Equities Fixed Income External Managers Private Equity and Real Estate Sustainable Investing


We follow a philosophy that low-turnover, concentrated portfolios derived from sound bottom-up fundamental research provide an opportunity for attractive performance results over time. We have a culture and firm equity ownership structure that help us attract and retain professionals who share those beliefs, and we follow a repeatable investment process that helps us stay true to our philosophy.

Brown Advisory Equity Strategies

Fixed Income

We follow a philosophy that fixed income strategies built from a foundation of stability coupled with fundamental credit research can seek to generate alpha and control risk. We have a culture and firm equity ownership structure that attract and retain professionals who share those beliefs, and we follow a repeatable investment process that helps us stay true to our philosophy.

Brown Advisory Fixed Income Strategies

External Managers

Investment Solutions Group

The Investment Solutions Group is an investment-management team within Brown Advisory that specializes in asset allocation, manager selection, hedge funds and other alternative investment strategies. Dedicated to open-architecture solutions, our team has established a strong track record of identifying high-quality, third-party investment managers across the hedge fund, long-only and private equity universes. We leverage this expertise to help clients assemble portfolios that we believe best fit their needs and goals, offering clients a range of solutions from complete portfolio management to fulfillment of specific hedge-fund and alternative-asset mandates.

Private Equity and Real Estate

Private Equity and Real Estate

Brown Advisory has incorporated private equity and real estate investments in client portfolios since our founding. Today, we can provide that exposure in three distinct ways.

Feeder Funds and Multimanager Funds
We introduce clients to investment opportunities in early- and late-stage venture capital and buyout funds, as well as select real estate funds. We also construct these feeder funds into multimanager funds through our Private Equity Partners (PEP) and Real Estate Partners (REP) vehicles to make private equity investing as easy as possible for our clients.

Customized Private Equity Portfolios
For most clients, private equity is one component of a balanced portfolio that we manage. Other clients, however, come to us specifically for custom-built private equity and real estate portfolios.

Sustainable Investing

Sustainable Investing Strategies

  • Multi-Manager Strategies
  • For clients seeking an open-architecture solution, we have access to several of the premier sustainable managers in the industry - all vetted by internal research.
  • Private Equity
  • Our private equity team is focused on evaluating the growing universe of private impact investments to identify standout opportunities that target various issues of particular concern to our clients. To date, we have placed assets in investments targeting a variety of impact themes such as community impact, microfinance, education technology, sustainable real estate, water initiatives and others.*
  • *Many alternative investments by regulation may only be sold to Accredited Investors (institutions with at least $5 million in assets) or Qualified Purchasers (institutions with at least $25 million in investments).

Customized Portfolios

This diverse assortment of solutions will meet many clients’ sustainability objectives; however, we understand the continued evolution of this space and seek to be able to react quickly to client needs.

For clients with unique missions, value-aligned investing programs, or who simply wish to ensure that they do not own certain controversial companies or have access to certain industries, we offer the following customized options:

Additional Screening: To the extent we have reliable data and can build rules into our compliance systems, we can add specific screens to a separate account to restrict companies (e.g. oil and gas providers) or industries (e.g. tobacco or weaponry).

Customized and Thematic Portfolios: Within a separate account, we can work together to solve for a sustainability need. From a universe of securities researched from both the bottom-up and for their ESG profile, we can assemble a custom portfolio of securities designed to meet many specific sustainable goals or outcomes.

Investment Insights and Thoughts from Brown Advisory
Sustainable Investing From our CEO: How We Help Clients Build Sustainable Portfolios
Michael Hankin
September 12, 2016
Following up on last year’s commitment to help clients cut through the noise in the sustainable investing marketplace, Mike Hankin, Brown Advisory President and CEO, offers an update on the firm’s progress and lays out a simple and accessible framework we use with clients to review and choose an approach that makes sense for them.

Last year, we published our first special edition of The Advisory focused on sustainable investing. At the time I wrote that our firm was fully committed to helping clients sort through an array of choices in sustainable investing, and to developing a tailored approach for each client—one that best fits their long-term goals. I also reflected on the confusing nature of this area with constantly changing word definitions, potentially conflicting investment goals and emotionally charged concerns often colliding with unintended results.

We have been working hard to fulfill this commitment over the past 15 months, enhancing our offerings in a number of areas. We are excited about the progress we have made, but as we move down this road as a firm, I consider it a top priority to maintain focus on our very specific initial mission: To help you, our clients, discover just how powerful a client-driven approach to sustainable investing can be. All of our work is in service to that goal. If we listen well, we believe we can provide each of you a sustainable investment solution that meets your performance targets, aligns with your values and delivers the impact you desire.

With that as backdrop, we want to use this special edition of The Advisory to share with you the framework we are using to help clients hone their thinking about sustainable investing into an actionable investment strategy. This framework seeks to deliver the same performance, advice and service outcomes that guide all of our work with you.

  • 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, which we seek via sustainable alpha, screening and impact solutions. The goals you express during our discovery process dictate the types of solutions used in your portfolio. Many of the articles in this special edition will dive deeper into the challenges investors face in implementing these solutions and how we try to help.
  • 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 any changes in your views and beliefs over time.

We are finding this framework extremely helpful as a starting point in conversations with clients who are deciding how they want to tackle sustainability in their portfolios. In the end, we want to provide some order to a universe that seems to offer new ideas and new solutions every week, any one of which may or may not deliver the outcomes that you specifically seek. Clients seek to incorporate sustainability in different ways; using this framework helps us to build the portfolio that most directly addresses the things you care about most.

As I mentioned above, we have been busy over the past year, building out our capabilities so that we can be more effective on your behalf. Our Large-Cap Sustainable Growth strategy continues to perform extremely well—in fact, as of June 30, 2016, its investment returns were ranked in the top 1% among strategies in its large-cap growth peer group since its inception on Dec. 31, 2009, proving that attractive investment returns can be achieved by focusing on companies that manifest Environmental Business Advantage™. We also launched two sustainable fixed income strategies—a core portfolio and a tax-exempt portfolio— during the past year. For clients seeking a balanced portfolio that incorporates sustainable thinking across asset classes, we now confidently recommend a select group of external managers that meet our standards for fundamental excellence. We are deeply engaged with leading sustainable-investment organizations like CERES, the Intentional Endowments Network, USSIF, the Principles for Responsible Investment and the Green Bond Principles. And we have formed a Sustainable Investing Advisory Board of leading researchers, policy experts and practitioners to advise and guide us as we develop our sustainable investing solutions over time. Daniel Esty, James Gifford, Martin Kaplan and Mamie Parker all bring extremely valuable and diverse viewpoints to this board, and they have quickly become an invaluable source of insight and ideas.

Most importantly, we have been able to use these new capabilities for the benefit of a number of new client relationships centered on sustainable investing, and to introduce new solutions to a growing number of our long-term clients.

This special edition is largely focused on ways that we help clients achieve various sustainable outcomes. First, Emily Dwyer and Chad Larson will discuss the concept of screening portfolios to better understand which investments may match or conflict with a client’s goals. For something that sounds straightforward, screening can be very challenging. Emily and Chad will discuss how screening works and how we help clients do it in a thoughtful manner.

Second, Karina Funk and Amy Hauter will cover sustainable alpha, a term we use to refer to the pursuit of better investment decisions and higher returns by enhancing existing research processes with sustainability information. Karina and David Powell have had great success using this approach in the equity markets, while our fixed income team is finding similar success with our new sustainable bond strategies. Karina and Amy will describe how our teams dig in with primary research to find the real sustainable investment stories driving the stocks and bonds we ultimately select for our strategies.

Finally, Ethan Berkwits and Brigid Peterson will cover impact solutions that pursue outcomes beyond financial returns, in the form of measurable progress toward targeted social and environmental goals. There are a wide variety of ways to achieve this impact, from publicly available equity and fixed income strategies, to innovative private investments that often straddle the line between investing and philanthropy such as microfinance, social impact bonds, and direct loans and investments. One can also achieve impact through proxy voting and shareholder engagement. Dune Thorne, Erika Pagel and other portfolio managers at our firm are well-versed in helping clients consider possible paths for impact investing. Ethan and Brigid will discuss these options and also caution readers to closely scrutinize these investments, as they often offer different risk/reward profiles than more traditional investments.

We are pleased to offer you this update on our progress and our thinking with regard to sustainable investing, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss these topics with you.




The views expressed are those of the authors and Brown Advisory as of the date referenced and are subject to change at any time based on market or other conditions. These views are not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance and you may not get back the amount invested. In addition, these views may not be relied upon as investment advice. The information provided in this material should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned. It should not be assumed that investments in such securities have been or will be profitable. To the extent specific securities are mentioned, they have been selected by the author on an objective basis to illustrate views expressed in the commentary and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for advisory clients or other clients. The information contained herein has been prepared from sources believed reliable but is not guaranteed by us as to its timeliness or accuracy, and is not a complete summary or statement of all available data. This piece is intended solely for our clients and prospective clients and is for informational purposes only. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication.

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