High Meadows Institute, August 2019
The research presented here started in 2016, when High Meadows Institute and Tapestry Networks personnel noted an apparent divergence between the CEOs and independent directors of some leading public companies. The CEOs were speaking about the dangers of short-termism, the importance of long-term capital, and their responsibility to look beyond the near-term interests of equity shareholders. The directors were more focused on quarterly results. In some cases, they were unaware of their CEOs’ views on ESG (environmental, social, governance) investing; some directors viewed these as secondary to delivering near-term performance. Many others expressed commitment to a long-term perspective and to ESG, but noted how difficult this could be to maintain in the face of market pressure.