Receive video updates on financial markets, macroeconomic policy and more from Altaf Kassam, EMEA Head of Investment Strategy & Research.
Speaker : Altaf Kassam
Earning season kicked off this week, the familiar circus of companies under promising and under delivering on their. Earning season kicked off this week, the familiar circus of companies under promising, and over-delivering on their results, trying to put the best spin on this quarter's achievements. SSGAs annual stewardship report tries to keep companies honest in these announcements and achievements, building on engagements with many of the thousands of companies that we invest in. Across the board, what we're seeing is that although a lot of good progress has already been made in combating climate chang, it's not happening quickly enough. And this is at a time when the risks of not being fully prepared for climate change or inaction in the face of obvious climate change have never been greater. Like with many other trends, COVID has accelerated the need for corporate transformation in the face of climate change.
And unfortunately, a lot of the easy gains have already been made. So for example, a lot of the companies which have been targeted with greenhouse gas reduction proposals have already now put ambitious carbon reduction proposals in place. And we're not in favor of a lot of the overly prescriptive proposals, which have been put forward, which are too specific, tend to limit companies and not really addressed the issues of climate change. What we do think though, is that earth day on the 22nd of April should focus matters a lot. And in particular, the need for US companies to step up under the Biden administration.
So for example, last year, we saw a lot of companies at the beginning of 2020 in European oil, step up and produce voluntary carbon reduction proposals, which were very ambitious and not spurred by shareholder action. In contrast, their US peers did not follow suit. What we hope is that through a process of engagement, we will encourage the US peers to step up like their European ones. At the same time, we also hope to increase our focus on sectors, which although not directly carbon intensive, are at the forefront of dealing with climate change, for example, finance. And here we'll be looking at issues like the financing of fossil fuels and what measures are in place to address the issues of climate change. And we realize that we're under scrutiny ourselves as one of the world's largest asset managers, our shareholders are asking us not only what we can do for their bottom line, but what we can do for the planet as well. So we ourselves have described, uh, climate change as a slow burning pandemic and what I think is as the fog of COVID lifts, we will find that dealing with climate issues will become as, if not more important for shareholders, as dealing with traditional financial metrics and better for the planet too.
The information contained in this communication is not a research recommendation or ‘investment research’ and is classified as a ‘Marketing Communication’ in accordance with the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2014/65/EU) or applicable Swiss regulation. This means that this marketing communication (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.
This video is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or an offer for a particular security or securities.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker are those of his or her own as of the date of the recording, and do not necessarily represent the views of State Street or its affiliates. Any such views are subject to change at any time based upon market or other conditions and State Street disclaims any responsibility to update such views. These views should not be relied on as investment advice, and because investment decisions are based on numerous factors, may not be relied on as an indication of trading intent on behalf of State Street. Neither State Street nor the speaker can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered.
Please consult your tax or financial advisor for additional information concerning your specific situation. This video cannot be used for commercial purposes and not all products and services in this video are available for investments in your region.
The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without State Street Global Advisors’ express written consent.
Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.
This information is for informational purposes only, not to be construed as investment advice or a recommendation or offer to buy or sell any security. Investors should always obtain and read an up-to-date investment services description or prospectus before deciding whether to appoint an investment manager or to invest in a fund. Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s), are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may make different investment decisions for different clients. There are no guarantees regarding the achievement of investment objectives, target returns, portfolio construction, allocations or measurements such as alpha, tracking error, stock weightings and other information ratios. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all investors. SSGA does not provide tax or legal advice. Prospective investors should consult with a tax or legal advisor before making any investment decision. Investing entails risks and there can be no assurance that SSGA will achieve profits or avoid incurring losses.
Performance quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so you may have a gain or loss when shares are sold. Current performance may be higher or lower than that quoted.
Images of NYSE Group, Inc. are used with permission of NYSE Group, Inc. Neither NYSE Group, Inc. nor its affiliated companies sponsor, approve of or endorse the contents of this program. Neither NYSE Group, Inc. nor its affiliated companies recommend or make any representation as to possible benefits from any securities or investments.