Extended Viewer

Ric Marshall

Ric Marshall

Executive Director, MSCI ESG Research

Ric Marshall is Executive Director in the ESG Research team. Previously, he was Chief Analyst at GMI Ratings, which was acquired by MSCI in 2014. Ric was named one of the top individual analysts in corporate governance by respondents to the Thomson Reuters Extel 2013 global survey.

Research and Insights

Articles by Ric Marshall

    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.

    Exxon Mobil: Drilling Down on the Proxy Vote

    4 mins read Blog | Jun 1, 2021 | Harlan Tufford , Ric Marshall

    The historic win of at least two seats on Exxon Mobil’s board by activist shareholder Engine No. 1 signals a dramatic shift in investors’ thinking about climate change — and in their willingness to vote for climate action. But there is a deeper story.

    Zombies on Board: Investors Face the Walking Dead

    5 mins read Blog | Oct 28, 2020 | Ric Marshall

    Investors may think that zombies live only in people’s imaginations, but these brain-munching monsters can haunt corporate boardrooms for years, eating away at a fundamental shareholder right: the right to duly elected representation.

    SEC’s proxy proposal: Who would benefit?

    Blog | Mar 3, 2020 | Ric Marshall

    The SEC has proposed reforms to the proxy process that would curb the number of proposals submitted by small shareholders. But such a change may disadvantage all shareholders, who have provided significant levels of support for these initiatives.

    ESG Investing in Emerging Markets

    Research Report | Feb 11, 2020 | Zoltán Nagy , Ric Marshall , Panos Seretis

    Recent MSCI studies have shown historical positive correlation between environmental, social and governance considerations and corporate financial performance. Has this pattern held in emerging-market equities?

    2020 ESG trends to watch

    7 mins read Blog | Jan 13, 2020 | Ric Marshall , Linda-Eling Lee , Meggin Thwing Eastman , Meggin Eastman

    ESG themes are long-term, but some can emerge with sudden force. We are watching five trends we believe will unfold in 2020 to catapult ESG investing into the new decade.

    2020 ESG Trends to Watch

    Research Report | Jan 13, 2020 | Linda-Eling Lee , Ric Marshall , Meggin Eastman

    We highlight five trends we believe will unfold over 2020: Climate change innovators: spotting the sleeping giants; new terms for capital: ready or not, here comes ESG; Re-valuing real estate: investing in the eye of the hurricane; the new human capital paradox: Juggling layoffs and shortages; and keeping score on stakeholder capitalism: looking for accountability in all the new places.

    CEO Pay: Trick or Treat?

    Blog | Oct 30, 2019 | Ric Marshall

    Some large asset owners are increasingly coming to believe that many executive pay schemes don’t align the interests of CEOs and investors. There appears to be an increasing focus on pay plan simplicity and transparency.

    Banking on ESG: Examining the Financial Relevance of ESG to Banks

    Research Report | Sep 3, 2019 | Ric Marshall , Panos Seretis

    Recent studies by MSCI ESG Research have shown an historical link between ESG considerations and stronger corporate financial performance. Has this relationship applied to spread businesses, such as banks?

    Uber vs. Lyft: Who’s at the Wheel?

    Blog | Jun 18, 2019 | Ric Marshall

    Two companies, one highly disruptive business model, multiple big challenges looming. Few IPOs in recent memory have attracted more attention – or disappointed more decisively, initially – than the IPOs of ride-sharing groups Uber and Lyft. At the end of June 7, 2019, two months following its IPO, Lyft’s share price traded at 17.7% below its IPO price, while Uber’s ended that same day 1.9% lower. Could ESG considerations have played into investors’ thinking?

    Taking Stock: Share Buybacks and Shareholder Value

    Research Report | Jul 31, 2018 | Agnes Grunfeld , Ric Marshall , Panos Seretis

    Contrary to concerns expressed by many observers, we found no compelling evidence of a negative impact from share buybacks on long-term value creation for investors overall. We did find, however, that buybacks can impact long-term investment returns differently for active and index investors. Over the periods we observed, Companies where index investors were the largest shareholders included a much wider range of buyback impacts, good and bad, than companies where the largest shareholders...

    Are CEOs Paid for Performance?

    Research Report | Jul 25, 2016 | Ric Marshall

    2016 IRRC Institute Investor Research Award Honorable Mention Has CEO pay reflected long-term stock performance? In a word, “no.” Companies that awarded their Chief Executive Officers higher pay incentive levels had below-median returns, based on a sample of 429 large-cap U.S. companies observed from 2005 to 2015. On a 10-year cumulative basis, total shareholder returns of those companies whose total summary pay was below their sector median outperformed those companies where pay exceeded...

    Are CEOs Paid for Performance?

    Blog | Jul 25, 2016 | Ric Marshall

    Has CEO pay reflected long-term stock performance? In a word, “no.”. Companies that awarded their Chief Executive Officer (CEOs) higher equity incentives had below-median returns based on a sample of 429 large-cap U.S. companies from 2005 to 2015.

    2016 ESG Trends to Watch

    Research Report | Jan 11, 2016 | Ric Marshall , Matt Moscardi , Laura Nishikawa

    In our annual trends report, we highlight the key environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends that are top of mind for investors going into the New Year. In 2016, these trends reflect a softening economy, a long-term shift to a low carbon economy, a generational changeover and institutional forces.   Download the Research Spotlight "2016 ESG Trends to Watch." To read data from other years, please see our ESG Trends page.

    Raising Minimum Governance Standards - Selecting Quality Companies for the Long Term

    Research Report | Dec 7, 2015 | Ric Marshall , Stuart Doole , Kumar Neeraj

    Institutional investors concerned with excessive focus on short-term results are increasingly seeking to improve minimum corporate governance standards of their portfolio companies. To date, active engagement has been widely recognized as an effective means to promote sustainable long-term growth and risk management of a portfolio, but such approaches can be costly and difficult to scale. We put forward a potential approach for institutional investors to systematically raise minimum...

    Raising Minimum Governance Standards

    Research Report | Dec 7, 2015 | Ric Marshall , Stuart Doole , Kumar Neeraj

    Institutional investors concerned with excessive focus on short-term results are increasingly seeking to improve minimum corporate governance standards of their portfolio companies. To date, active engagement has been widely recognized as an effective means to promote sustainable long-term growth and risk management of a portfolio, but such approaches can be costly and difficult to scale. We put forward a potential approach for institutional investors to systematically raise minimum...

    Women on Boards: Global Trends in Gender Diversity

    Research Report | Nov 30, 2015 | Ric Marshall , Matt Moscardi , Damion Rallis

    Many institutional investors are increasingly focused on the gender composition of company boards. Our latest research shows that companies in the MSCI World Index with strong female leadership generated a Return on Equity of 10.1% per year versus 7.4% for those without, as of September 9, 2015, though we could not establish causality. We found that companies lacking board diversity suffered more governance-related controversies than average. Global asset owners are promoting a 30% global...

    Ownership Forms and Governance Control

    Blog | Aug 4, 2015 | Ric Marshall

    Just as the MSCI ACWI Index includes companies representative of a diversity of industries and equity markets, it also includes a diversity of ownership forms, ranging from fully controlled companies to those companies that are so widely held that their largest shareholder owns no more than 2% of shares.

    Do Entrenched Boards Help or Hurt Stock Performance?

    Blog | May 21, 2015 | Ric Marshall

    Do entrenched boards help or hurt stock performance of publicly held companies? We found that the involvement of entrenched boards, particularly at family-dominated firms, was a positive attribute over the five-year period ending March 2015, in both the U.S. and emerging markets.