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FCLTGlobal, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for a longer-term focus in business and investment decision-making, hosted its biennial Focusing Capital on the Long Term Summit on February 28 in New York City. The event gathered more than 150 senior business leaders to discuss how to combat financial short-termism through catalyzing practical action, establishing a wave of executive stewardship, and creating a deeper and broader understanding of the benefits of long-term investment.
“FCLTGlobal’s founding mission is to motivate business leaders to actively combat short-termism in our markets from within their own spheres of influence. Widespread adoption of long-term strategies will only come when we lead by example. Those at the Summit have the power to drive significant change. And by supporting initiatives with longer horizons, we will do the most to move the needle with all the major players across the value chain – asset managers, asset owners, corporations – as well as for their stake-holders,” said Mark Wiseman, FCLTGlobal Board Chair and Global Head of Active Equities & Chairman of Alternative Investors at BlackRock.
Leaders from global corporations, asset managers, and institutional investors were joined by representatives of FCLTGlobal’s 42-member organizations in a series of working sessions aimed at tackling major risks to long-term growth. Key takeaways included fostering a greater focus on long-term oriented metrics, increasing transparency in capital allocation decisions, weighing long-term risks against clients’/companies’ objectives, and creating potential incentives for long-term shareholders.
“The next step is taking ownership of the issue and creating practical antidotes to short-termism. Short-term pressures stem from many points along the investment value chain, and lasting change can be driven effectively from asset owners, asset managers and corporations,” said FCLTGlobal CEO Sarah Williamson. “There are significant costs to society when overwhelming pressure for near-term results drowns out long-term aspirations. We’re trying to reverse that.”
In addition to interactive sessions focusing on topics such as the opportunities of long-term allocations, the archaic nature of quarterly reporting, and examining the relationship between asset owners and asset managers, the day included a CEO panel on active investing, featuring Dominic Barton (McKinsey & Company), Larry Fink (BlackRock), Andrew Liveris (DowDuPont), Paul Polman (Unilever), and Michael Sabia (Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec). Guests also heard from Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in a concluding plenary session.
FCLTGlobal is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit dedicated to developing practical tools and approaches that encourage long-term behaviors in business and investment decision-making. It takes an active and market-based approach to achieve its goals. By conducting research and convening business leaders, FCLTGlobal develops tools and generates awareness of ways in which a longer-term focus can increase innovation, economic growth and future savings.