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…

Paper: ESG Shareholder Engagement and Downside Risk

A new paper from Andreas G.F. Hoepner, Ioannis Oikonomou, Zacharias Sautner, Laura T. Starks, and Xiao Y. Zhou asks “whether engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues can benefit shareholders by reducing firms’ downside risk, measured using the lower partial moment and value at risk. Using a proprietary database, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis….

Should a Pension Fund Try to Change the World?

In a new case study, Harvard Business School professors Rebecca Henderson and George Serafeim discuss the efforts of Hiro Mizuno, CIO of GPIF, the Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund, one of the largest pools of capital in the world, to integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into every aspect of GPIF’s portfolio. Mizuno believed the only way to…

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…

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…

Retail Shareholder Participation in the Proxy Process: Monitoring, Engagement

From: Alon Brav, Matthew D. Cain, and Jonathon Zytnick We study retail shareholder voting using a detailed and nearly universal sample of anonymized retail shareholder voting records over the period 2015-2017. Contrary to public perception, we find that retail shareholders are an influential voting bloc, affecting as many proposal outcomes as the Big Three asset…

Toward Fair and Sustainable Capitalism: A Comprehensive Proposal to Help American Workers, Restore Fair Gainsharing Between Employees and Shareholders, and Increase American Competitiveness by Reorienting Our Corporate Governance System Toward Sustainable Long-Term Growth and Encouraging Investments in America’s Future by Leo E. Strine Jr.

One of the most thoughtful and knowledgable observers of American corporate governance, Delaware Chief Justice Leo Strine, Jr., believes that companies and our economy will only be robust and vibrant if investors and boards make sure to align the incentives of top executives with ESG goals. He proposes better disclosure and giving employees more power…

Not Everything is About Investors: The Case for Mandatory Stakeholder Disclosure by Ann Lipton :: SSRN

his Article recommends that we explicitly acknowledge the importance of disclosure for noninvestor audiences, and discuss the feasibility of designing a disclosure system geared to their interests. In so doing, this Article excavates the historical pedigree of proposals for stakeholder-oriented disclosure. Both in the Progressive Era, and again during the 1970s, efforts to create generalized…