New York, NY, January 16, 2018 - For the last three years, this has been the statement of purpose for all of us here at Medora Ventures:
"We believe the most valuable investments produce a return not only for shareholders but also for the local community, for society overall, and ultimately for generations to come."
In our work each and every day with clients, we see how this long-term perspective helps them to achieve their goals. We helped a publicly traded company build cross-sector partnerships with the White House and with the United Nations to spread the word about its commitment to sustainability. We brought business skills to one of the world's most respected international non-profits by leading trainings for their business accelerator and helping them with their strategy to create a for-profit fund. We developed impact metrics for startups, while working alongside the founders of the largest all-electric on-demand ridesharing service in the country as they have expanded to new markets. Through it all, we have become even more committed to our belief that business must serve a social purpose.
Today, Laurence D. Fink, founder and chief executive of the investment firm BlackRock, wrote a letter to the CEOs of companies that it supports calling for "a new model for corporate governance." In it, he stated:
"Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.
Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders. It will succumb to short-term pressures to distribute earnings, and, in the process, sacrifice investments in employee development, innovation, and capital expenditures that are necessary for long-term growth. It will remain exposed to activist campaigns that articulate a clearer goal, even if that goal serves only the shortest and narrowest of objectives. And ultimately, that company will provide subpar returns to the investors who depend on it to finance their retirement, home purchases, or higher education."
BlackRock manages more than $6 trillion in investments through 401(k) plans, exchange-traded funds and mutual funds, making it the largest investor in the world.
We believe that Mr. Fink's decision to send this letter has the potential to be history-making; our hope is that we will one day look back on this as an important step to address short-termism. We commend BlackRock for their leadership and look forward to working with the companies they support to address Environmental, Social, and Governance risks, play a meaningful role in communities where they operate, and achieve sustainable, long-term growth.
Mike Culver and Rob Lalka
Co-Founders, Medora Ventures
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