As a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (“PRI”), the Investor Stewardship Group (“ISG”), and an Alliance member of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Sustainability Alliance, we believe integration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risk factors aligns with the pursuit of superior risk-adjusted returns for our clients and their beneficiaries. Consideration of ESG risks and other risk factors has long been part of our valuation analysis and investment selection process. The Firm integrates ESG factors in its research and valuation analysis, internally communicates key ESG issues, and monitors third-party ESG ratings for active management and shareholder engagement through dialogue and proxy voting with a company’s board and management.
We have a 35-year track record of managing socially responsible portfolios and assessing ESG factors as part of our investment selection process and currently manage over $4.6 billion (as of June 3o, 2023) in SRI-related assets across our investment strategies. In addition, our ESG strategies include Concentrated Emerging Markets ESG, Global Value ESG, and Diversified Large Cap Value ESG with about $717 million (as of June 30, 2023) in assets under management.
We take seriously our fiduciary duty to our clients and responsibilities as a shareholder by working to hold the management teams of investee companies accountable for the companies’ performance, implementing a Proxy Voting Policy and Guidelines, and engaging with management teams to influence change to enhance long-term shareholder value.
Fixed Income Strategies
Integrating ESG Factors Into Our Research Process
Our holdings may include both an issuer’s equity and debt and our research process often focuses on both sides of a company’s balance sheet. Our equity and fixed income investment professionals collaborate on internal research and utilize third-party research and ESG rankings, which we believe further enhances our analysis to reach reasoned, independent conclusions for investment selection. We believe effective ESG investing is based on a patient, long-term time horizon and low portfolio turnover, and the long-term focus of our Value investment style and process is well suited for SRI portfolios.
Responsible Investing Committee