Christopher K. Merker, PhD, CFA, is a director with Private Asset Management at Robert W. Baird & Co. He holds a PhD in investment governance and fiduciary effectiveness from Marquette University, where he has taught the course “Sustainable Finance” since 2009. Executive director of Fund Governance Analytics (FGA), an ESG research partnership with Marquette University, he is a member of the CFA Institute ESG Working Group, an international committee currently exploring ESG standards, publishes the blog, Sustainable Finance, which covers current topics around governance and sustainability in investing, and is co-author of the book, The Trustee Governance Guide: The Five Imperatives of 21st Century Investing.
Memes are simple ideas that sometimes take hold and change the world. Finance has undergone two major cycles of transformation under this principle over the last 100 years and a third cycle more recently. Christopher K. Merker, PhD, CFA, explains.
Americans are a cost-conscious lot. We all like a good deal. And that's become especially clear when it comes to investing. In almost every governance survey of asset owners, investment expenses have emerged as one of the top three concerns.
In the final analysis, can we truly measure the emissions of our portfolio? Or understand what the actual “carbon footprint” is? No, not really, says Christopher K. Merker, CFA, but it is becoming easier.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has rejected a bitcoin exchange-traded fund from Wilshire Phoenix, saying the firm had failed to prove manipulation is avoidable in the bitcoin market. SEC member Hester Peirce dissented, saying that the SEC unfairly applies a higher standard to bitcoin products and that "no filing will meet the ever-shifting standards that this commission insists on applying to bitcoin-related products -- and only to bitcoin-related products." CoinDesk (UK) (26 Feb.)
The European Banking Federation is preparing to ask EU officials to keep politics out of banking and to ensure post-Brexit ties between the EU and the UK run smoothly. The federation is working on a document to illustrate how equivalence could "avoid fragmentation in European financial markets," spokesman Raymond Frenken says. BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (26 Feb.)
Money managers are concerned by a European Commission suggestion that a ban on bundled research and transaction payments under the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive be amended to exempt small and midsize businesses. "I think it would be a danger to consider exempting some parts of the market from those rules, as that will only create further unintended consequences," Federated Hermes investment manager Eoin Murray says. Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (24 Feb.)
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