Opinion – Marcos de Vasconcellos: “Flesh and blood” investors gain ammunition to fight for their interests


In practically 90 days, all companies listed on the Stock Exchange will be required to disclose a series of data on their performance in what we now call ESG — corporate, social and environmental governance initiatives.

In January, the CVM (Securities Commission) resolution comes into force, obliging companies to, at least, justify themselves, if they do not have, for example, greenhouse gas emission inventories or channels for sending critical questions. related to environmental issues to the Board of Directors.

The most interesting point of this opening is to give investors ammunition to question what is done by the companies in which they invest.

As much as the will of a “flesh and blood” investor does not tickle the finances of a stock exchange company, the transparency (and vigilance) movement also increases the pressure on institutional players, who move real money.

Investment funds —with their millionaire, billionaire and trillionaire portfolios—have the obligation to be in direct contact with their shareholders and adapt their strategies to their wishes, under penalty of losing investors.

Larry Fink himself, CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, wrote that with the growing impact of sustainability on investment returns, the strongest foundation for his clients’ portfolios in the future is sustainable investing.

It is an important step towards what World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab calls stakeholder capitalism. In other words: when companies start to make decisions guided by the interests of society.

A change like this, in the way of making decisions, doesn’t come without a little nudge. Seven emblematic cases of “little pushes” have taken place in the last five years, in the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil, according to a study published in August by FGV Direito SP, in partnership with Laclima (which brings together experts in climate)

In the cases in question, large investment funds forced companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Eneva to change their plans in relation to carbon emissions and the energy matrix transition, acting as true activist investors – minority ones that pressure the company’s management for changes. .

Here, minority shareholders have little voice, as analyzed by economist Aurélio Valporto, president of Abradin (Brazilian Association of Investors). Forcing companies to disclose their steps on the ESG path should give strength to this type of action.

The need to adapt to this new environment has already changed the routine of companies that would hardly be associated with the ESG agenda.

Although the arms industry is automatically excluded from ESG indices such as the Dow Jones, the CEO of Taurus Armas, Salesio Nuhs, told me, in a recent conversation with me, how he hired an international audit to understand the company’s positioning and is now working on a report on the topic for its investors.

If even the only factory of pistols, revolvers and rifles on the Stock Exchange is moving to find a good ESG positioning, the wave of information on the subject, expected for the beginning of next year, will certainly help the investor to navigate better, using your own compass of interests.

A survey released by Google last week showed that almost half of Brazilians (47%) do not associate any brand with ESG topics. Now companies on the stock exchange will have the chance to change that. For the good or for the bad.

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