A Letter of Introduction From The Portfolio Managers
At Brown Advisory, we are deeply committed to sustainable investing. Our firm managed more than $6 billion* in client assets under various sustainable investment mandates for individuals, families and institutions, as of Dec. 31, 2019. We firmly believe that there does not have to be a trade-off between strong performance and smart investments that help address society’s trickiest sustainability challenges.
For a number of our sustainable investment strategies, we issue formal reports each year to keep clients informed about how those strategies are generating positive impact. Enclosed is our Impact Report for the Brown Advisory Sustainable Growth Fund.
The report includes a review of how we invest using innovative ESG research, and in particular how we use the concept of Sustainable Business Advantage (SBA) to identify compelling long-term investments. We also discuss the positive environmental and social outcomes being created by our portfolio companies, and how we engage with portfolio companies and the sustainable investing community.
As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our Sustainable Growth strategy (the Fund was launched in 2012, but the strategy underlying the Fund incepted in 2009), we are pleased to report continued progress and advancement of our sustainable investment initiatives at the firm. In 2019, we expanded our ESG research team to five full-time analysts with the addition of Lisa Fillingame Abraham and Victoria Avara, and we further built out our ESG research toolkit to more comprehensively serve the needs of the firm’s investment teams. We ramped up engagement activity with company management teams and refined the process that our proxy voting committee (which includes several of the firm’s senior executives) will use going forward. At the firmwide level, we will be issuing Brown Advisory’s first corporate sustainability report in the coming months, in which we will strive to answer the same questions about ourselves that we ask companies to answer before we consider investing in them.
As always, we thank our ESG research team for its contribution to this report and our work in general. The team works tirelessly to ensure that our investment decisions are informed by solid ESG data and clear viewpoints about how that data may affect a company’s prospects. We thank all of our colleagues across the firm for embracing sustainable investing principles so enthusiastically. Most importantly, we are deeply grateful to our clients, who trust us as stewards of their capital and serve as our partners as we learn, innovate and improve over time.
We hope you find this year’s report informative, and we welcome a continuing conversation with you about the work we are doing.
Karina Funk, CFA
David Powell, CFA
*Brown Advisory entities included are: Brown Advisory LLC, Brown Investment Advisory & Trust Company, Brown Advisory Ltd., and Brown Advisory Trust Company of Delaware, LLC.