Ben Ashwell, Institutional Investor, March 19, 2018


Until now, gun control in the US has only been a concern from an IR perspective in terms of faith-based investors, but the high-profile public debate since the Parkland school shooting in Florida may be changing that. Several large financial institutions have in recent weeks broken with precedent and publicly committed to engagement with portfolio companies around gun control, signaling that this may join human rights and political lobbying as a prominent social issue for investors.

Davia Temin says gun control and the anti-sexual assault #MeToo movement has shown the power of consumers harnessing social media to create a targeted movement on ESG issues. “All of a sudden on both issues we’ve reached a tipping point on sentiment, with what’s happened on social media showing that the public’s mood is changing. So the real exposure here is for boards to understand the values of their customer base and their core audience, and have their own set of values to live up to. The people who think they can just rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic are in denial as to how serious this public reevaluation of issues is.” […read more]