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Why ESG matters to us
Our mission is to help our clients meet their investment goals. We believe evaluating financially material ESG factors helps us better understand a company or bond issuer's potential risks and opportunities.
We view ESG factors as financially material when they’re likely to affect a company’s fundamentals or an issuer’s ability to fulfill its debt obligations. We refer to this approach as ESG integration.
How we incorporate ESG factors in our investment process
As part of our intensive research process, we evaluate many factors of a company, including financially material ESG factors, to determine if it’s an attractive investment. If we believe an ESG factor could impact our investment thesis, we’ll consider its risks and opportunities.
Financially material ESG factors can differ for each company or bond issuer. We pay particular attention to a company’s governance structure and practices, as well as environmental and social factors, when financially material, as part of our analysis of its business lines, industry, countries of operation, and history.
As value-oriented investors, we invest for the long-term and seek opportunities that have attractive earnings and cash flow prospects not reflected in a security’s current valuation. We may invest in a company with financially material ESG-related risks if we believe the company is making progress on addressing those, or if we conclude that it's still a compelling investment because of other considerations, like an attractive valuation.
We believe our role as an active manager extends beyond selecting securities for our portfolios. Maintaining a dialogue with company management teams and boards helps us build our understanding of their priorities and strategies over time. When we believe a certain issue is significant to our investment thesis, we look for opportunities to engage directly with the issuer. We may also express our views through our proxy votes.
To emphasize our commitment to ESG integration, we became a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 20121 and the UK Stewardship Code in 2022.2
As active managers, we conduct research across factors that could materially impact the long-term value of a company or debt security. We believe identifying and monitoring financially material ESG considerations helps us assess the full picture of risks and opportunities of a particular investment.
More about our time-tested approach
Over our more than 90-year history, we have continuously enhanced our approach as markets globalized and deepened. We devote all our energy to helping our clients achieve their long-term investment goals.
The ESG considerations assessed as part of the research and investment process may vary across investment strategies, eligible investments and issuers, and not every ESG factor may be identified or evaluated for every investment. There is no guarantee that the evaluation of ESG characteristics will be additive to a fund or account’s performance. ESG is not a uniformly defined characteristic and information used to evaluate ESG characteristics may not be readily available, complete, or accurate, and may vary across providers and issuers. Because of the subjective nature of ESG integration, there can be no guarantee that ESG factors considered will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular client.
1 The PRI principles (formerly United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) principles) are related to sustainable and responsible investing, and represent general principles which signatories integrate into their investment processes in different manners.
2 The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) sets the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes and UK standards for accounting and actuarial work; monitors and takes action to promote the quality of corporate reporting; and operates independence enforcement arrangements for accountants and actuaries. The UK Stewardship Code 2020 (the Code) sets high stewardship standards for asset owners and asset managers, and for service providers that support them. The FRC must approve an asset manager's Stewardship Report as being fair and appropriate in demonstrating how it has applied the Code's Principles for asset owners and asset managers in the previous 12 months before an asset manager can be a signatory to the 2020 Code. Signatories will have to annually update and submit their report to remain on the list.