NSFM participants Ed Waitzer on fiduciary duty, and Matthew Kiernan on challenges for sustainable investment

NSFM Director, Ed Waitzer, professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada was featured in a recent article on top1000funds.com entitled, Modern portfolio theory, risk and fiduciary duty.

Ed has written extensively on trustee fiduciary duty and how the trustee duties in the pension context have evolved. What follows is an excerpt from the article:

'He will feature at the PRI-CBERN Academic Network Conference in Toronto this October, presenting a draft of the paper, The fiduciary duty – emerging themes in Canadian fiduciary law for pension trustees, which is the third in a series of research projects on the subject.

In it he says fiduciary duty is a dynamic concept – and while it is firmly rooted in clear and enduring legal principles, it has responded to changing contexts and worldviews.

“Events of the last decade have challenged the efficient market hypothesis, and the use of modern portfolio theory, as the basis for prudent investment and risk management practices (and, accordingly, the consequential legal framework governing pension fiduciaries),” he says.

He also says that pension fiduciaries are increasingly expected to consider questions of future value, rather than simply market price.

“Aside from the hazards of market volatility, they are expected to assess the impact of their investment decisions on others, including generations to come, with all the uncertainties so entailed. Accordingly, there is a growing recognition that risk management for pension funds extends well beyond that which is captured by market benchmarks, extending to market integrity, systemic risks, governance risks, advisor risks and the like.”'

Read the full article here.

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In a provocative article for Responsible Investor, NSFM participant, Matthew Kiernan, the founder of Inflection Point Capital Management suggests addressing cultural and terminological challenges as a way of changing the status quo.

He advocates a new approach to acknowledge the powerful environmental, social, and other secular global megatrends that are redefining the investment environment.