Bovespa’s Corporate Sustainability Index (“ISE”) is about to turn 10 in November and it has outperformed the flagship Bovespa Index. We are firm believers in active, case-by-case, in-depth investigative investing in our fund, but it doesn’t blind us to the potential benefits – for some – of index investing. The devil is in the details of any index’s formation, criteria, balancing and so on. Furthermore, the dangers of an inflexible mandate are well-known.
McKinsey & Co’s new article on “Confronting corruption” seems tailor made for the current Brazilian news cycle. How about avoiding corruption? It is impossible for a huge company to control every worker everywhere and all the time, right? Yes, but any company can mitigate the risk by avoiding incentive systems and a corporate culture that favors “shortcuts”. I mention a Harvard Business School course I attended in December 2013 and link to various sources on this subject.
Great timing by this article, called “Why Investment Performance Is a Distraction”, highlighted with “Quote of the Day” honors at Abnormal Returns. It’s always great to be reminded to NOT keep our eyes on some performance “goal”, but rather to focus on processes. That said, the article tries to expand the investment-related dangers of setting specific goals to general management situations – and I partially disagree.
CNBC has a very interesting series of articles and videos on what they call the CNBC Disruptor 50, a list of 50 “disruptors” in several industries, including Healthcare, Travel, Transport, Retail, IT, Financial Services and others. Any disruptors creeping up on your portfolio companies yet?
We publish a number of links on the Coty “indicated” $10 billion bid for Avon – that’s right, it’s not an actual hostile bid yet. Coty attempted a friendly approach three times and it decided to make its conditions public in an announcement. For us in Brazil, it’s a very interesting look at what could potentially happen here – “how” and “when” are still very unclear.
Wells Fargo is now the US’ largest bank by market value and Apple will pay a huge dividend and repurchase shares. Microsoft and perhaps even Google can now be called “boring”, stable companies. Just a reminder of how limited our forecasting and modelling “mindsets” usually are. Also a reminder for keeping our minds open for positive surprises.
Great article at BusinessWeek highlights the immense difficulties of integrating large acquisitions or mergers – in this case, United and Continental Airlines. The link to rocket science is in the article’s last line, and it’s hilarious.
We were initially skeptical because, as Buysiders.com readers are probably well aware by now, we view risk management as a matter of knowledge gathering/sharing and corporate culture. The excerpts inside this post explain our satisfaction with the video. It’s not enough for us to judge whether this course is a great investment for you or your company, but we have attended classes with Bob Kaplan (and other) at Harvard and we certainly got more than our money’s worth.
Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO yesterday, intends to stay on as Chairman. Sad news and nothing much to comment – the praise has been doled out before here. We only wish him the best and highlight a few links with amazing, heartfelt reaction around the web.
Very interesting profile on Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater in the new issue of the New Yorker magazine. Long and often a bit on the speculative side – it’s always difficult to take without “salt” the perceptions of someone who has spent, at best, a few days/weeks with the subject of the report – it’s still a great read.