ClearBridge drives positive long-term change through ESG stewardship

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NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–It has never been more important for asset managers to understand their portfolio companies and manage the long-term environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks they carry, says ClearBridge Investments.

“Since we opened our first customer account with a socially responsible approach over 35 years ago, ClearBridge has been at the forefront of promoting and communicating the benefits of considering ESG factors when investment selection and portfolio construction,” said Terrence Murphy, CEO of ClearBridge. . “Today, asset managers have an important role to play in actively engaging and addressing material ESG risks with the companies in which they invest. I’m proud of ClearBridge’s leadership in this area, and I believe our heritage and practices provide powerful examples of long-term thinking.

ClearBridge, an active equity manager with $190.7 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of March 31, 2022, is a top 20 shareholder in more than 275 public companies. She uses her influence as a significant shareholder to promote positive change through corporate engagement, proxy voting and thought leadership. In 2021, ClearBridge had a proxy voting record of 100%, resulting in 16,885 votes cast at over 1,000 meetings.

In its fifth annual MD&A, released today, ClearBridge details its efforts in ESG integration, reporting and disclosure, as well as human capital management and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). ). The report also details engagements where ClearBridge has been able to improve practices within the companies it owns.

Net Zero Commitment by 2050

In 2021, ClearBridge was proud to join the industry-leading Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative, an international group of asset managers representing over $57.5 trillion in assets under management that is committed to supporting the goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“ClearBridge has always engaged companies on climate-related risks, but over the past year we have begun to explicitly engage on net zero alignment,” said Mary Jane McQuillen, portfolio manager and head of ESG. at ClearBridge. “We encourage companies to set ambitious ‘science-based’ carbon reduction targets, which means that their targets are aligned with the reductions needed to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. ”

Reporting and disclosure of emissions

In addition to its work with NZAM, ClearBridge has aligned its climate change reporting with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) since 2018.

ClearBridge incorporates ESG analysis into its research and portfolio construction, and as a result, the company has several funds classified under Article 8 of the European Union’s Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) . The SFDR was created to promote transparency on the integration of sustainability risks into financial products. , and many ClearBridge funds have been committed to promoting environmental or social characteristics.

Human Capital Management and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DEI continued to be a company-wide priority for ClearBridge in 2021, and the company was encouraged by higher shareholder proposal success rates during the year compared to 2020 .

Following the continued focus on human capital topics in company engagements in 2021, ClearBridge has seen several companies, such as Amazon and Microsoft, explicitly recognize the importance of human capital management and take action. to make progress on their diversity goals and disclosures.

Looking forward to 2022, ClearBridge will support better diversity disclosure within the companies in which it invests and engage companies on the growing importance of talent as an asset within the workforce.

The full 2022 management report is available here.

About ClearBridge

With $190.7 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022, ClearBridge Investments is a leading global equity manager committed to delivering long-term results through genuine active management, delivering investment that emphasize differentiated and bottom-up stock selection to drive clients forward. . The firm integrates ESG considerations into its bottom-up fundamental research and stock selection process across all of its strategies. Owned by Franklin Templeton, ClearBridge operates with investment independence from its headquarters in New York and offices in Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, London, San Mateo, Sydney and Wilmington.

About Franklin Templeton

Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in more than 155 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better results through expertise in investment management, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the firm offers boutique specialization globally, bringing broad capabilities in fixed income, equities, alternatives and multi-asset solutions. With offices in more than 30 countries and approximately 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based firm has 75 years of investment experience and approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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