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Jonathan Ponder

Jonathan Ponder

Senior Associate, MSCI Research

Jonathan Ponder conducts corporate-governance research at MSCI, where he covers numerous sectors in the Americas, including energy, health care and materials. Prior to joining MSCI, he provided strategic support for North American activist investors and issuers engaging in proxy contests, in addition to corporate-governance advisory services. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with a double major in earth sciences and economics, from Dalhousie University and an MBA from the University of St. Gallen.

Research and Insights

Articles by Jonathan Ponder

    Are Audit Firms Spread Too Thin?

    6 mins read Blog | Mar 28, 2024 | Jonathan Ponder, Ahasan Amin

    The auditing industry is facing several challenges, including fee concentration and a decline in practicing accountants. We assess the current state of play to identify potential areas of concern and the impact these could have on investors.

    The Audit World on Fire

    Podcast | Feb 2, 2024 | Michael Disabato, Jonathan Ponder

    Audit firms have been under scrutiny lately after scandal and concern has led some to worry the vital industry is in trouble. To understand whether fears around an auditor are credible, one must understand how to assess auditor quality. In this episode, we teach you how to assess an audit firm, and answer the question that some are posing: is there a crisis in the audit industry?

    Concentrating Ownership

    Podcast | Jul 22, 2022 | Ric Marshall, Jonathan Ponder, Moeko Porter

    In just seven years (2015-2022), we’ve seen a stunning rise in the proportion of controlled companies in the global economy. We dig into some of the details, including more concentrated ownership by large asset managers. And in Japan, more than a decade of reform was spearheaded by ex-prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Now, a country steeped in tradition is seeing the evolution of its governance practices.

    Equities Ownership: Concentration on the Rise?

    7 mins read Blog | Jul 11, 2022 | Ric Marshall, Jonathan Ponder

    Controlled companies accounted for nearly 46% of all constituents of the MSCI ACWI Index, as of Feb. 1, 2022, a 44% increase from 2015 levels. What does growing concentration mean for minority shareholders?

    Ownership and Control 2022: Global Equities Concentration on the Rise

    Research Report | Jul 11, 2022 | Ric Marshall, Jonathan Ponder

    Concentration in equities ownership soared from 2015 to 2022. Meanwhile, the percentage of index constituents that were widely held declined from 41% to just 23%. This trend could result in a loss of influence for minority shareholders.

    McDonald’s Pigs and the SEC’s ESG

    Podcast | Mar 13, 2022 | Samuel Block, Jonathan Ponder

    Carl Icahn, a billionaire investor and storied corporate raider, has mounted a proxy fight at McDonald’s Corp. to change how it sources it’s pork. At the moment, McDonald’s, and all other fast-food companies, source pork from farmers that use what are called gestation crates. These crates have caught the ire of Icahn and the US Humane Society for some time, and they decided to mount a public proxy fight to change the practice. We discuss what this means for McDonald’s and the future of pork producers. Then, we look at the first enforcement action ever made by the relatively new SEC Climate and ESG Task force against Vale over its misleading ESG disclosures on the safety of its tailings dams.