Dear friends of FCLTGlobal,

As 2023 began, our conversations centered around the 5 Ds of disruption, pivotal forces of financial, political, and social disruption creating long-term challenges and opportunities for businesses and investors: 

Demographic changes highlight the varying stages of development as global populations diverge. 

Digitization on a mass scale heralds the profound impact that artificial intelligence and other new technologies have started to make on business and investment decisions.  

Deleveraging has become the norm given interest rates with the prospect of high rates for years to come. 

Deglobalization is prompting a reevaluation of the long-held paradigm of international trade cooperation that was the wind at the back of business for half a century. 

Decarbonization is leading to a reassessment of both companies’ and investors’ readiness for a transformed energy landscape. 

There is no question that this year demonstrated that these challenges are part of decision-making for today and tomorrow. There has never been a more meaningful time to focus capital on the long term to support a sustainable and prosperous economy – the mission of FCLTGlobal. 

We believe that we can achieve that mission through a focus on three key areas: 

Each of these areas is critical to our strategy to be a global, cross-value chain, CEO-led community supported by practical insights and a clear point of view. In each of these areas, we are grateful for a productive 2023.  

Our members, our board, and the entire FCLTGlobal community are committed to achieving our shared goals. Our research is grounded in real-world evidence, independent, and aimed at answering the most pressing questions in capital markets through the lens of strong governance, well-designed incentives, robust investor-corporate dialogue, sensible metrics, and public policy that provides an environment conducive to all the above. 

But we know that despite the progress we have made, the gap between where we are and where we need to be remains significant. The latest data tells us that, globally, corporate investment horizons have shortened by 6%, and savers’ by 4%.  

In 2023, we continued to see pushback or trepidation surrounding issues of “sustainability.” We define “long-term” as making sound decisions for the future that lead to resilience and growth and “short-term” as decisions that sidetrack us from that future. Whether you call that “long-term,” “sustainability,” or just sound decision-making, the fact remains that competing in the future requires creating value for a range of stakeholders. We seek to focus attention on building a future in which companies and investors contribute sustainably to our economies, the planet, and people around the world. 

Therefore, understanding the trends working in our favor – or those putting short-term pressure on us – is the key to overcoming them. Indeed, we continue to face the 5 Ds of disruption we outlined at the start of last year as a new year begins. 

It is easy to be sidetracked by today’s news, but for business, investors, savers, and communities to succeed, a long-term focus is indispensable.  

And so, I want to thank our members, board members, strategic advisors, staff, and all our partners for helping us to work toward a goal of focusing capital on the long term to support a sustainable and prosperous economy. We are grateful for your hard work, ongoing support, and above all your shared dedication to our mission. 

To a happy and healthy 2024, 

Sarah Keohane Williamson

Chief Executive Officer, FCLTGlobal

Sarah Williamson photo

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