Responsible capitalism in the US
It can’t be understated how quickly the world can change. In the few short months since Rathbone Greenbank Global Sustainability Fund Manager David Harrison travelled to the US to meet with current and potential investments, the world as we know it was flipped upside down. As the coronavirus spread around the globe, entire countries went into lockdown and economies ground to a halt. From that point forward, governments dedicated their resources to containing the outbreak and mitigating its economic fallout.
There is little doubt that we have entered a challenging period for financial markets and the economy. Whether the recovery is V-shaped, U-shaped or something else, it will be almost impossible for investors to predict how these events will play out. Yet during challenging times like these, the principles of investing remain the same: stick to high-quality companies that have strong business models, are cash generative and are doing the right thing society and the environment.
During David’s trip to the US, he found a country where responsible capitalism has truly taken off, where people are much more aware of the social and environmental costs of doing business. Much like other parts of the world, investing along environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles is clearly ascendant in the US. And, perhaps as a result of the pandemic, the true importance of the S and the G – social and governance factors – is emerging.