Team Modernist on B Corporations, ESG, and Le Tigre

This month we are sharing some exciting news about running an ethical business, ESG investing trends, and our first webinar.

Modernist news: we're a B Corp!

Last month Modernist became a Certified B Corporation®! We are so proud to join this global movement of people using business as a force for good™.

This certification reflects our commitment to higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Being a B Corp™ means we are legally required to consider the impact of our work on all stakeholders – employees, suppliers, clients, community and the environment.
 
Click here to learn more about B Corporations and take the assessment for your business!

Sign up for our first webinar

On Tuesday, March 28th we are hosting our first webinar about the financial planning industry, what it means to be a B Corp™, and how to invest and plan in alignment with your values. Interested in joining? Sign-up here.

Letter from our madame president

It is important to have an independent third party verify and acknowledge our commitment to responsible business practices. However, the values that B Lab® looks for have been at the heart of Modernist’s work from the beginning.
 
The financial industry has a bad reputation when it comes to ethical business practices. See: opposition to the fiduciary requirement, persistent lack of diversity, willfully unclear fees and compensation, and outright fraud a-la Wells Fargo or Bernie Madoff. We built Modernist to be different.
 
We help people structure their wealth around their values. This means sustainable investing, financial life planning, financial education and empowerment. But, it also has to mean that our firm is run in an ethical, conscientious fashion: robust employee benefits, regular pro-bono education, consistent charitable giving, and more.
 
In order to formalize our commitment to running an ethical business, we began exploring B Corp Certification at the end of 2016. Happily, we found that we already met the requirements because, to us, it was the only way to build a wealth management firm.
 
We invite the rest of the financial industry to join us in building a diverse community of professionals who put profits after clients, our community, and our environment. You can read my full essay on LinkedIn.
 
In solidarity,
GLH

Songs that are really about our heroes

We are driven by a vision of financial empowerment that serves our people - those who value creativity and learning, visionaries of every gender and hue, those who are compassionate and kind.  So, we love Le Tigre’s anthem to our artist forebears. Check out artist Wynne Greenwood’s gorgeous animated music video below...

 

Portfolio perspectives

Values-based investing is still a relatively new field. However, as available data grows, ESG (environmental, social, governance) factors are emerging as strong investment performance indicators. For example, MSCI, the leading ESG research provider, downgraded VW’s outlook two years before the emissions-test scandal. The reason? “Poor levels of director independence.”
 
In 2017, MSCI (who also provides the ratings for our sustainability portfolios) foresees a shift to a longer-term perspective, growing concern over the physical risks of climate change, increasing commitment to corporate and environmental responsibility in Asian markets, better integration of ESG ratings into fundamental investment analysis, and widespread adoption of consistent language and standards, likely following UN guidelines.
 
You can check out the full-length report here.