This is the first text to bring the sustainability paradigm to the forefront of management and business ethics.
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is looking to use its long investment horizon and global reach to take advantage of economically disruptive forces, from advancing technology to aging populations, chief executive Mark Machin told a business audience at the Canadian Club in Toronto on Tuesday.
Other disruptors CPPIB is keeping a close eye on — both for the potential to profit and to mitigate risks — are climate change, aging populations and economic power shifts in North America, Europe and Asia. CPPIB has already invested in Zoox, an autonomous vehicle company headquartered in California that aims to have a fleet of robo taxis available by In the financial services space, the fund management organization has an investment in Square Capital, a subsidiary of payment processing company Square Inc.
Square uses machine learning and vast amounts of data to determine what loans to extend to small businesses.
Grappling with the disruptive implications of an aging population — some two years after Canadian seniors outnumbered Canadian children for the first time in history and when a girl born in China today has a one in two chance of living to — CPPIB invested in ORPEA, a European provider of long-term care services with facilities.
Recent investments have been made in India and Brazil. This is an excellent article discussing how CPPIB is using its long investment horizon to invest in interesting traditional and "disruptive" projects all over the world.
You can read Mark Machin's enire speech here also embedded a clip below. CPPIB takes a thematic Joseph desjardins business ethics book summary approach in many investments and why not, it has a bunch of smart people researching trends all over the world, looking to invest and capitalize on secular trends.
Having worked at large pensions before, I can tell you one area which was weak and still is at some places is pure thematic research. Everyone is so focused on the latest deals in public and private markets which is fine, but you need a think tank within these large pensions doing research on all sorts of topics from demographics, to geopolitics, to great disruptions taking place now and in the future.
Of course, it takes a special kind of person to do this type of research. You need a diverse group of people who have diverse experience, academic credentials not just finance people and a decent budget to be able to track the major themes shaping our planet.
That's it, throw us in a project and we had to research it, write a report and help deliver a presentation to the board with recommendations. Some people relish challenges, throw them any project to research and they take it and run with it.
Other people are petrified and just want to do the same thing day in, day out. Nothing wrong with that, the type of research I'm talking about is stimulating but stressful and it requires a certain mindset.
However, that's the type of research unit you need at all these large Canadian pensions, and I know, I've seen enough groups working in silos, a total misallocation of resources when people aren't talking to each other and working together for the good of the organization.
Sometimes research projects just lead you down a certain road. The more I researched, the more worried I got about the US economy and banking system.
I was only looking at it from a macro perspective, showed the charts of total issuance to senior managers at PSP back then, was scared to death but even I didn't know how spectacular of a blowup we'd have following the Lehman moment.
The point I'm trying to make here is research isn't just to discover the next big trend, the next major disruption, research is also there to uncover the major risks to the system and figure out a way to mitigate those risks as much as possible. I reckon a lot of research units at large pensions are not being utilized properly.
Typically you'll have them report to the chief economist or the office of the CIO but in my opinion, that's not the best way to do it.
I would set up research groups across all asset classes and they would have to meet at least once a week to discuss research they're working on and what are the major trends they see in their asset class.
A smaller group would have to assimilate all this inter-departmental research and figure out what are the main topics worth exploring in more detail and what are the major risks that lurk out there. It's not easy, I know from experience, but you have a lot of people with a lot of information at pensions who are not sharing it properly and not talking to each other, making for a very suboptimal and sometimes downright dangerous work structure and culture.
Late this afternoon, I was talking to someone about how private equity, real estate, and infrastructure have become mainstream and in order to move the needle, large pensions have to figure out a way to invest in all sorts of alpha that falls between the cracks and invest in innovation.
I recently discussed OPTrust's safe space for innovation and said even though it's risky, this makes perfect sense for a large pension with a long investment horizon to focus some of its assets on innovation and disruption. Leo de Bever is right, Canada's large pensions have been too timid for too long, they need to think outside the box and remember what Gretzky said: You need great governance, a wise and patient board, and you need commitment and a long-term action plan.
I believe Ontario Teachers' is also in the midst of setting something up right now.
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It uses thousands of dispersed researchers and tinkerers to tackle problems faced by clients ranging from PepsiCo to Australian cattle ranchers.
The Gates Foundation is very active in trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease but the current research capital structure isn't efficient enough to tackle such major projects. Sure, there are great biotech funds like Perceptive Advisors which I cover in my quarterly comments going over top funds' activityinvesting in biotech companies some of which will pan out, others which won't.to business ethics Joseph-DesJardins FILE= introduction to business has been a cutting edge resource for the business ethics course desjardins unique summary book of 2 8 nbsp;an introduction to business ethics has 58 ratings and 6 reviews kas said i read the fourth edition of this book this as.
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Joseph DesJardins (Ph.D. University of Notre Dame) is professor of philosophy at the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota. He specializes in business ethics and environmental ethics and has also published Contemporary Issues in Business Ethics (Fifth Edition, Wadsworth, ) with John McCall.5/5(2).