Our vantage point in December 2020 is far from what we expected twelve months ago. We began the year looking forward to meetings, conferences, and our biennial Summit to discuss and debate the future of business among friends and colleagues.

Many of you were able to join us in New York for our 2020 Summit to workshop the best ways to advance our shared mission of rebalancing capital markets to support a long-term, sustainable economy. But while the reality of daily life has changed enormously, the urgency of the issues we are addressing has not.

Capitalism is at a crossroads—the next few years will surely shape its trajectory for the next few decades. A narrow spotlight on shareholders has given way to a renewed focus on all stakeholders— employees, customers, suppliers, communities, and shareholders alike. Recognition of the global business community’s need to change its impact on our planet, investors’ climate consciousness of their portfolios and the alignment between sustainability and long-term performance have accelerated. We’ve used the analogy of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to discuss the additive nature of addressing the range of stakeholders. The conversations around capital markets today have fundamentally changed—even since our founding in 2016.

But despite our best intentions, “market failures” still arise—problems that lead to a suboptimal allocation of resources and that the market will not correct itself. It’s with the guiding principle that market participants can address these issues that we founded FCLTGlobal more than four years ago—to bring together investors and companies in an effort to make markets better at serving their purpose from the inside out.

And the more important purpose of capital markets is clearer than ever. COVID-19 has led to unemployment, uncertainty, and a global downturn.

But history tells us that economic downturns pass, and we must not lose sight of the bigger picture. People around the world are still saving to pay for an education, still working to fund a decent retirement, or still putting away enough to buy a home. But due to COVID-19, many are now simply trying to recover what they have lost. Effective capital markets need to work for these savers, and channel their capital to companies that fuel innovation, job creation, and sustainable growth.

We end a volatile year with a new sense of direction – for the first time, we will follow the changing behaviors and horizons of capital markets with real world data. FCLTCompass, our latest initiative, is an annual benchmarking tool tracking long-term investments on a global scale. It analyzes more than a decade of financial data to trace investors’ savings through various assets to the companies that deploy it in support of economic growth. This will frame the conversation in a more actionable light, a first step toward catalyzing broader adoption of longer-term investment perspectives. My thanks and congratulations go to our partners who collaborated with us on this milestone work.

Thank you to all of our Members, new and longstanding, who have committed to growing our organization, spreading our message, and making a sustainable financial future a reality. 2020 has been a tempest of a year, and there is more storm to weather, but I look forward to continuing this important work with energy and passion together in 2021.


Sarah Keohane Williamson

Chief Executive Officer, FCLTGlobal