Environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk analysis is explicitly integrated into our bottom up process across all our Fixed Income and Equity strategies. Our process is fundamental driven and our issuer analysis encompasses a multitude of factors, including ESG.
Our assessment of an issuer’s ability to manage ESG successfully is integral to our determination of fair value (equity) and fair spread (credit). Both governments and corporate management teams that can demonstrate strong ESG credentials are more likely to boost economic development and financial performance over time; for example by growing faster, reducing the cost of capital and generally managing risks better compared to their peers. Consequently, ESG factor analysis is integrated into our investment process in the same way as we assess macroeconomic risk, financial performance and credit metrics. It acts as both a form of risk management and a source of alpha generation. We also consider it part of our fiduciary duty as stewards of our clients’ capital.
Portfolio managers / analysts score all issuers using a consistent series of questions and data points to inform their view of an issuer’s current ESG performance alongside their forward-looking prospects. The portfolio manager / analyst explicitly records their view in a dedicated ESG scorecard. Scores are reviewed at a minimum every 12 months.
In keeping with our process, the investment thesis report, including the ESG score, for an issuer is reviewed, challenged and agreed at the relevant theme sub-Investment Committee. The ESG risk / opportunity is incorporated through financial estimates and/or the valuation assessment. Taken in combination with other macro and micro economic risk drivers, investment time horizon, liquidity considerations and the investable universe, ESG risk assessment therefore has a direct impact on our investment decisions and portfolio construction.