Following closed-door U.N. climate talks in Madrid, the politician-turned-environmental activist Al Gore sat down with the Financial Times’ Leslie Hook. While the major index funds joined a coalition of 600 asset managers with $37 trillion AUM, in calling for action on climate change, the former vice president lambasted fund managers like BlackRock and Vanguard, who he said continue to “finance the destruction of human civilization.” Gore noted that these funds have not divested from fossil fuel stocks and he also pointed to “incredible economic risks from a massive bubble of carbon assets” – around $22 trillion – and continues to push for their divestment.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal did a deep-dive on the implications of the Business Roundtable’s August decision to begin to “deliver value to all” stakeholders, rather than endorsing shareholder primacy. This decision was met with celebration and skepticism, but one CEO is putting his money where his mouth is: Integrity Marketing Group, a distributor of life and health insurance products, is splitting $50 million between its 750 employees and making all employees eligible to receive company stock.
In company news, Hudson’s Bay shareholders and stakeholders are in limbo. Shareholders in the retailer, whose brands include Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, face two competing bids: one from Chairman Richard Baker, who bid 10.30 Canadian dollars for the company in a consortium with Rhone Capital and WeWork Industrial Trust; and Catalyst Capital Group, who bid 11 Canadian dollars per share. Shareholders have received conflicting recommendations, with ISS recommending against Baker’s deal and Glass Lewis recommending shareholder vote in favor. But, any deal would require the Chairman’s blessing, leaving the embattled company in a bind.
Have a great weekend,