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Why investment stewardship matters for long-term investors

A fund that is 'passive' does not mean its managers merely invest as directed by the index with little concern for ESG risks. Good stewardship is valued as much by 'indirect' investors as direct shareholders.

Investment learnings from the COVID-19 crisis

Many professional investors thought that environmental, social and governance trends would take a step back in the pandemic, but the opposite occurred. It highlighted factors with a material impact on financial results.

Investor downside when management controls access to the board

Try having a direct conversation with a board member without going through the company's PR team. Boards can become managed and co-opted by company executives and forget who they work for.

Is it a myth that 'purpose' can drive corporate profits?

If ESG, ethical investing, philanthropy and CSR aren’t creating the magnitude of change needed, is there an alternative way of bridging the gap between profit growth and social benefit?

Six steps in COVID-19 emergency plans for companies

Businesses and directors must take steps to deal with new restrictions as a result of COVID-19. Here are six actions all companies should consider in these trying times.

Are Australian bank boards fit for purpose?

Many of Australia's bank directors lack crucial skills in technology, operations and HR as part of a broader shortage of experience that is as important in dodging scandals as in business success.

Elizabeth Bryan and Chris Cuffe on how good boards work

Two of Australia's most experienced and successful chairs explain what makes a good board, what to watch for in bad ones, with advice for aspiring board members: understand first what motivates you.

ESG by new means, to new ends

There is no single and correct way for a company to adopt good ESG practices, but it's clear that major institutional investors are increasingly judging companies by ESG criteria.

What do top ESG companies look like?

What is the difference between ESG as measured by the Dow Jones Sustainability Australia Index, and taking an approach that includes ethical factors?

Top 10 ESG issues for 2019

More investors than ever are expecting fund managers to allow for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, but what are the major factors for 2019?

Insider view from the top of CBA

The Commonwealth Bank's reputation has taken a battering at the Royal Commission, and a veteran of 13 years on the top table of the Bank's Executive Committee explains what went wrong and where we should head.

Incentives at heart of Commission's findings

The Royal Commission focusses heavily on poor incentives amid a sea of damnation and exhaustively-documented case studies, but does not provide answers, especially on the vexed issue of best interests.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Unexpected results in our retirement income survey

Who knew? With some surprise results, the Government is on unexpected firm ground in asking people to draw on all their assets in retirement, although the comments show what feisty and informed readers we have.

Three all-time best tables for every adviser and investor

It's a remarkable statistic. In any year since 1875, if you had invested in the Australian stock index, turned away and come back eight years later, your average return would be 120% with no negative periods.

The looming excess of housing and why prices will fall

Never stand between Australian households and an uncapped government programme with $3 billion in ‘free money’ to build or renovate their homes. But excess supply is coming with an absence of net migration.

Five stocks that have worked well in our portfolios

Picking macro trends is difficult. What may seem logical and compelling one minute may completely change a few months later. There are better rewards from focussing on identifying the best companies at good prices.

Six COVID opportunist stocks prospering in adversity

Some high-quality companies have emerged even stronger since the onset of COVID and are well placed for outperformance. We call these the ‘COVID Opportunists’ as they are now dominating their specific sectors.

Let's make this clear again ... franking credits are fair

Critics of franking credits are missing the main point. The taxable income of shareholders/taxpayers must also include the company tax previously paid to the ATO before the dividend was distributed. It is fair.

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