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.

Japanese insurance companies in community-based environmental scheme

Here is an interesting story concerning two Japanese insurance companies, Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. and Nipponkoa Insurance Co., which are building sustainability initiatives into their core business.  Under their new offering, it is possible for customers to select an insurance options which trigger contributions from the insurance companies to fund community-based, participatory actions in biodiversity preservation and environmental improvement.  While clearly a marketing initiative, directed at the emerging demand in post-Fukushima Japan for environmentally-responsible action, the companies seem to be putting their money behind it, and to be working through responsible environmental agencies.  The program has the potential to strengthen community action in environmental improvement at the local level.