“Sustainable investing” is a big term with many meanings—a path to investment performance, a way to reflect your values, an opportunity to make an impact on the world. We aim to help you determine exactly what you want to achieve through sustainable investing, and deliver to you a solution built on first-rate performance, thoughtful advice and the highest level of service.
Why Sustainable Investing?
Sustainable investing makes sense for a lot of reasons. Smart investors all over the world are realizing how the intersection of financial, social and environmental ideas can lead to better investment results as well as a better foundation for society.
In short, sustainable investing is a way for individuals, families and institutions to achieve a broader set of goals through their investment decisions. We seek to truly understand what you want to achieve, help you consider your options and develop a solution that helps you fulfill your specific objectives.READY TO TALK ABOUT SUSTAINABLE INVESTING?
Download the TranscriptIt's time to eradicate this notion of a tradeoff. You can have it both ways.
Starting the Conversation
How We Get it Done
Sustainable investing is not a new endeavor for us. It’s just a new way to frame our conversations with clients about what they want to achieve, and how we plan to help them achieve it.
For over twenty years, we have focused on delivering performance, advice and service to our clients, and our approach is no different when it comes to sustainable investing. We begin with advice—an in-depth engagement and discovery process to learn exactly how you view the intersection of your values with your portfolio. Then, we focus on performance—delivered via a variety of solutions (highlighted below) to serve a variety of client objectives. Finally, we seek to ensure the highest level of service, through compliance with your investment criteria, specialized reporting, and regular discussions with you to ensure that we keep pace with your views and beliefs over time.
Screening is a rules-based approach that effectively draws a line in the sand to ensure that portfolio holdings are in alignment with investor values.
There are a variety of ways to screen an investment portfolio. One can exclude companies that engage in undesired practices, or specifically include companies that pursue desired practices.
Screening has been practiced for hundreds of years, and yet it can still lead to operational challenges, and in some cases influence performance results. We regularly work with clients to understand their needs in this area and develop plans that make sense for them.
Investors can use sustainability research to help them make smarter decisions.
A growing number of innovative managers are finding that they can improve long-term portfolio returns by identifying risks and opportunities rooted in environmental, social or governance (ESG) factors. These factors may be less apparent to managers that use a more traditional research lens.
We manage several strategies that focus on driving long-term portfolio returns through sustainability research. These include our Large-Cap Sustainable Growth, Sustainable Core Fixed Income and Tax-Exempt Sustainable Fixed Income strategies. We are also working to integrate ESG research across all of our investment strategies. For more information, we encourage you to read our 2016 Transparency Report that we produce as a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
If you seek a solution that includes asset allocation and manager selection and incorporates sustainability, we can help. We conduct extensive due diligence to identify the managers and strategies that we believe to be the very best in the sustainable investment space, and use these to build portfolios for clients that fulfill their specific performance, values and impact goals.
Impact investing goes beyond an expression of your beliefs—it deploys capital to make real progress on issues you care about.
The term “impact” has gained tremendous traction in recent years—it refers to investment strategies that produce measurable change in the world. Impact can be achieved in many ways—for example, our Sustainable Core Fixed Income strategy seeks out bonds whose proceeds will be used to fund positive environmental projects. For certain qualified purchasers, we can assist with developing customized impact portfolios that are tailored to specific societal outcomes.
Shareholder Engagement and Proxy Voting:
Investment advisors often serve as their clients’ voice with regard to communicating with companies held in investment portfolios. This role involves direct engagement with company management as well as indirect communication through the voting of proxies on behalf of their clients.
We regularly engage with company management teams in discussions about how sustainable business decisions can benefit corporate results through increased revenue, reduced cost or enhanced franchise value. Additionally, we use our ESG research as well as advice from an unbiased third-party service to guide our proxy voting process.
Our Sustainable Investing Advisory Board
We greatly value outside perspectives at our firm, and specifically seek out insight and guidance from the leaders and thinkers that sit on our governing and advisory boards. Our Sustainable Investing Advisory Board of leading academics, policy experts and practitioners is working alongside us as we develop our sustainable investing solutions over time. Outside experts Daniel Esty, Kate Gordon, Martin Kaplan and Mamie Parker serve alongside several of our senior executives on the Advisory Board; each of these four individuals bring extremely valuable and diverse viewpoints to the table and have quickly become essential to our sustainable investing effort.
Dan Esty is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University with primary appointments at Yale’s Environment and Law Schools and a secondary appointment at the Yale School of Management. He serves as director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (www.yale.edu/envirocenter) and on the Advisory Board of the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (www.yale.edu/CBEY), which he founded in 2007. Professor Esty is the author or editor of ten books and dozens of articles on environmental protection, energy, and sustainability— and their connections to corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, and economic success. His prizewinning volume, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, was recently named the top-selling “green business” book of the past decade.
Kate Gordon is a Senior Advisor at the Paulson Institute, where she provides overall strategy and coordination for the Institute’s climate change, air quality, and sustainable urbanization programs both in the US and China. She is also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal as one of the paper’s “Energy Experts.” Gordon is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of clean energy and economic development. Before joining the Paulson Institute, she was the Founding Director of the “Risky Business Project,” co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and focused on the economic risks the U.S. faces from unmitigated climate change. Gordon took on this project in her role as Senior Vice President for Climate and Energy at Next Generation, a non-partisan think tank based in San Francisco, where she worked on California policy development as well as large-scale national communications and research projects. Earlier in her career Gordon served as Vice President of Energy and Environment at the Washington D.C.-based Center for American Progress, where helped develop and author policy recommendations related to the Congressional cap-and-trade negotiations, Gulf oil spill, and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act implementation. Prior to CAP, Gordon was the Co-Director of the national Apollo Alliance (now part of the Blue Green Alliance). She still serves on the Apollo Alliance board, as well as on the board of Vote Solar. Gordon earned a law degree and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
Martin S. Kaplan is a retired partner of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, and has extensive experience advising public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and charitable foundations. Mr. Kaplan spent his entire career at Wilmer Hale in Boston and New York, and its predecessor Hale and Dorr, where he chaired its Corporate Practice. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Harvard Law School. As Managing Trustee of the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation (VKRF) and Trustee of the Germeshausen Foundation, he was instrumental in promoting their progressive grantmaking relating to the environment and other causes.
He played a key role in organizing the Consortium for Conservation Medicine, the EcoHealth Alliance, and Grist, the largest online environmental news service. At VKRF, he provided leadership in supporting environmental programs at Harvard, Columbia, MIT, Yale and other universities. As Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Education (1992-96), appointed by Gov. William F. Weld, he was a leader of the Education Reform Movement, and served as a member of the Education Commission of the States and a director of the National Association of State Boards of Education. For ten years, he was a member of the board of the Boston Foundation, one of the largest community foundations and chaired its Program Committee. He is an emeritus member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Board of Overseers. Mr. Kaplan is married to Wendy Tarlow Kaplan, an independent art curator. They live in New York and Lenox, Massachusetts and share five children, eleven grandchildren, and interests in art, music, travel and mediocre golf.
Dr. Parker is Founder and CEO of MA Parker and Associates, LLC in the Washington, D. C. area. She is an efficiency executive coach, facilitator, and public speaker with clients in agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wild Turkey Association, Ducks Unlimited and Maryland Department of Labor. Dr. Mamie Parker is the former Assistant Director of Fisheries and Habitat Conservation at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Prior to this position, she made history when appointed the first African American the FWS Regional Director of the 13 Northeastern states. She served as the Ecosystem Coordinator in the Great Lakes and Big Rivers Region and worked in many programs including the national fish hatcheries, national wetlands and coastal mapping, contaminants, invasive species, marine mammals, wetland restoration and protection programs among others. Parker is a leader in various organizations and serves as a Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Refuge Association; Defenders of Wildlife; and the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Steering Committee. The Council of World Women Leaders awarded her with an Aspen Institute fellowship.