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Will the ‘Trump rally’ turn the passive investing tide?

Will 2017 be the year “the empire strikes back” in the war between active management and passive investing? 

Passive funds won the asset share battle again in 2016, as investors pulled a net $358.8 billion out of U.S.-based actively managed mutual funds in the 12 months to the end of November 2016, while pouring $479.8 billion into passive funds, according to Morningstar. Over the last three years, investors have moved more than $1 trillion into index funds.

The money has followed index funds’ razor-thin fees and years of outperformance. But that advantage is not a given. “Both investment philosophies have enjoyed multiple and sustained periods of outperformance over the past 30 years,” notes Daniel Farren, a Boston Partners senior portfolio analyst, among others,…

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Safety at the airport: It’s not just after you get through security anymore

Last week, as I was putting the finishing touches on a presentation I am doing on handling communications around an active shooter situation for the Airports Council International (ACI) trade association’s annual gathering of risk managers, I suddenly had a bunch of new material to discuss after Friday’s tragic events in Fort Lauderdale.

Unfortunately, airports are becoming increasingly common targets for violence, and their exposure points are being uncovered by those who seek to do harm to innocent people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. From Brussels to Los Angeles and Oklahoma City to Fort Lauderdale, travelers are finding themselves in harm’s way outside of established secure zones.

While TSA officials, airports and airlines have done a…

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Will the non-GAAP crackdown continue? Here are 4 clues

With hundreds of investor relations teams having dutifully revised their earnings presentations and other materials to comply with the new Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines on the use of non-GAAP financial measures, it may seem like the commotion is over, but that would be wrong.

That was the message from SEC officials speaking at an American Institute of CPAs conference December 5-7, 2016, in Washington, D.C., according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.

“Things had gotten pretty bad,” Mark Kronforst, the chief accountant in the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance, told reporters at the conference, as quoted in MarketWatch.com. “We’re still cleaning up but there are a lot more comment letters to come.”

Speaking at the same…

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5 things to know about CSR/Sustainability under President Trump

As we tackle the many ways a Trump presidency may impact investor relations and public companies, it’s also worth examining how the landscape of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability may be affected. As with many issues, we do not yet know the reality of Trump’s plans or his ability to implement his agenda, but here are five things we do know about CSR/sustainability in a world with President Trump:

  1. We are likely to see some changes and rollbacks on the regulatory side of things. It seems clear that EPA is in for a shake-up, given Trump’s appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, an outspoken climate change skeptic, to lead the agency. Exactly how much change is still unknown, but there’s a good chance, for example, that carbon…
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Will Trump Administration ‘dismantle’ Dodd-Frank?

On consecutive days just after the presidential election, The Wall Street Journal ran articles with the following headlines, “Donald Trump’s Transition Team: We Will ‘Dismantle’ Dodd-Frank” and “Full Repeal of Dodd-Frank Isn’t Main Focus of Trump Transition.”

And so it goes at the tail end of one of the most politically turbulent years in decades. As the focus is now shifting from politics to policy, pundits everywhere are taking their shots at reading the tea leaves and reading between the lines. In addition, it’s all happening in a real-time, social media-frenzied environment.

Enter this Dix & Eaton blog series, in which we hope to provide some context around how the key political and policy issues of the day could impact investor relations, public companies,…

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