Do Hedge Funds Create Value? 3 Lessons From Danone And Unilever

Hedge funds do not have to disclose to the SEC any intentions to exert control of a company if they own less than 5% of a company. These small stakes can still have huge impact, as we have seen at corporate giants like Exxon and Nestle. Even small hedge funds can have significant influence if…

Are Enhanced Index Funds Enhanced?

Edwin J. Elton (NYU), Martin J. Gruber (NYU), and Andre B. de Souza (St. John’s University) have a new study about “enhanced” index funds. Of course the whole idea of index funds is that they involve no enhancements at all; they just track an index like the S&P 500. But “enhancements” have become increasingly popular…

The Risks of “Carbon-washing”

New scholarship from Soh Young In, PhD and Kim Schumacher, PhD identifies the risks of “greenwashing” and some proposals to minimize it.

NYU Stern’s free “ESG study” database – ESG Professionals Network

NYU’s immeasurably comprehensive and instantly indispensable database includes 1400 ESG-related studies and provides the following vital conclusions: Time Matters – Improved financial performance due to ESG becomes more noticeable over longer time horizons. Investment Strategy Beats Negative Screening – ESG integration as an investment strategy performs better than negative screening approaches. Downside Protection – ESG…

Guest Post from Jim McRitchie: The Giant Shadow of Corporate Gadflies

We are very grateful to Jim McRitchie for allowing us to share his excellent blog post responding to an academic paper on individuals like Jim who file shareholder proposals. We hope the authors will talk to Jim and some of the other “gadflies” before they do their next update. The Giant Shadow of Corporate Gadflies…

Agency Conflicts and Short- vs Long-Termism in Corporate Policies

The paper demonstrates that the optimal incentive contract generates short- or long-termism in corporate policies, defined as short- or long-term investment levels above the levels attainable in the absence of agency frictions. In other words, short- or long-termism can be an optimal response to the dual agency problem over the short and long run. Long-termism…

Please Don’t Call CEO Departures for Cause “Push-Outs”

The use of the term “push-out” reveals the bias of this study, from a program largely funded by CEOs. When CEOs are promptly fired for cause, including poor performance, without multi-million-dollar departure packages. we’ll begin to talk about efficient markets. Research using the Push-out Score analysis model shows that at the start of the year,…

Larker and Tayan Re-Discover the Governance Wheel

Stanford’s David F. Larcker and Brian Tayan have a new paper called Loosey-Goosey Governance: Four Misunderstood Terms in Corporate Governance in which they appear to think they’ve discovered what everyone has understood forever — that there are limits to structural solutions and that checklists of best practices are not especially helpful. We were very clear…