Hello from SRI in Rockies!  As a sponsor of this conference, BrownFlynn is pleased to be here with more than 500 other people who are passionate about directing the flow of investment capital in transformative ways and drive a shift to a more sustainable economy.  Most encouraging to note is that 200 of these people are first-time attendees at this conference, further reinforcing the increased interest in making companies and the world more sustainable. 

I arrived yesterday afternoon to join up with Barb Brown and John Barrett from our team, and we’ve already met some great people and heard some interesting speakers.  A couple of key takeaways:

1) 75% of a company’s value is now based on qualitative analysis–the intangibles–which is up from 25% twenty years ago.  The intangibles have also evolved over this timeframe and are now referred to as the “new intangibles”, which include: governance, environmental impact, transparency, community involvement, product safety, employee relations (specifically fairness and diversity), human rights, and reputation.

2) There are 3 “Myth Busters” when it comes to socially responsible investing–and Craig Metrick, Principal & U.S. Head of Responsible Investment for Mercer, shared his feelings about these myths, which include:

a) SRI funds have a limited investment universe–as Craig said, “Busted!” (Not true!)

b) Performance of SRI funds is not competitive with other funds–“Busted!” (Not true!)

c) The scope of SRI is insignificant–“Busted!”–(Not true!)  In fact, SRI funds topped $3 trillion dollars in 2010.

There are more great sessions still to come…looking forward to learning more and meeting many new colleagues over the coming few days!

–Margie Flynn