Greed is Good?

07/05/2019

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​Nick Watson, fund manager on the UK-based Janus Henderson Multi-Asset Team, argues that understanding a company's environmental, social and governance risks can be vital in enhancing clients' long term returns.

Financial institutions struggle to break free from the negative connotations of fictional character Gordon Gekko’s famous phrase "greed is good" from the movie Wall Street. However, all of us engaged in the world of investments, and the wider population, must recognise that financial markets are driven by those with capital looking to invest and grow their wealth. This extends from the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund to parents investing monthly £50 contributions into ISAs for their children.


The challenge for the Janus Henderson Multi-Asset Team, and the money that we actively manage on behalf of your clients, is to identify those investments that can deliver wealth creation in a sustainable manner. Because, frankly, that is what most investors want – investments that deliver sustainable returns over the long run.


That is not to say that the only parts of the market suitable for investing are those involved in clean energy or that companies engaged in mining operations or animal testing should be excluded from client portfolios. Indeed, our stance is that the high quality active managers to which we allocate your clients’ capital should be given the fullest flexibility to deliver outperformance on their behalf.


However, from a risk perspective, we expect all of the managers that we invest with to be fully aware of the challenges faced by the stocks they own. Identifying the environmental risks (for example, oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico), social risks (such as data leaks from social media companies) and governance risks (that could include minority shareholder interests being ignored) that a business faces can be just as important as the conventional financial analysis conducted by stock pickers.


Recent examples include businesses as diverse as BP, Volkswagen and Facebook. All three are incredibly successful businesses in their own right and within their own sectors. However, each suffered from damaging risk events that, while not predictable, represented the realisation of underlying risks that would not be captured by trawling through cash flow statements.

 


Source: Getty Images


A sustainable lens: the vital role of ESG

Companies with business models that are vulnerable to events, regulatory developments, fines or corporate misbehaviour do not offer the level of sustainable long-term returns that those already addressing their environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges can.


Using these additional risk metrics alongside bottom-up financial statement analysis gives fund managers an additional lens through which to develop their valuation for a company. In this world of 24-hour news and efficient markets, incorporating ESG elements in a stock selection decision not only gives such a fund an information advantage over its competition, but can also help it to avoid those unwelcome news 'torpedoes' lurking in some industries by more fully considering risks and sizing its positions accordingly.


Clients benefit over the long run from the more informed decision making approach of fund managers with a focus on more sustainable and less risky returns; companies benefit from engaging with their shareholders and focusing on those businesses that deliver sustainable long-term earnings growth; and everyone else benefits from those companies’ drift towards more sustainable business models.


Many clients, and chunks of the market, view such ESG factors as a ‘niche’ or ‘green’ part of the market employing negative screens. Other investors already do this work but shy away from using the term ‘ESG’ within their investment process to avoid being pigeonholed. Such distinctions do not bother us as long as the work is being done.


However, we would argue that if a fund manager is not fully assessing all of the risks, both financial and sustainable, in their stock picking decisions then they are not fully doing their job and should not therefore be trusted with your clients’ capital.


On the Janus Henderson Multi-Asset Team, we recognise that greed IS good and that without it, financial markets would not function and capital would not flow to those businesses that need finance to grow and to employ more staff.


Incorporating ESG into an investment approach can ensure greed remains good for financial reasons that are less easy to measure tick by tick, or day by day, on a Bloomberg screen, but that are increasingly important for enhancing long-term returns for clients.

 

These are the views of the author at the time of publication and may differ from the views of other individuals/teams at Janus Henderson Investors. Any securities, funds, sectors and indices mentioned within this article do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to buy or sell them.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested.

The information in this article does not qualify as an investment recommendation.

For promotional purposes.


Important information

Please read the following important information regarding funds related to this article.

Janus Henderson Diversified Growth Fund

This document is intended solely for the use of professionals and is not for general public distribution.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax assumptions and reliefs depend upon an investor’s particular circumstances and may change if those circumstances or the law change.

If you invest through a third party provider you are advised to consult them directly as charges, performance and terms and conditions may differ materially.

Nothing in this document is intended to or should be construed as advice. This document is not a recommendation to sell or purchase any investment. It does not form part of any contract for the sale or purchase of any investment.

Any investment application will be made solely on the basis of the information contained in the Prospectus (including all relevant covering documents), which will contain investment restrictions. This document is intended as a summary only and potential investors must read the prospectus, and where relevant, the key investor information document before investing. Copies of the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document are available in English, French, German, and Italian. Articles of incorporation, annual and semi-annual reports are available in English. All of these documents can be obtained free of cost from Janus Henderson Investors registered office: 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE.

Issued in the UK by Janus Henderson Investors. Janus Henderson Investors is the name under which investment products and services are provided by Janus Capital International Limited (reg no. 3594615), Henderson Global Investors Limited (reg. no. 906355), Henderson Investment Funds Limited (reg. no. 2678531), AlphaGen Capital Limited (reg. no. 962757), Henderson Equity Partners Limited (reg. no.2606646), (each registered in England and Wales at 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) and Henderson Management S.A. (reg no. B22848 at 2 Rue de Bitbourg, L-1273, Luxembourg and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier). We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Copies of the Fund’s prospectus are available in English, French, Spanish German and Dutch. Key investor information documents are available in English, Danish, German, Finnish, French, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish and Dutch. Articles of incorporation, annual and semi-annual reports are available in English. All of these documents can be obtained free of cost from the local offices of Janus Henderson Investors: 201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3AE for UK, Swedish and Scandinavian investors; Via Dante 14, 20121 Milan, Italy, for Italian investors and Roemer Visscherstraat 43-45, 1054 EW Amsterdam, the Netherlands. for Dutch investors; and the Fund’s: Austrian Paying Agent Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Am Stadtpark 9, A-1030 Vienna; French Paying Agent BNP Paribas Securities Services, 3, rue d’Antin, F-75002 Paris; German Information Agent Marcard, Stein & Co, Ballindamm 36, 20095 Hamburg; Belgian Financial Service Provider CACEIS Belgium S.A., Avenue du Port 86 C b320, B-1000 Brussels; Spanish Representative Allfunds Bank S.A. Estafeta, 6 Complejo Plaza de la Fuente, La Moraleja, Alcobendas 28109 Madrid; Janus Henderson Investors (Singapore) Limited, 138 Market Street #34-03/04 CapitaGreen, Singapore 048946; or Swiss Representative BNP Paribas Securities Services, Paris, succursale de Zurich, Selnaustrasse 16, 8002 Zurich who are also the Swiss Paying Agent.

Specific risks

  • The Fund could lose money if a counterparty with which it trades becomes unwilling or unable to meet its obligations to the Fund.
  • The Fund may use derivatives towards the aim of achieving its investment objective. This can result in 'leverage', which can magnify an investment outcome and gains or losses to the Fund may be greater than the cost of the derivative. Derivatives also introduce other risks, in particular, that a derivative counterparty may not meet its contractual obligations.
  • Shares can lose value rapidly, and typically involve higher risks than bonds or money market instruments. The value of your investment may fall as a result.
  • If the Fund holds assets in currencies other than the base currency of the Fund or you invest in a share class of a different currency to the Fund (unless 'hedged'), the value of your investment may be impacted by changes in exchange rates.
  • If the Fund or a specific share class of the Fund seeks to reduce risks (such as exchange rate movements), the measures designed to do so may be ineffective, unavailable or detrimental.
  • Certain funds are able to invest in shares issued by investment trust companies, including split capital investment trusts. The level of risk depends on both the share class and prevailing market conditions. Moreover, many split capital investment trusts use gearing (borrowing) which can lead to considerable volatility in their asset values and share prices. This can increase the level of risk compared with those that do not have a split capital structure and those that do not employ gearing. In certain market conditions some split capital investment trusts can lose their value.
  • Securities within the Fund could become hard to value or to sell at a desired time and price, especially in extreme market conditions when asset prices may be falling, increasing the risk of investment losses.
  • The Fund invests in other funds (including exchange traded funds and investment trusts/companies), which may introduce more risky assets, derivative usage and other risks, as well as contributing to a higher level of ongoing charges.

Risk rating

Janus Henderson Horizon Global Multi-Asset Fund

This document is intended solely for the use of professionals and is not for general public distribution.

The Janus Henderson Horizon Fund (the “Fund”) is a Luxembourg SICAV incorporated on 30 May 1985, managed by Henderson Management S.A. Any investment application will be made solely on the basis of the information contained in the Fund’s prospectus (including all relevant covering documents), which will contain investment restrictions. This document is intended as a summary only and potential investors must read the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document before investing. A copy of the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document can be obtained from Henderson Global Investors Limited in its capacity as Investment Manager and Distributor.

Issued in the UK by Janus Henderson Investors. Janus Henderson Investors is the name under which investment products and services are provided by Janus Capital International Limited (reg no. 3594615), Henderson Global Investors Limited (reg. no. 906355), Henderson Investment Funds Limited (reg. no. 2678531), AlphaGen Capital Limited (reg. no. 962757), Henderson Equity Partners Limited (reg. no.2606646), (each registered in England and Wales at 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AE and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) and Henderson Management S.A. (reg no. B22848 at 2 Rue de Bitbourg, L-1273, Luxembourg and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier). We may record telephone calls for our mutual protection, to improve customer service and for regulatory record keeping purposes.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The performance data does not take into account the commissions and costs incurred on the issue and redemption of units. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax assumptions and reliefs depend upon an investor’s particular circumstances and may change if those circumstances or the law change. If you invest through a third party provider you are advised to consult them directly as charges, performance and terms and conditions may differ materially.

Nothing in this document is intended to or should be construed as advice. This document is not a recommendation to sell or purchase any investment. It does not form part of any contract for the sale or purchase of any investment.

The Fund is a recognised collective investment scheme for the purpose of promotion into the United Kingdom. Potential investors in the United Kingdom are advised that all, or most, of the protections afforded by the United Kingdom regulatory system will not apply to an investment in the Fund and that compensation will not be available under the United Kingdom Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Copies of the Fund’s prospectus and key investor information document are available in English, French, German, and Italian. Articles of incorporation, annual and semi-annual reports are available in English. Key Investor document is also available in Spanish. All of these documents can be obtained free of cost from the local offices of Janus Henderson Investors: 201 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3AE for UK, Swedish and Scandinavian investors; Via Dante 14, 20121 Milan, Italy, for Italian investors and Roemer Visscherstraat 43-45, 1054 EW Amsterdam, the Netherlands. for Dutch investors; and the Fund’s: Austrian Paying Agent Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Am Stadtpark 9, A-1030 Vienna; French Paying Agent BNP Paribas Securities Services, 3, rue d’Antin, F-75002 Paris; German Information Agent Marcard, Stein & Co, Ballindamm 36, 20095 Hamburg; Belgian Financial Service Provider CACEIS Belgium S.A., Avenue du Port 86 C b320, B-1000 Brussels; Spanish Representative Allfunds Bank S.A. Estafeta, 6 Complejo Plaza de la Fuente, La Moraleja, Alcobendas 28109 Madrid; Janus Henderson Investors (Singapore) Limited, 138 Market Street, #34-03 / 04 CapitaGreen Singapore 048946; or Swiss Representative BNP Paribas Securities Services, Paris, succursale de Zurich, Selnaustrasse 16, 8002 Zurich who are also the Swiss Paying Agent. RBC Investor Services Trust Hong Kong Limited, a subsidiary of the joint venture UK holding company RBC Investor Services Limited, 51/F Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2978 5656 is the Fund’s Representative in Hong Kong.

Specific risks

  • Shares can lose value rapidly, and typically involve higher risks than bonds or money market instruments. The value of your investment may fall as a result.
  • The Fund may invest in other funds, which may increase losses due to investment in risky assets such as property or commodities, restrictions on withdrawals, less strict regulation and use of derivatives.
  • The Fund could lose money if a counterparty with which it trades becomes unwilling or unable to meet its obligations to the Fund.
  • The value of a bond or money market instrument may fall if the financial health of the issuer weakens, or the market believes it may weaken. This risk is greater the lower the credit quality of the bond.
  • Changes in currency exchange rates may cause the value of your investment and any income from it to rise or fall.
  • If the Fund or a specific share class of the Fund seeks to reduce risks (such as exchange rate movements), the measures designed to do so may be ineffective, unavailable or detrimental.
  • When interest rates rise (or fall), the prices of different securities will be affected differently. In particular, bond values generally fall when interest rates rise. This risk is generally greater the longer the maturity of a bond investment.
  • Any security could become hard to value or to sell at a desired time and price, increasing the risk of investment losses.

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