WSJ Series Argues That The “Sustainable Investment Craze Is Flawed”

A new series in the Wall Street Journal by James Mackintosh argues that ESG investing is not effective, calling it a “craze.” We note that investing based on a view about “inevitable” retreat from fossil fuels, based on predictions about consumer and regulatory shifts, is not political, especially as Mackintosh concedes that investors base their…

Yale SOM on Corporations, Advocates and Voting Rights

The Yale School of Management has published a meticulously researched report on 188 different groups advocating for voting rights, with detailed information on their longevity, funding, staff, positions, and initiatives. For us, the most significant part of the report is this: CEO commitment towards protecting the right to vote remains as strong as ever with 80%…

10 ESG Questions Companies Need to Answer

In the Harvard Business Review, a skeptical article by Dambisa Moyo assumes that ESG factors are likely to be inconsistent with the creation of value for shareholders, but acknowledges that the numbers have been otherwise. In conclusion: “Global corporations must approach ESG in a way that is transparent, consistent, flexible, innovative, sustainable, sensitive to cultural…

Larry Fink’s Annual 2022 Letter to CEOs | BlackRock

Blackrock CEO Larry Fink continues to call on the CEOs of its portfolio companies to engage and inspire stakeholders to create sustainable returns. That includes recognizing the profound and lasting changes in the world of work and what employees need to be productive and loyal. He expects them “to play a role in decarbonizing the…

Agenda – Droves of Male Board Retirees Replaced by Women

We’re not sure this qualifies as “droves,” but it is a small step toward what will eventually be gender parity on boards. We hope “eventually” means soon. As male directors leave boards due to age, retirement or opting not to stand for reelection, they are consistently being replaced by an ever-increasing number of women, and,…

Why Finance Firms Should Pay Attention to Activist Investing

activist investing was never really an activity for ‘the people’ historically. Perhaps because ‘the people’ hadn’t yet considered how being a shareholder could be used as a form of activism. Now, we find ourselves amid a retail investor boom, and it shows no signs of slowing down. They even have a name tag for this…

Agenda – Investors Turning Up Heat on Political Spending

Companies heavily ramped up disclosures on political spending policies and oversight in 2021 as investors received massive support on shareholder proposals on the subject, according to an analysis of proxy voting trends. This year, boards should expect that pressure to rise even higher. With the midterm elections looming, boards need to ensure that directors have…