Ted Franks

Why we do need experts


These are tough times for global policy making around sustainability. The rise of nationalism is challenging cooperation. Social media is changing how politics works. Inequality and poverty are causing real anger and soaking up political capital.

Even five years ago it was considered sensible to base policy on evidence. Now we’re told, “we don’t need experts”.

Read more …

Seb Beloe

Prosperity with Purpose: positioning portfolios in a carbon-challenged world


In January, a relatively unknown Swedish 16-year-old school girl, known for striking on Friday in the name of climate change, addressed economic leaders in Davos with what has become known as the “our house is on fire” speech. A few days earlier, Jeremy Grantham pledged $1 billion towards fighting climate change.

As the year unfolded, the world saw an estimated 1.4 million children striking globally in March, and in April Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, wrote an open letter on climate related-financial risks. Most recently, The Guardian has replaced ‘climate change’ with ‘climate emergency, crisis or breakdown’ and ‘global heating’ in place of ‘global warming’.

The world is listening, but on an individual level understanding what one can do is often overwhelming, particularly in the sphere of investing. Money can be invested so that it makes a difference, but navigating the jargon is confusing. Read more …

Ty Lee

Why we invest in – Varian; using innovation to fight cancer


  • Varian is a global leader in the field of radiation therapy with around 50% market share.
  • The radiation therapy market is a growing market, driven by an increasing cancer rate globally and increasing adoption of radiation therapy in emerging markets.
  • Varian is a very innovative company, driving business growth through successful product launches and gaining market share.
  • It is well positioned to expand into adjacent fast-growing markets to sustain its future growth through its R&D effort and acquisitions.

1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and nearly half of cancer patients have radiation therapy at some point during their cancer treatment. Read more …

Ted Franks

Fire and protest


In the UK, April is a month usually associated with rain showers. This April, not-so-much. Rainfall was 71% of the 1981-2010 long term average[1]. The monthly average temperature was 1.0° Celsius above the long term mean of 8.4°. These deviations are not particularly startling by the standards we are becoming used to in the era of climate change. But they were enough to produce some more reminders of the future we face.

Read more …

Ted Franks

Defending ESG: Hotdogs vs Ice Cream


ESG is a widely used term. But what does it mean in practice and how does it relate to impact investing? Fund Manager Ted Franks observes Kraft Heinz’s attempted takeover of Unilever and compares their ESG performance.

Read more …

Ted Franks

A Fair Price for Drugs


In January we published quarterly and monthly reports. Both of them included thoughts on the changing healthcare market. We return to the topic again only three months later. But this is no surprise. It’s a colossal industry which is grappling with major demographic shifts. And it has profound implications for our health and happiness. Read more …

Ted Franks

Buying the best of General Electric


We are often asked about our approach to conglomerate companies. What do we do if an interesting sustainability business is trapped inside a larger group? Our rule of thumb is simple. We want to invest where the sustainability story is the equity story. Which is to say, what moves the stock is news about the company’s sustainability products. Read more …

Ted Franks

Another nail in the coffin for UK nuclear energy


January brought some important news in the transition to low carbon energy.  Japanese industrial conglomerate Hitachi is to stop developing a nuclear reactor at Wylfa in Wales.

This didn’t make many headlines.  It had been expected for a while, and it happened in the UK where Brexit is a national pre-occupation.   But it is worth reflecting on.  It has broad international ramifications.

Read more …

Seb Beloe

Why we invest in – CVS Health; a closer look at cutting costs in healthcare


CVS Health (NYSE: CVS)

  • CVS Health is an American retail pharmacy, healthcare company and insurer.
  • They are able to leverage their size to negotiate discounts on drug prices, which benefits their customers.
  • Their business directly benefits from reducing US healthcare costs whilst delivering better outcomes.
  • They currently have an historically cheap valuation of 9x PE and 8x EV/Ebitda compared with their five year average of 15x and 9x.
  • They have an experienced management team that understands the strategic change in the industry.

The American healthcare system is one of the world’s largest markets, Read more …

Ted Franks

Cutting costs in healthcare


In the developed world, the critical issue is keeping old bodies healthy cheaply.  Life expectancy is already long.  Instead, as those bodies age, they pick up chronic ailments that make lives a misery but aren’t fatal.  Read more …

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