Real professionals

First Douglass Lyon of Lyon Capital Management, then Edward Guay of Winterbury Risk Management. Both have recently had letters published in the Financial Times critical of the promotion of awareness and action on climate change. Jolly good that this movement is jolted with criticism from time to time, otherwise it would become flabby, introspective, and ineffective.

But is it just a coincidence or an aberration that both writers are Americans, expert in the management of assets and risks?

I guess it must be. After all, experts in the management of risks are experts in timely observation and identification of events or trends which might affect our well-being and that of the market or the economy. So the last thing they would do would be to criticise or muffle those voices which bring to their attention such observations. In fact, one would expect risk management experts to be the most open-minded of professionals, since risks take many and unpredictable guises.

Experts in the management of assets also have open and enquiring minds, welcoming debate on topics such as climate change. After all, if a hurricane blows away their house in Florida, then there’s one less asset to manage. Or when rising sea levels flood the Seychelles hideaway, then the real estate portfolio gets a nasty dent.

If two swallows don’t make a … well, I guess we won’t have seasons much longer. But, if it is not a coincidence, I sniff opportunity. Perhaps the gargantuan America risk and asset management industry is actually unable to recognise a risk when it comes walking down Bloomfield high street whistling Yankee Doodle. Its eyes are so tightly closed, its head so deeply and humbly bowed down at the gilded altar of GDP and quarter-on-quarter growth at all costs, concentrating intently on a heavenly vision of an SUV with a trunk stuffed full of stock options … that when something tiptoes up to it and whispers politely that God is actually not in that direction, they don’t notice and don’t want to notice.

For competitors in the asset and risk game, act now while the big boy isn’t looking.

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