Following Kenya’s contested presidential election in August, when Raila Odinga announced that he would be challenging William Ruto’s victory, foreign investors recoiled. Veracity CEO Jay Truesdale noted in an interview with Quartz that investors would be closely monitoring the country’s security situation and seeking to understand the potential impact of a "bottom-up" economic model.
In this piece we offer four steps for navigating business and investments during times of geopolitical uncertainty. China's military exercises in the airspace and waters surrounding Taiwan represent the most current and high-profile instance of such uncertainty, but the steps we lay out here are universally applicable and increasingly essential to doing safe, ethical, and profitable business in global markets.
During a roundtable at the 2022 Concordia Americas Summit in Miami, Veracity Worldwide CEO Jay Truesdale led a discussion on Latin America’s leaders increasingly navigating geopolitical considerations in their decision making, with implications for businesses operating in the region.
In an adaptation of a discussion at the Concordia Americas 2022 Summit in Miami, CEO Jay Truesdale and Managing Director Benjamin Weiss answer critical questions - "What is ESG? Why does it matter for companies and citizens? And how can the private sector better address its imperatives?"
In an interview with PoliticoPro about policies in the energy sector enacted by Mexico, Veracity Worldwide CEO Jay Truesdale highlighted that North American and Asian investors were negatively impacted, noting that the legislation favors Mexico’s "state-owned power generation plants over private sector renewable energy investments, including many that are foreign owned."
The Russia-Ukraine war - the first real war of the ESG era - reveals new challenges for doing business in Africa. In Veracity's latest op-ed, Executive Chairman Steven Fox, CEO Jay Truesdale, as well as David Stevens and Mitch Hayes, explore the lessons the war has to teach about charting ethical and profitable paths forward in the region amid unprecedented scrutiny and heightened competition.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Benjamin Weiss, Veracity Worldwide’s ESG practice lead, questioned using available indexes to assess a company’s wider environmental and social impact. Inconsistent metrics and measurements between different indexes lead to dubious conclusions, Weiss said, and noted that top investors want "thoroughly researched, industry-tailored, jurisdiction-specific-insights" to inform strategic investments in developing nations "with their eyes wide open."
In a mainstage speech at Mining Indaba 2022, Executive Chairman Steven Fox emphasized that the conflict in Ukraine highlights the need for business leaders to understand geopolitical dynamics as an essential commercial consideration. "The Russia-Ukraine war has already had tremendous consequences for countries far beyond the battlefield," Fox said. "This is also the first war of the ESG era, and for companies and investors, we are only beginning to grasp its implications."
Former Shell and Tullow Oil executive Jimmy D. Mugerwa has joined Veracity Worldwide’s advisory board. In Uganda, Mugerwa was previously the managing director for Tullow Oil and helped in the exploration and development of the Lake Albert basin oil fields, along with the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). Mugerwa will further establish Veracity Worldwide as a trusted advisor in the East African region, and the oil and gas sector as a whole.
The energy transition has led to a renewed interest in mining in sub-Saharan Africa. In an interview with Reuters, Veracity Worldwide's Executive Chairman Steven Fox highlighted that resources, such as cobalt, lithium and nickel, are "typically located in difficult places". However, despite the political and social challenges of operating in these markets, Fox argues that "those those challenges are no more difficult than the corresponding set of challenges in Canada. It may be easier to actually bring a project to fruition in Africa, than in a place like Canada or the US"
Veracity Worldwide has appointed Jay Truesdale as chief executive officer. Truesdale joins Veracity from McKinsey & Company, where he led risk management and strategy. He previously served as chief of staff at the US Embassy in Pakistan and as special assistant to then-Deputy Secretaries of State Antony Blinken and William Burns, and has held diplomatic postings in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, and at the US Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is also a US Navy veteran with service in Europe and Africa.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Executive Chairman Steven Fox warned that companies laying off local employees and closing operations in Russia may face criticism that they are failing their Russian employees and unfairly penalizing Russian citizens. Nevertheless, Fox said, "the public understands that there are consequences and the higher calling was to exit."
In an interview with the Financial Times, Veracity Worldwide Executive Chairman Steven Fox commented on the difficulties of nuance in responsible investing. While some investors have faced criticism for not checking their exposure to Russia following Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine, Steven noted that companies that acted quickly provided a "wake-up call for ESG portfolio managers."
In an interview with The Hill, Veracity Executive Chairman Steven Fox commented on the impacts of Russia's economic reforms on its ties to the global economy, describing recent moves such as strict banking limits and export controls as a "nail in the coffin" for foreign investor appetite in the country.
Veracity Executive Chairman Steven Fox spoke with CBS MoneyWatch about Uniqlo's decision to step away from Russia after operational difficulties and public pressure, anticipating that the company would eventually pull out and noting that "it would not be right to stick to business as usual."