ANNOUNCEMENT: Expert Investor is now PA Europe. Read more.


Ukraine is looking to challenge pre-conceived notions, while England will want to keep its scoreboard clean


Kirsten Hastings




Score prediction: UKRAINE 3 – ENGLAND 1


Let us focus on one of the buzzwords of our time – ESG. Everyone is talking about it, and the cynical amongst you may be surprised to know that it has positively effected business in Ukraine.

The company with the best ESG score in Ukraine, currently, is Energoatom. This is the state backed nuclear power utility. The company scores HIGHER in ESG ratings than the biggest banks in Ukraine, higher than such, perceived, good global corporate citizens as Coca Cola Ukraine, Japan Tobacco, Carlsberg and local unit of German retail giant METRO.

Of course, to those in the West, there is really only one word that one would associate Ukraine and nuclear power with, and it certainly would not lead to a good ESG score. However this was 35 years ago and those were different times.

Today’s ESG score is garnered through a number of positive results. They scored very highly in categories such as fighting corruption, cooperation with stakeholders, energy efficiency and use of natural resources, pollution and waste disposal.

As I mentioned, these results may surprise some people, but I hope this gives a valuable insight into what is happening in Ukraine.

Tonight may yield another surprise.




Score prediction: UKRAINE 1 – ENGLAND 3


Regular readers will know I’m of the view that there are many similarities between sport and fund management. The various responsibilities of a successful football manager also relate to our field: from relationships with executives, analysing and picking the players/funds, to keeping fans/investors happy.

The best teams are balanced, flexible and patient – and made up of the right combination of players in the right positions rather than a wishlist of stars.

All of these are key attributes of our ‘winning by not losing’ approach to investing: building long-term portfolios based on clients’ attitudes to risk and staying patient, avoiding the clear own goals of buying or selling at the wrong time and overreacting to market noise.

Since the Euros began in 1960, there have been 10 different winners across 15 tournaments. Germany and Spain have each won the tournament thrice, (in 1972, 1980, and 1996 for Germany, and in 1964, 2008, and 2012 for Spain), France took the title in 1984 and 2000, while other winners have just one trophy to their name.  Following England’s win on Tuesday night, Germany join world champions France and Euro 2016 winners Portugal in exiting the tournament.

This shows us how winners tend to rotate, and constant success is impossible. In the investment world, the same applies. The same asset classes, indeed, the same fund managers, rarely top the performance charts year after year.

England have won three of their four games so far, drew with Scotland, and have yet to concede a goal in the tournament. It is the first time a team has made it through the first four games of the Euros without letting their opponents score.

Might I be so bold as to suggest this could be England’s year to outperform.