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Fisch Asset Management AG

PRI reporting framework 2020

You are in Direct - Fixed Income » ESG incorporation in actively managed fixed income

ESG incorporation in actively managed fixed income

Implementation processes

FI 01. Incorporation strategies applied

Indicate (1) Which ESG incorporation strategy and/or combination of strategies you apply to your actively managed fixed income investments; and (2) The proportion (+/- 5%) of your total actively managed fixed income investments each strategy applies to.
SSA
0 Screening alone
0 Thematic alone
0 Integration alone
100 Screening + integration strategies
0 Thematic + integration strategies
0 Screening + thematic strategies
0 All three strategies combined
0 No incorporation strategies applied
100%
Corporate (financial)
0 Screening alone
0 Thematic alone
0 Integration alone
100 Screening + integration strategies
0 Thematic + integration strategies
0 Screening + thematic strategies
0 All three strategies combined
0 No incorporation strategies applied
100%
Corporate (non-financial)
0 Screening alone
0 Thematic alone
0 Integration alone
100 Screening + integration strategies
0 Thematic + integration strategies
0 Screening + thematic strategies
0 All three strategies combined
0 No incorporation strategies applied
100%

01.2. Describe your reasons for choosing a particular ESG incorporation strategy and how combinations of strategies are used.

Fisch Asset Management implemented sustainable investments as early as 2009, when we launched one of the first sustainable convertible bond fund together with cooperation partner Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG, which provides the underlying sustainability research.
The particular ESG incorporation strategy is a result of this partnership and can be described as a mix of exclusion criteria and a best-in-class/best-of-class approach (screening).

For all other Fixed Income strategies we apply a mix of exclusion criteria and ESG integration.

01.3. Additional information [Optional].


FI 02. ESG issues and issuer research (Private)


FI 03. Processes to ensure analysis is robust

03.1. Indicate how you ensure that your ESG research process is robust:

03.2. Describe how your ESG information or analysis is shared among your investment team.

03.3. Additional information. [Optional]


(A) Implementation: Screening

FI 04. Types of screening applied

04.1. Indicate the type of screening you conduct.

Select all that apply
SSA
Corporate (financial)
Corporate (non-financial)
Negative/exclusionary screening
Positive/best-in-class screening
Norms-based screening

04.2. Describe your approach to screening for internally managed active fixed income

Sustainable global convertible bond fund:

The sustainable investment research of Bank J. Safra Sarasin is based on exclusion criteria including norms as well as a combination of best-of-class (industry rating) and best-in-class (company rating) approaches. The sustainability filter should minimise portfolio risks by leading to investment in convertible bonds of companies with less exposure to environmental, social and governance risks than that of other companies.

All fixed income products:

We screen all our own strategies on issuers involved in controversial weapons (negative list).

04.3. Additional information. [Optional]


FI 05. Examples of ESG factors in screening process (Private)


FI 06. Screening - ensuring criteria are met

06.1. Indicate which systems your organisation has to ensure that fund screening criteria are not breached in fixed income investments.

Type of screening
Checks
Negative/exclusionary screening
Positive/best-in-class screening
Norms-based screening

06.2. Additional information. [Optional]

Norms-based screening ist performed for our global sustainable convertible bond strategy together with our research partner Bank J. Safra Sarasin.


(C) Implementation: Integration

FI 10. Integration overview

10.1. Describe your approach to integrating ESG into traditional financial analysis.

ESG integration in credit research

  • Integrating ESG factors into the research process due to risk-return considerations;
  • Engaging actively with company management when it makes sense to better understand risks and to push for ESG progresses;
  • Monitoring companies with potentially high ESG risk;
  • Excluding highly controversial companies;

Process:

1. ESG Awareness

Companies are researched discretionary on the basis of publicly available information, company disclosures and third-party research (e.g., MSCI ESG or JSS).

2. ESG Integration

The analyst assesses the impact of ESG issues (sector-dependent key issues, such as CO2 emissions, biodiversity & land use, product safety & quality, health & safety, labour management, corporate governance and corruption & instability), on the company’s business risk, regulatory risk, cashflow stability and valuation (i.e., whether it is trading at a premium or discount to its peers).

3. ESG Assessment

The analyst assigns an absolute rating to the issuer with regards to ESG risks. He classifies the company as “low risk”, “medium risk” or “high risk”. This classification is part of the relative value assessment.

4. ESG Engagement

In the event of heightened ESG risks that are of material importance for our investment decision, the analyst seeks out a dialogue with the company. We do this with the intention of improving the company’s ESG guidelines, in order to reduce risk. The analyst monitors and documents whether the company has undertaken the necessary steps to address the issues that have been raised.

5. Exclusion

When the analyst is of the view that management is not prepared to address and mitigate the key ESG risks that have been identified, that it is still difficult to evaluate risk, and/or that governance remains systematically weak or is worsening, he may request the ESG committee to exclude the company from our investment universe, which is also subject to Executive Committee approval.

Investment universe for our sustainable global convertible bond fund:

The portfolio is constructed primarily out of convertible bonds with a high security score and a positive sustainability rating of the Bank J. Safra Sarasin. A maximum of 10% of the portfolio assets may be invested in securities that have not been rated (yet) by Bank J. Safra Sarasin. Also a maximum of 10% of the assets may be invested in non-sustainably rated convertible bonds. The former restriction gives the portfolio manager a temporary leeway to invest in not yet rated newly issued convertibles, which are considered as attractive. The second restriction allows the portfolio manager to optimally sell the security with a minimum market impact in the case of a sustainability rating downgrade to negative.

10.2. Describe how your ESG integration approach is adapted to each of the different types of fixed income you invest in.

SSA

ESG integration in credit research

Integrating ESG factors into the research process due to risk-return considerations;
Engaging actively with company management when it makes sense to better understand risks and to push for ESG progresses;
Monitoring companies with potentially high ESG risk;
Excluding highly controversial companies;

Process:

1. ESG Awareness

Companies are researched discretionary on the basis of publicly available information, company disclosures and third-party research (e.g., MSCI ESG or JSS).

2. ESG Integration

The analyst assesses the impact of ESG issues (sector-dependent key issues, such as CO2 emissions, biodiversity & land use, product safety & quality, health & safety, labour management, corporate governance and corruption & instability), on the company’s business risk, regulatory risk, cashflow stability and valuation (i.e., whether it is trading at a premium or discount to its peers).

3. ESG Assessment

The analyst assigns an absolute rating to the issuer with regards to ESG risks. He classifies the company as “low risk”, “medium risk” or “high risk”. This classification is part of the relative value assessment.

4. ESG Engagement

In the event of heightened ESG risks that are of material importance for our investment decision, the analyst seeks out a dialogue with the company. We do this with the intention of improving the company’s ESG guidelines, in order to reduce risk. The analyst monitors and documents whether the company has undertaken the necessary steps to address the issues that have been raised.

5. Exclusion

When the analyst is of the view that management is not prepared to address and mitigate the key ESG risks that have been identified, that it is still difficult to evaluate risk, and/or that governance remains systematically weak or is worsening, he may request the ESG committee to exclude the company from our investment universe, which is also subject to Executive Committee approval.

Investment universe for our sustainable global convertible bond fund

The portfolio is constructed primarily out of convertible bonds with a high security score and a positive sustainability rating of the Bank J. Safra Sarasin. A maximum of 10% of the portfolio assets may be invested in securities that have not been rated (yet) by Bank J. Safra Sarasin. Also a maximum of 10% of the assets may be invested in non-sustainably rated convertible bonds. The former restriction gives the portfolio manager a temporary leeway to invest in not yet rated newly issued convertibles, which are considered as attractive. The second restriction allows the portfolio manager to optimally sell the security with a minimum market impact in the case of a sustainability rating downgrade to negative.

Corporate (financial)

ESG integration in credit research

Integrating ESG factors into the research process due to risk-return considerations;
Engaging actively with company management when it makes sense to better understand risks and to push for ESG progresses;
Monitoring companies with potentially high ESG risk;
Excluding highly controversial companies;

Process:

1. ESG Awareness

Companies are researched discretionary on the basis of publicly available information, company disclosures and third-party research (e.g., MSCI ESG or JSS).

2. ESG Integration

The analyst assesses the impact of ESG issues (sector-dependent key issues, such as CO2 emissions, biodiversity & land use, product safety & quality, health & safety, labour management, corporate governance and corruption & instability), on the company’s business risk, regulatory risk, cashflow stability and valuation (i.e., whether it is trading at a premium or discount to its peers).

3. ESG Assessment

The analyst assigns an absolute rating to the issuer with regards to ESG risks. He classifies the company as “low risk”, “medium risk” or “high risk”. This classification is part of the relative value assessment.

4. ESG Engagement

In the event of heightened ESG risks that are of material importance for our investment decision, the analyst seeks out a dialogue with the company. We do this with the intention of improving the company’s ESG guidelines, in order to reduce risk. The analyst monitors and documents whether the company has undertaken the necessary steps to address the issues that have been raised.

5. Exclusion

When the analyst is of the view that management is not prepared to address and mitigate the key ESG risks that have been identified, that it is still difficult to evaluate risk, and/or that governance remains systematically weak or is worsening, he may request the ESG committee to exclude the company from our investment universe, which is also subject to Executive Committee approval.

Investment universe for our sustainable global convertible bond fund

The portfolio is constructed primarily out of convertible bonds with a high security score and a positive sustainability rating of the Bank J. Safra Sarasin. A maximum of 10% of the portfolio assets may be invested in securities that have not been rated (yet) by Bank J. Safra Sarasin. Also a maximum of 10% of the assets may be invested in non-sustainably rated convertible bonds. The former restriction gives the portfolio manager a temporary leeway to invest in not yet rated newly issued convertibles, which are considered as attractive. The second restriction allows the portfolio manager to optimally sell the security with a minimum market impact in the case of a sustainability rating downgrade to negative.

Corporate (non-financial)

ESG integration in credit research

Integrating ESG factors into the research process due to risk-return considerations;
Engaging actively with company management when it makes sense to better understand risks and to push for ESG progresses;
Monitoring companies with potentially high ESG risk;
Excluding highly controversial companies;

Process:

1. ESG Awareness

Companies are researched discretionary on the basis of publicly available information, company disclosures and third-party research (e.g., MSCI ESG or JSS).

2. ESG Integration

The analyst assesses the impact of ESG issues (sector-dependent key issues, such as CO2 emissions, biodiversity & land use, product safety & quality, health & safety, labour management, corporate governance and corruption & instability), on the company’s business risk, regulatory risk, cashflow stability and valuation (i.e., whether it is trading at a premium or discount to its peers).

3. ESG Assessment

The analyst assigns an absolute rating to the issuer with regards to ESG risks. He classifies the company as “low risk”, “medium risk” or “high risk”. This classification is part of the relative value assessment.

4. ESG Engagement

In the event of heightened ESG risks that are of material importance for our investment decision, the analyst seeks out a dialogue with the company. We do this with the intention of improving the company’s ESG guidelines, in order to reduce risk. The analyst monitors and documents whether the company has undertaken the necessary steps to address the issues that have been raised.

5. Exclusion

When the analyst is of the view that management is not prepared to address and mitigate the key ESG risks that have been identified, that it is still difficult to evaluate risk, and/or that governance remains systematically weak or is worsening, he may request the ESG committee to exclude the company from our investment universe, which is also subject to Executive Committee approval.

Investment universe for our sustainable global convertible bond fund

The portfolio is constructed primarily out of convertible bonds with a high security score and a positive sustainability rating of the Bank J. Safra Sarasin. A maximum of 10% of the portfolio assets may be invested in securities that have not been rated (yet) by Bank J. Safra Sarasin. Also a maximum of 10% of the assets may be invested in non-sustainably rated convertible bonds. The former restriction gives the portfolio manager a temporary leeway to invest in not yet rated newly issued convertibles, which are considered as attractive. The second restriction allows the portfolio manager to optimally sell the security with a minimum market impact in the case of a sustainability rating downgrade to negative.

10.3. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


FI 11. Integration - ESG information in investment processes

11.1. Indicate how ESG information is typically used as part of your investment process.

Select all that apply
SSA
Corporate (financial)
Corporate (non-financial)
ESG analysis is integrated into fundamental analysis
ESG analysis is used to adjust the internal credit assessments of issuers.
ESG analysis is used to adjust forecasted financials and future cash flow estimates.
ESG analysis impacts the ranking of an issuer relative to a chosen peer group.
An issuer`s ESG bond spreads and its relative value versus its sector peers are analysed to find out if all risks are priced in.
The impact of ESG analysis on bonds of an issuer with different durations/maturities are analysed.
Sensitivity analysis and scenario analysis are applied to valuation models to compare the difference between base-case and ESG-integrated security valuation.
ESG analysis is integrated into portfolio weighting decisions.
Companies, sectors, countries and currency and monitored for changes in ESG exposure and for breaches of risk limits.
The ESG profile of portfolios is examined for securities with high ESG risks and assessed relative to the ESG profile of a benchmark.
Other, specify in Additional Information

11.2. Additional information [OPTIONAL]


FI 12. Integration - E,S and G issues reviewed

12.1. Indicate the extent to which ESG issues are reviewed in your integration process.

Environment
Social
Governance
SSA

Environmental

Social

Governance

Corporate (financial)

Environmental

Social

Governance

Corporate (non-financial)

Environmental

Social

Governance

12.2. Please provide more detail on how you review E, S and/or G factors in your integration process.

SSA

ESG is not a separate part of the investment process but is integrated within our fundamental research process. We are analysing qualitative information of individual issuers, evaluating ESG strengths and weaknesses rather than looking at ESG scores available from the third party provider. We build our own knowledge base and evaluation method and view external ESG research like any other public information of research. Governance is an extremely important topic for us as without strong corporate governance, our trust that a company will meet its obligations is extremely limited. Furthermore reputational risks (controversies) in terms of labor or environmental issuers can also have a significant impact on an issuer’s financial risk profile and refinancing capability and are consequently an integral part of our investment analysis.

We determine how much of a risk ESG factors pose to the company and if those issues justify a higher risk premium versus its peer group and how this will affect our relative value recommendation. We expect the issuers in which we invest to follow best practices on their own and to be well positioned to refinance and service their debts. Each company within our coverage is ESG reviewed at least yearly.

Corporate (financial)

ESG is not a separate part of the investment process but is integrated within our fundamental research process. We are analysing qualitative information of individual issuers, evaluating ESG strengths and weaknesses rather than looking at ESG scores available from the third party provider. We build our own knowledge base and evaluation method and view external ESG research like any other public information of research. Governance is an extremely important topic for us as without strong corporate governance, our trust that a company will meet its obligations is extremely limited. Furthermore reputational risks (controversies) in terms of labor or environmental issuers can also have a significant impact on an issuer’s financial risk profile and refinancing capability and are consequently an integral part of our investment analysis.

We determine how much of a risk ESG factors pose to the company and if those issues justify a higher risk premium versus its peer group and how this will affect our relative value recommendation. We expect the issuers in which we invest to follow best practices on their own and to be well positioned to refinance and service their debts. Each company within our coverage is ESG reviewed at least yearly.

Corporate (non-financial)

ESG is not a separate part of the investment process but is integrated within our fundamental research process. We are analysing qualitative information of individual issuers, evaluating ESG strengths and weaknesses rather than looking at ESG scores available from the third party provider. We build our own knowledge base and evaluation method and view external ESG research like any other public information of research. Governance is an extremely important topic for us as without strong corporate governance, our trust that a company will meet its obligations is extremely limited. Furthermore reputational risks (controversies) in terms of labor or environmental issuers can also have a significant impact on an issuer’s financial risk profile and refinancing capability and are consequently an integral part of our investment analysis.

We determine how much of a risk ESG factors pose to the company and if those issues justify a higher risk premium versus its peer group and how this will affect our relative value recommendation. We expect the issuers in which we invest to follow best practices on their own and to be well positioned to refinance and service their debts. Each company within our coverage is ESG reviewed at least yearly.

12.3. Additional information.[OPTIONAL]


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