Dear Clients and Friends,
For some time now, we have shared an annual letter written by Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock, to other CEO’s. Our interest in Larry’s annual message stems from his unique advocacy for social and environmental justice; unique in the sense that it is not common among large financial institutions. And even when a publicly traded institution has a deep commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, unless they are certified B-Corp (Benefit Corporation), more often than not, their ESG agendas conflict with their fiduciary responsibly to shareholders. Simply put, the traditional corporate structure legally mandates that all decisions be made in the best interest of shareholder profitability without regard to social or environmental consideration. It is this internal conflict which has inspired Larry Fink to address other CEO’s, and use his fame to advocate for a change in the way corporations think.
In his letter, Mr Fink challenges global CEOs:
Companies must ask themselves: What role do we play in the community? How are we managing our impact on the environment? Are we working to create a diverse workforce? Are we adapting to technological change? Are we providing the retraining and opportunities that our employees and our business will need to adjust to an increasingly automated world?
MORWM is, in fact, a certified “Benefit Corporation” (more on this in another Weekend Reading), and as a private company, we are not plagued by this conflict. We can, and always will, operate with significant consideration towards environmental awareness, social justice, and philanthropic advocacy. We also grade the corporate governance of every single investment in our available universe. But this is unique in our industry, and chances are that very few of your friends and neighbors engage in the same consideration within their own wealth management.
This is the reason we once again share Larry Fink’s letter to CEO’s. Let us all continue to build knowledge and awareness of how companies should think, and how their thought process will drive their profitability and investability in the future. Certainly in my 21 year career, there has never been a time when socially responsible investing and socially responsible corporate governance has been more important. The time will soon come when this is not considered cutting-edge thinking. Soon, a lack of ESG consideration will be viewed as antiquated and financially irresponsible. For now, join us on the cutting edge, and share Larry Fink’s 2018 letter.
Have a lovely weekend.
Matthew Ramer, AIF® Principal, Financial Advisor MOR Wealth Management, LLC 1801 Market Street, Suite 2435 Philadelphia, PA 19103 P: 267.930-8301 | c: 215-694-4784 | f: 267.284.4847 | 601 21st Street, Suite 300 Vero Beach, FL 32960 P: 772-453-2810
Investing in the stock market involves gains and losses and may not be suitable for all investors. The investment’s socially responsible focus may limit the investment options available to the investment and may result in returns lower than those from investments not subject to such investment considerations.
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