Contributed by: Show Editorial Team
Mark Makepeace, Chief Executive of FTSE Russell interview with David Nelson at Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (NYSE)
- FTSE joined the SSE in 2014
- The FTSE companies report annually, the long-term view
- Smaller companies are quickly embracing sustainability
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Mark Makepeace, Chief Executive of FTSE Russell and David Nelson
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back I’m David Nelson host of the Traders Network Show broadcasting worldwide from the New York Stock Exchange for iHeartRadio and Equities.com. We’re here for an event being hosted by the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative. And my next guest needs no introduction Mark Makepeace is the Group Director of Information Services at the London Stock Exchange, you’re also the Chief Executive of the Footsie Group. Welcome Mark. Thanks for being with us. Mark You wear two hats. All right. How do you manage all that? How do you, where to has filled two roles and do so much with your limited time?
Mark Makepeace – Chief Executive, FTSE Russell: 00:38
That’s because I have a great team that works for me. Okay. But it’s interesting because it allows me to talk to both the investors and the listed companies. So I’m probably one of the few people who works with both sides.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show:00:51
Wow. you know we were talking off camera and you said that the London stock exchange got involved about one year ago with the initiative. What prompted that? What brought you to that decision?
Mark Makepeace – Chief Executive, FTSE Russell: 01:02
Well, it’s because we could see there was, there was a gap in that listed companies needed some help. We needed to encourage them to make more information available, to encourage them to think about, you know, what sustainability means for them and to then be able to communicate that to investors. And we were hearing from the investors side that they wanted more information so that they could make judgements about their investments based on sustainability.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show:01:34
There’s been a lot of target today’s conference about reporting company reporting and here in the United States of course it’s quarterly reporting in this, some criticism of that. Talk about what happens on the London stock exchange?
Mark Makepeace – Chief Executive, FTSE Russell: 01:47
Yeah, well the London stock exchange, usually the report in is annually, but there will be updates on a quarterly basis. So people tend to try and look longer term and more and more investors want to invest for the long term. So they want to find out not just about the financial measures, not just the success in terms of profits, but they want to look at the environmental issues, the governance issues, the sustainability issues. For the future. Sustainability is all about a long term investment rather than a short term focus.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show:02:24
How are the companies on your exchange embracing this as you bring this for them, especially the companies that are being newly listed?
Mark Makepeace – Chief Executive, FTSE Russell: 02:32
Well, many of the newly listed companies, the smaller high growth companies are embracing this. They’re finding that the sustainable themes are what investors want, whether it’s new forms of transport, whether it’s new forms of energy, whether it’s high tech. Many of these companies are seeing these opportunities in the market and they want a badge themselves as sustainable.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show:02:52
Now have first smaller company, you know, for them, sometimes it’s difficult. It’s going to be an increased cost. How are they embracing now?
Mark Makepeace – Chief Executive, FTSE Russell: 03:07
They’ve embraced in most companies today will think, you know, what’s my social purpose? Does that resonate with the consumers who are buying my product? And if I can connect that, then that’s going to help me as a business. And I think that’s at the heart of it. Now what we’re trying to do is encourage companies to think in those ways and to give us the information so that we can see their progress.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show:03:33
I want to bring it back to the event today. How has the stock exchange, excuse me, the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative in the activities that they’re going to put forth over the next couple of years. How would that integrate with the London Stock Exchange and maybe your role and what you’re going to accomplish over the next year or two.
Mark Makepeace – Chief Executive, FTSE Russell: 03:44
But the biggest challenge we have in the short term is making sure that we have more information from companies. So getting companies to think about, you know, what sustainability means for them. What are the KPIs, the measures that investors should be looking at for those particular companies. So helping companies do that, providing that information to investors. Like that’s what we need to do in a short term. After that, it’ll be about trying to make sure we’re connecting investors and listed companies so that they engage, and we have this broader conversation about the future long-term sustainable investment.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 04:30
Any final words? Any parting words for the UN in the SSE or before you leave today?
Mark Makepeace – Chief Executive, FTSE Russell: 04:34
I think sustainable investing is growing. It’s growing in importance, but it’s growing in importance for the biggest, most sophisticated investors, which is a great sign. Over the last 10 years, we really have seen interest in this area grow phenomenally. So we think in the future, you know, there’s enormous potential for this. We think exchange is supporting this initiative is the right thing to do, not just for society, but for business as a whole.
David Nelson – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 04:45
Well said. So thank you for being with us. Thank you. That was Mark. Make peace. Find out. One in stock is changed. By the way, a quick bank. It goes out to one 800 public relations from all the PR and media support. Thanks for joining. I’m David Nelson.