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Ric Marshall

Ric Marshall
Executive Director, MSCI ESG Research

About the Contributor

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.

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Contributions by Ric Marshall

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  1. BLOG

    Zombies on Board: Investors Face the Walking Dead 

    Oct 28, 2020 Ric Marshall

    ESG Research

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    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.

  2. BLOG

    SEC’s proxy proposal: Who would benefit? 

    Mar 3, 2020 Ric Marshall

    ESG Research

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    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.

  3. Recent studies by MSCI ESG Research LLC have shown historical positive links between environmental, social and governance considerations and corporate financial performance. Because investors might still question whether ESG historically added value in emerging markets, where companies’ consideration of ESG risks is a more recent phenomenon, we compared the performance of four ESG indexes to their MSCI emerging-market parent. Overall, we found that despite emerging-market companies’ tending to have lower MSCI ESG Ratings than global peers on average, ESG characteristics measured by MSCI ESG Ratings had contributed to performance overall.

  4. BLOG

    2020 ESG trends to watch 

    Jan 13, 2020 Ric Marshall , Meggin Thwing Eastman , Linda-Eling Lee , Meggin Eastman

    ESG Research

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    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.

  5. 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.

  6. BLOG

    CEO Pay: Trick or Treat? 

    Oct 30, 2019 Ric Marshall

    ESG Research

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    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.

  7. Recent studies by MSCI ESG Research have shown an historical link between environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and stronger corporate financial performance. However, investors may question whether the relationship between ESG and stronger financial characteristics also applied to banks. For spread businesses such as banks, profitability, returns and valuation are typically driven by balance-sheet strength, rather than by the transmission channels such as operational efficiency and oversight that apply to other industries. In this analysis, we show how ESG has further differentiated performance for such businesses.

  8. BLOG

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

    Jun 18, 2019 Ric Marshall

    ESG Research

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    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?

  9. PAPER

    Taking Stock: Share Buybacks and Shareholder Value 

    Jul 31, 2018 Ric Marshall , Panos Seretis , Agnes Grunfeld

    Investing (Investment Management) , Responsible Investing

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    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 were buy-and-hold investors; on average, total returns for companies where buy-and-hold investor were the largest shareholders were 18% higher than for index investor companies from 2007 to 2016.

  10. 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 the sector median by as much as 39%. For long-term institutional investors, this potential misalignment of interests between CEOs and shareholders could undermine the adoption of equity-based incentive pay that has dominated executive pay practices in the U.S. for the past three decades.

  11. BLOG

    Are CEOs Paid for Performance? 

    Jul 25, 2016 Ric Marshall

    ESG Research

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    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.

  12. PAPER

    2016 ESG TRENDS TO WATCH 

    Jan 11, 2016 Laura Nishikawa , Ric Marshall , Matt Moscardi

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    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.

  13. PAPER

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

    Dec 7, 2015 Stuart Doole , Kumar Neeraj , Ric Marshall

    Investing (Investment Management) , Portfolio Construction and Optimization , Responsible Investing

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    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 governance standards for portfolio companies by taking quality metrics — an established approach of gaining exposure to companies with enduring business models —  and overlaying them with non-financial corporate governance criteria.  In this Research Spotlight, we provide a concise version of our full-length Research Insight, Raising Minimum Governance Standards - December 2015.

  14. PAPER

    Research Insight - Raising Minimum Governance Standards - December 2015 

    Dec 7, 2015 Ric Marshall , Stuart Doole , Kumar Neeraj

    Investing (Investment Management) , Portfolio Construction and Optimization , Responsible Investing

    Download Document

    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 governance standards for portfolio companies by taking quality metrics — an established approach of gaining exposure to companies with enduring business models —  and overlaying them with non-financial corporate governance criteria.

  15. PAPER

    Research Insight - Women on Boards: Global Trends in Gender Diversity 

    Nov 30, 2015 Ric Marshall , Matt Moscardi , Damion Rallis

    Investing (Investment Management) , Responsible Investing

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    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 female director goal; we estimate that this goal is unlikely to be attained until 2027. We explored two ways to reach the 30% goal as early as 2020.

  16. BLOG

    OWNERSHIP FORMS AND GOVERNANCE CONTROL 

    Aug 4, 2015 Ric Marshall

    ESG Research

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    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.

  17. BLOG

    DO ENTRENCHED BOARDS HELP OR HURT STOCK PERFORMANCE? 

    May 21, 2015 Ric Marshall

    ESG Research

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    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.

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