Doing the right thing can drive utility stock performance.
Richard J. Rudden is CEO, co-founder, and partner at Target Rock Advisors in Hauppauge, N.Y. He also founded R.J. Rudden Associates, which became part of Black & Veatch in 2005. Kyle P. Rudden is co-founder and partner at Target Rock Advisors. Previously he was head of J.P. Morgan’s U.S. energy and utilities equity research team.
Not unlike Oscars Wilde’s play, The Importance of Being Earnest, in which British Victorians came to grips with internal conflicts of honesty, morality, and purity of principle, the idea of sustainability and socially responsible investing evokes self-examination and reassessment of strongly held beliefs.
Those Victorians turned to well-intentioned rules to guide them on matters of right and wrong. And during their milieu, Victorians accomplished great things across the globe, though not without a few royal hiccups.
Today, more than a century later, the socially responsible investment (SRI) community is likewise well-intentioned, striving to invest only in companies that do the right thing and are sustainable. And like the Victorians, the SRI community also engages in values-based decision-making on a global scale. However, the values on which those investments are made aren’t necessarily shared among all investors. And, neither are the investments made necessarily more profitable than those made by traditional investors.