Corporate governance

Sophia Grene

Alice hears the evidence

Alice hears the evidence

`They told me you had been to her,
And mentioned me to him:
She gave me a good character,
But said I could not swim.

I gave her one, they gave him two,
You gave us three or more;
They all returned from him to you,
Though they were mine before.’

These verses from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland are usually thought to be meaningless (Alice didn’t believe there was an atom of meaning in it), but they might not be a bad representation of fund management’s stock lending programmes.

Sophia Grene

Rainforest in Panama

Rainforest in Panama

Did you have an egg or bacon for breakfast? Did you use shampoo or showergel containing palm oil this morning? If you did, the chances are a little bit of the rainforest was destroyed for your morning.

“We are eating the rainforest every day without knowing it,” says Andrew Mitchell, head of the Forest Footprint Disclosure project steering committee and executive director of the Global Canopy Programme. If you are a fund manager, your investments are also probably responsible for large swathes of tropical rainforest being bulldozed.

Ruth Sullivan

It’s time the asset management industry held boards to account for not listening to what fund managers are saying over corporate governance issues.

Ruth Sullivan

Financial institutions are in the dog house again. This time the sector is gaining attention for being the worst performer to manage its environmental, social and governance risks in 2008.

Sophia Grene

Reporting the carbon footprint of companies has become big business as fund managers become more green-savvy – but are they savvy enough?

Insight Investment has decided to move the debate forward with a new report asking whether all the data collection and analysis, attempts to come up with carbon labels and other well-intentioned initiatives are missing the point.

Ruth Sullivan

Companies in developed economies may be congratulating themselves about improved performance on corporate responsibility concerns but some emerging market businesses are beginning to match their peers in some areas, especially when it comes to environmental issues.

Bigger companies in emerging markets such as South Africa, Brazil and South Korea are leading the way in adopting environmental management policies and practices, says a report by the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network.

Pauline Skypala

Some investors attending the NAPF conference did not take kindly yesterday to being told by Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, that they had not done enough to prevent bank boards run amok and destroy value.

He suggested investors had failed to understand what they were buying and were too reliant on company reports, credit rating agencies and other “normal channels of information”. He wants investors to “challenge management to ensure their plans are credible”.

This was priceless for one questioner.

About the blog

FTfm is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

FTfm's specialist writing team offer their insights into the global fund management industry.

About the authors

Pauline Skypala has been editor of FTfm for four years having previously been deputy personal finance editor. She joined the FT in 1999 and has been writing on savings and investment issues throughout her career.

Steve Johnson, FTfm deputy editor, has been a journalist for 17 years, 10 of which have been with the FT.

Sophia Grene, reporter on FTfm, has been a financial journalist in print and online for 12 years.

Ruth Sullivan has worked as a financial/business journalist and foreign correspondent and for the past 10 years has been at the FT.