Demystifying the Link between Values Based Investing and Financial Performance

History shows Values-Based Investing in ESG does NOT sacrifice profit

One question we are often asked at Portola Creek is:

“Is it possible to invest with my conscience AND still generate competitive returns in my investment portfolio?”

We have learned that most investors fear they are sacrificing financial returns when it comes to Values-Based Investing (VBI). This cannot be farther from the truth.

Really? Yes…Research undertaken by the University of Hamburg and Deutsche Asset Management concluded that there is a positive correlation between Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG) issues and corporate financial performance.

In fact, 62.6% of the studies examined in this research report show a link between ESG factors and financial performance. By examining ESG factors, we begin to understand a company’s non-financial risk. Although traditional investment analysis does not take into account non-financial risk, we believe doing so can provide insight to a company’s financial performance. By incorporating a company’s ESG factors into investment analysis, we begin to develop a more thorough understanding of a company’s financial and risk profile. Case in point: we’ve already seen what regulatory risk (Wells Fargo) and environmental risk (BP) can do to a company’s stock performance.

The figure below illustrates the influence each of the ESG pillars has on a company’s financial performance. Interestingly, the G in Governance shows the highest correlation with financial performance. This should be no surprise since effective corporate governance is vital to a company’s performance when viewed from from a long-term perspective.

Environmental, Social & Governance categories and their relationships to CFP. Source: Friede, Busch, Bassen (December 2015). See the live visualization of this chart at Portola Creek.

As the demand for VBI increases around the world, Portola Creek is uniquely positioned to help investors align their portfolio with their individual values AND generate returns in their portfolio.

“Do good, do well — do both.”

Media and press inquiries should be directed to: Melanie Graham, Director of Marketing @ Portola Creek:

Portola Creek Capital, LLC

44 Tehama Street, San Francisco, CA 94105


Additional information about Portola Creek Capital is also available on the SEC’s website at The searchable IARD/CRD number for Portola Creek Capital is 288119.