Proposed Amendments to Regulate Shareholder Engagement Weakens Corporate Accountability

Corporate accountability is under threat as the Securities and Exchange Comission's recent proposal to amend Rule 14a-8 will weaken a critical tool shareholders have to hold corporations accountable. Shareholder proposals are vital as they help draw attention to strategic risks and opportunities that corporations may not otherwise adequately address. What is at stake for shareholders?


In Search of Quality-Compounder Companies in the Asian Equity Markets

US equity multiples are at historically elevated levels. With the S&P 500's impressive 30% return in 2019, a majority of that return derived from multiple expansion. As global investors, the Athena Research team wondered whether there might be a market where the potential for shareholder value creation is comparable to that of the US, but with more favorable valuations?


Part I: Record Economic Expansion and Reduced Recession Indicators Drive Consensus Views for 2020

Doug Cohen, managing director, portfolio management introduces us to consensus views for 2020 that prolong the longest US economic expansion on record extending into its 12th year. New year consensuses favor dwindling recession indicators and stabilized credit conditions. In Part I of his observations, Doug also shares his take on the Fed, election odds, and investor sentiments around the bull market.



Choosing the Right Asset Mix: Guidance for Individuals with New Wealth Who Have Access to Private Illiquid Investments

Using an Athena-constructed Monte Carlo simulation model, the paper reviews financial outcomes for different asset mixes over a 40-year investment period. While a strategy with some allocation to private investments can produce more favorable results, the allocation should be balanced with a complementary portfolio of liquid investments, as well as life insurance, in order to ensure sufficient liquidity both during lifetime and at death.


Investing in Gender Equality

A practitioner’s perspective on gender lens investing and the construction of gender inclusive investment portfolios

JUNE 2017

Alice's Adventures in Volatility-land

Managing portfolios according to Modern Portfolio Theory directs us to find investment portfolios with the highest level of return for a given level of risk. In this paper we examine the nuances of volatility and risk measurement to better inform decision-making in investment portfolios.



Market Update - 4Q19

This quarter evaluated 2019 as a tremendous year for investors. This creates a tepid outlook for 2020. With elevated valuations, our approach is to stay the course and allow diversification to work while picking our spots on how we express exposures. We also anticipate, given heightened political uncertainty, that there will be dislocations throughout 2020 for us to selectively take advantage of.


Interim Market Update - 4Q19

This quarter's Interim Market Update reflects a more positive sentiment. Domestic equities have reached new all-time highs as headlines indicate a more upbeat tone in US-China trade rhetoric. The past few weeks also marked a "better than expected" earnings season, and the continuation of low interest rates across the globe.


Market Update - 3Q19

In this quarter's Market Outlook, the proverbial "wall of worry" grew taller. Sentiment can be attributed to the decline of global manufacturing, negative yielding debt, an inverted US yield curve, and geopolitical risks. However, 3Q earnings in the US have exhibited a better-than-expected start, and US/China trade may have taken a small step toward a partial resolution.



Diversity and Inclusion Framework

Over the past several years, Athena Capital has dug deep into the research focused on gender lens investing. As a woman-led firm inspired by our clients’ integration of social values into their investment portfolios, our firm has developed policy statements, model portfolios, and published thought pieces dedicated to this topic. As our research unfolds, it has led us to focus on the broader subject and intersectionality of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In this report, we explore correlations between diverse workforces and financial performance, and also share best practices and applications within our own firm.


Investing in Climate Change Mitigation

This landscape review by Athena’s impact investing team presents the opportunity to examine the effects of climate change and considers options for investing in ways that may effect positive change. It focuses on opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sources in the United States, one of the leading contributors to rising concentrations of such gases in the atmosphere. It is also largely about carbon dioxide since that gas accounts for the greatest share of the country’s total emissions.

JULY 2019

Securitization Revisited

In recent months, global central banks have raised concerns regarding the rise in issuance and risk characteristics of the bank loan and collateralized loan obligation (CLO) markets. Regulators have questioned whether there are meaningful parallels between CLOs and mortgage-backed collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that were at the root of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. The Research team at Athena Capital analyzed this correlation in our latest landscape review, Securitization Revisited.