Over the past few weeks, FCLTGlobal and several of its Members met at forums in both London and Singapore that underscored the rising importance of long-term decision making to managers and investors internationally, and the rapidly growing desire for change.
Our first stop was in Singapore to take part in the second annual Insights Forum, hosted by GIC, one of the world’s largest investment firms. The event brought together over 100 senior business leaders to weigh in on the theme “Asia’s evolving role in an uncertain world.” The discussion ranged from the current challenges and prospects facing Asian business, to addressing the ever-present dilemma of digital disruption, the integration of AI, and how best to map out a long-term roadmap in today’s dynamic global business climate.
As you may expect, we had a thought or two on the latter topic, and FCLTGlobal CEO Sarah Williamson participated in one of the event’s concluding sessions, “A Long-term Future in an Uncertain World.” In that session, panelists outlined the key factors shaping long-term outlooks, such as an increasingly digital economy, shifting demographic preferences, and climate change. Steps were laid out that, if taken, could integrate long-term strategies into investment decisions, including: designing more appropriate incentives and mandates, taking a more active approach to stakeholder engagement, and ending the practice of quarterly guidance.
In an interview from the event, Sarah discusses ending quarterly guidance in greater detail, in advance of our upcoming publication that is focused on that topic:
After a fantastic event in Singapore, the FCLTGlobal team touched down in London to join Kempen & Co., a Dutch asset management firm, for their investment seminar and annual dinner. Sessions included dialogues on investment strategy, responsible investing, and private markets, concluding with a panel discussion with Sarah Williamson, Lars Dijkstra, CIO of Kempen & Co., and John Kay, a world-renowned economist and former contributor to The Financial Times.
We followed up the seminar the next day with a working group of our own, hosted in London by our friends at Unilever. More than a dozen of our Members met to explore how best to implement a longer-term approach to corporate/investor relations, including: How do varying international regulations affect reporting and guidance? What actions can investors take to affect long-term change? What actions can corporates take to do the same? These topics and more were discussed at length over the course of the morning, and many of the takeaways will prove highly valuable as follow-up to the findings in our upcoming report. Participating in the session were representatives from AT&T, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, DowDuPont, Edelman, EY, GIC, Glencore, HSBC, Kempen, McKinsey, PGGM, Schroders, State Street Global Advisors, Unilever, Wellington, and the Washington State Investment Board.
As the dust settles from our global travels, we remain inspired by our Members’ commitment in our common goal of rebalancing business and investment decisions to the long-term. While we enter a new and exciting period of growth at FCLTGlobal, the support of our Members is invaluable, as is the wider public support for advancing adoption of long-term behaviors helps advance the case for change. We look forward to many more opportunities to share our findings in public forums, and helping those who share in these discussions to realize their own long-term oriented results.
For more information on FCLTGlobal, our work, or upcoming events, follow us on social media (links below) or visit our website at FCLTGlobal.org.