Environmental, Social, Governance

At HighTower Westchester, we design portfolios with an emphasis on quality investments that help position you for strong financial performance and long-term success.
SRI focuses on the nature or type of business a company conducts, such as avoiding investment in companies that produce or sell addictive substances (like alcohol, gambling, and tobacco) and seeking out companies engaged in social justice, environmental sustainability, and alternative energy/clean technology efforts. While we have been managing SRI mandates for over two decades, the industry has expanded to incorporate what we now call ESG principles. ESG incorporates the analysis of a company’s financial, environmental, social and governance practices as a means of determining the company’s ability to manage risk and produce strong, long-term investment performance.



Environmental

Looks at a how a company performs as a steward of the natural environment.

Environmental Issues:
• Climate change
• Carbon emissions
• Air and water pollution
• Energy efficiency
• Water scarcity
• Waste management
• Raw material sourcing
• Biodiversity





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Social

Examines how a company manages relationships with its employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where it operates.

 Social Issues:
• Labor standard
• Supply chain management
• Health and safety
• Human rights
• Data protection/privacy
• Gender diversity
• Employee engagement
• Local community impact


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Governance

Deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits and internal controls, and shareholder rights.

Governance Issues:
• Alignment of interests 
• Board composition 
• Executive compensation 
• Lobbying 
• Political contributions 
• Bribery and corruption
• Business ethics
• Shareholder rights

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Evolution of ESG Investing

Investors are increasingly looking for more inclusive/positive screening forms of ESG investing


ESG investing provides a platform for customers to align their personal values with their investment objectives and choose investment products that are meaningful to them.  The growing trend of ESG investing could increase flows into companies/funds that score well on ESG metrics, which in turn has the potential to drive stronger performance.




Our criteria for selecting managers within this space exhibit the following characteristics:


Strong growth history and trajectory

Financial performance (including revenue and risk-adjusted returns)

Sustainable, scalable, future-oriented business models

Positioning for emerging opportunities

Productivity and efficiency

Management/corporate governance

Risk profile (including regulatory compliance)

Environmental performance

Community Engagement

Corporate culture, workplace policies, and ethical practices

Safety, quality, & societal Or environmental benefits of products and services


We view ESG standards as integral inputs and value our roles as advocates for ESG standards. Not only do these initiatives promote best practices in the world of publicly traded companies, but they can also deliver tangible benefits to our clients.

Whether you’re an institutional or a private client, we leverage the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative criteria to identify quality companies and investments to enhance your portfolio and help better position you to realize your personal and civic goals.


Investment Process

• We seek to deliver strategies that balance investors' risk and return objectives
• We seek to provide investments that align with investors' values and aspirations-without sacrificing performance

ESG Research

• Our approach in selecting ESG managers integrates proprietary ESG research with traditional financial analysis
• We analyze each manager's ESG policies, procedures, and track records to identify positive and negative effects that are material to the manager and society

Engagement

• Hightower Westchester is looking for managers that advocate and engage directly with management to help companies improve their social and financial performance
• We are looking for them to take an active role- from filing shareholder proposals and resolutions to working with companies to address sustainable practices

Impact

• Our investors have the opportunity to create a direct environmental, social, and governance impact


At Hightower Westchester we are committed to adopting and implementing principles consistent with our fiduciary responsibility.