawn of the electric transport age
Affordable and Clean EnergyIndustry, Innovation and InfrastructureClimate Action

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.…

November 29, 2017
Blockchain: Rearranging Trust
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Blockchain: Rearranging Trust

Trust: • assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something • dependence on something future or contingent: hope • reliance on future payment for property (such as merchandise) delivered A ‘trustless’…

September 12, 2017
Making Sense of Blockchain Opportunities
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

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…

August 2, 2017
August 2017 Equity Outlook: Tough Comparisons in 2018

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,…

July 6, 2017
Equity Outlook: US Equities on Track for More Gains in 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%…

June 21, 2017
Governance and the Ungovernable: Implications of Blockchain Proliferation
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

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…

June 5, 2017
Global Equity Outlook: A Global Earnings Rebound

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.…

May 18, 2017
Retail Automation: Stranded Workers? Opportunities and risks for labor and automation
Decent Work and Economic GrowthIndustry, Innovation and InfrastructureReduced InequalitiesSustainable Cities and Communities

Retail Automation: Stranded Workers? Opportunities and risks for labor and automation

Executive summary (download full report here ) The retail landscape is experiencing unprecedented change in the face of disruptive forces, one of the most recent and powerful being the rapid rise of automation…

April 3, 2017
Global Earnings Synthesis: Earnings Growth Likely to Determine the Direction of Stock Prices in 2017

Global Earnings Synthesis: Earnings Growth Likely to Determine the Direction of Stock Prices in 2017

Executive Summary 2017 Estimates Still Seem Overly Optimistic. While the initial estimate of 2015 earnings was below the initial estimate of 2014 earnings, and the initial 2016 estimate was below the…

March 9, 2017
Regional and Sector Strategy Monthly Update: March 2017

Regional and Sector Strategy Monthly Update: March 2017

Executive Summary Sector Strategy: Upgrade Information Technology (strong relative earnings momentum outweighs rich valuation); Downgrade Utilities (weak relative earnings momentum). Financials remains the most favored sector; Health…

February 28, 2017
The Uber of Toxic Corporate Cultures? Five Governance Questions for Uber

The Uber of Toxic Corporate Cultures? Five Governance Questions for Uber

Executive Summary In anticipation of Uber’s possible 2017 IPO, investors should carefully consider whether the company has the optimal governance structure and leadership team to successfully manage its future growth.…

February 21, 2017
The Art of the Possible: Investing to Address Inequality
Decent Work and Economic GrowthReduced Inequalities

The Art of the Possible: Investing to Address Inequality

Executive Summary In this report we identify investment opportunities that offer competitive financial returns while helping to address concerns about increasing levels of inequality and income stagnation. The rise of populist…

February 16, 2017
At the Intersection: Where ESG Matters to Factor Investing

At the Intersection: Where ESG Matters to Factor Investing

Executive Summary From “How” to “Where” — For many investors, the conversation has shifted from how ESG matters (i. e. , performance) to where it matters. When ESG matters to an…

February 14, 2017
Exploring the Nexus of Philanthropy and Market-Based Solutions
Partnerships for the Goals

Exploring the Nexus of Philanthropy and Market-Based Solutions

Erika Karp, founder and CEO of Cornerstone Capital Group, was recently interviewed by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) America to explore the intersection between market-based solutions and philanthropies, particularly as it relates to investment.…

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