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In times like these, we must focus on what we do know. With a new president in the US, we can be sure that the Covid-19 and climate crises will climb the list of policy priorities. As regards tackling climate change, the wheels of regulation may turn slowly, but we expect companies to alter their behaviour in anticipation of a new approach.

Those that move early are likely to be rewarded in the capital markets. In 2020, we saw how companies that took environmental, social and governance issues seriously going into the crisis, outperformed those that didn’t, both during periods of market volatility and relative calm. And those with the most comprehensive plans for dealing with disruption will be best placed to act creatively to take advantage of opportunities as they emerge.

These companies typically have three qualities. First, they acknowledge that their survival is not a given and are able to find a good balance between diversification and simplicity in their business. Second, they are focused on sustainability and work to maintain the basic environmental and social foundations that allow the business to perform year after year. And third, they show resilience, keeping a plan B ready to protect their long-term agenda when a crisis inevitably hits.

We witnessed a huge amount of change in a short space of time in 2020. These are just some of the trends that we believe will come to define not just the next 12 months, but the coming decade.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021.

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Anne Richards

Anne Richards

Chief Executive Officer