Crowd-sourcing investment model for funding renewables

Here is a NYT report on the company Mosaic which uses an online platform to match investors to investment projects in solar technology.  It takes a fee for each investment placed.  Although in its early stages, the model has attracted support, and is generating above average returns for investors.  Its model is similar to well-established crowd-sourcing funding sites such as Kickstarter, whose value proposition is to bring investors into a direct relationship with specific projects for which they have specific personal interest.

The loneliness of the long-distance CEO

Here is a report on a recent study of CEO health and well-being.  Unsurprisingly it finds that most CEO’s, particularly of major corporations, feel isolated, under intolerable strain, under constant scrutiny, and unsupported.  They are likely to become inward looking, to stop listening to the external world, and hence to focus on their own ambition and needs. Continue reading

US shareholder pressure on climate risks

A significant increase in the number of shareholder resolutions at annual meetings has been reported here.  It’s noteworthy that among these resolutions are some of the largest US pension funds.  It’s long been the case that pension funds (in Australia, superfunds) with vast funds at their disposal for investment, are exposed to unrecognised and unquantified climate risks.  It’s only recently that they have turned this exercise, although insurance companies like Munich Re have been doing it for at least a decade, and in some areas have lead the development of risk techniques to analyse the extensive ramifications of climate risk.  It is difficult work, because the climate systems are so large and volatile and complex, but it has to be done, and built into the valuation models that funds use to determine the best investment opportunities.  It now seems that this is going to be driven strongly by shareholder activism, as reported here.