6 Jun 2018
A groundbreaking historical study on social and economic trends will help inform where fund managers invest next
The Social Progress Imperative, with seed funding from Richmond Global Compass, is launching a new research initiative to determine just how much influence social and environmental factors have on economic prosperity. Understanding the historical relationship between quality of life and economic growth will provide insight into future trends, and help policymakers anticipate where they need to focus and forecast for investors which countries will offer the best returns.
“In the last five years, most countries have progressed in meeting their citizens’ basic needs, providing an educational and environmental foundation for long-term sustainability, and creating opportunities for all to thrive,” said Michael Green, CEO of the Social Progress Imperative. “We now want to know whether this will continue into the future and at what pace, and what impact that will have on global markets and national economies. To do so, we will look backward in history and develop a model that will help anticipate how changes in society will affect financial outcomes and vice versa.”
Besides jobs, spending, trade and other market influences, are there elements of daily life, like people’s health and wellness, that do more to drive and slow economic growth?
Has a history of weak public safety, education and inclusion limited countries’ financial strength?
Could investments in improving citizens’ living conditions, such as supplying low-cost housing and expanding liberties, strengthen the economy going forward?
What countries will have the most stable, sustainable and socially progressive future?
These are some of the questions we, a US-based nonprofit, along with our partner, Richmond Global Compass, seek to answer in the two-year study. Using the Social Progress Index framework, we will analyze social, environmental and economic data from at least the past 20 years to draw conclusions about the relationship between social and economic progress around the world. The data can give policymakers advance warning of potential future challenges and help them stem emerging societal issues. It can also help financial analysts and fund managers see new patterns, predict future impacts, and facilitate scenario modeling to more accurately evaluate investment opportunities and assess risks in a specific country.
“Social Progress Imperative helps Richmond Global Compass investigate the true measures of the sustainability and health of nations, countries and cities across the world,” said Peter B. Kellner, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Richmond Global Compass Capital, LP. “Applying their indexes to our machine learning platform greatly enhances our pursuit of alpha though sustainable investing across both corporate and sovereign asset classes.”
The data and insights from this study will be made publically available upon completion next year.
About the Richmond Global Compass Fund
The Compass Fund is a discretionary values-driven global macro fund that integrates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics into fundamental research. Compass focuses on identifying investment themes based on a top down assessment of macroeconomic events via fundamental, quantitative, industry, economic, community, asset class and securities analysis. We leverage proprietary technology with an emphasis on data science and artificial intelligence to support quantitative processes. That analysis then feeds into a bottom-up assessment of intrinsic risks of companies and/or countries.
About the Social Progress Imperative
The Social Progress Index is an initiative of the Social Progress Imperative, a Washington DC-based 501(c)(3) organization exclusively focused on redefining how the world measures success. Established in 2012 with support through initial investments by the Skoll Foundation, Avina Foundation, Deloitte and others, the Social Progress Imperative strives to improve the lives of people around the world by fostering research and knowledge sharing on social progress and using data to catalyze action.