In the last century, it was possible to be a successful investor by focusing uniquely on the financial aspects (with no consideration of the consequences). From our point of view, this has changed fundamentally.
We must reconnect with the notion of responsibility. This term seems to be very fashionable today, but unfortunately actions often have little in common with words. Responsibility obliges one to answer for certain actions, and to keep one’s promises.
A responsible investor today is one with “broad vision”. If a substantial part of a company’s value and risks is not included in its accounting figures, broadening the spectrum becomes essential. A conscientious investor assumes his responsibility not only vis-à-vis his customers, but also vis-à-vis society at large. Such an investor knows that the two are not at odds but rather mutually reinforcing. Indeed, deploying capital in the real economy and in a useful way for society ends up maximizing one’s chances of success (with of course the appropriate level of financial due diligence and portfolio construction expertise).
Over the medium and long term, the financial interest and social utility are perfectly aligned. The responsible investor will use his capital to enable the world to adapt to the formidable challenges of the 21st century, while achieving a fair return on his capital. Thinking about the long term is a necessity as well as an opportunity.