NEW YORK, June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- ClearBridge Investments, an established global investment manager and leader in Environmental, Social and Governance ("ESG") investment, is pleased to announce the availability of the ClearBridge Sustainability Leaders Fund. Launched on April 1, 2015, it is the first ClearBridge ESG equity strategy to be offered in a mutual fund format. The new fund enables shareholders to make an impact through responsible investments and access the ClearBridge team's more than two decades of ESG experience.
The ClearBridge Sustainability Leaders Fund takes a multi-cap approach that seeks financially attractive companies with demonstrated ESG leadership, as well as emerging opportunities. Reflecting ClearBridge's position on the forefront of ESG investing and commitment to long-term results through active management, the fund aims to provide a comprehensive view of sustainability, without relying on exclusionary screens.
"The ClearBridge Sustainability Leaders Fund actively looks for companies with quality attributes that can positively impact future shareholder value. More investors each day are coming to believe that focusing on ESG principles can help deliver attractive, risk-adjusted performance over the long term. We're excited to offer shareholders a vehicle to invest in this discipline," said Terrence Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of ClearBridge Investments.
ClearBridge has a legacy of specialized ESG expertise dating back to 1987 and is considered a pioneer in the space. The fund's co-managers, Mary Jane McQuillen and Derek Deutsch, have 35 years of combined experience in ESG and U.S. equity investing. ClearBridge is a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investing ("PRI"), which is an investor initiative in partnership with the UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact. ClearBridge's ESG Program applies ESG integration, active company engagement and shareholder advocacy to its investment strategy. The firm's proprietary ESG evaluation process is integrated into stock selection as part of a bottom-up approach to investing that seeks "best-in-class" or emerging names within each industry.
Mary Jane McQuillen, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager and Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Investment, said, "Both Derek and I are very proud to launch the ClearBridge Sustainability Leaders Fund. We take ESG principles seriously. It is not merely a screen or an overlay; it is part of how we conduct fundamental research on all of the stocks we consider and it defines how we think about all companies considered for investment in all client portfolios."
Derek Deutsch, CFA, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, said, "Our team is actively engaging with companies' management teams to establish an open dialogue regarding their current ESG policies and future expectations. We believe that we are able to provide our clients long term growth while investing in fundamentally attractive companies with the appropriate ESG criteria."
The ClearBridge ESG program leverages the full resources of a $117 billion global asset manager with over $2.8 billion in ESG assets under management, as of March 31, 2015. In addition, the ESG program is fully integrated into the ClearBridge fundamental research platform, with sector analysts providing proprietary ESG ratings for every company under coverage.
About Mary Jane McQuillen
Mary Jane McQuillen is a Portfolio Manager and the Head of the ESG Investment Program at ClearBridge Investments. Mary Jane has 19 years of ESG investment experience.
Mary Jane serves on the Board of Directors for the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute and the Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2). She is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts Sustainable Investing Committee, and is a member of US SIF's Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network working group.
Mary Jane is a member of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) Listed Equities Steering Committee and the ESG Integration Sub-Committee. She is also a long-standing and active member of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Asset Management Working Group (AMWG).
She received her MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School and holds a BS in Finance from Fordham University.
In 2015, Mary Jane was named to the "Women Worth Watching" list in Financial Services.
About Derek Deutsch, CFA
Derek co-manages ClearBridge's Mid Cap Core, Mid Cap Growth and Small-Mid Cap Growth strategies. Derek has more than 16 years of investment industry experience. He joined a predecessor organization in 1999, and spent six years as an equity research analyst responsible for the health care sector.
Prior to joining the firm, Derek worked as a special assistant at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., and also as a journalist covering health care policy for the American Political Network. Derek earned a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Georgetown University. He is a member of the CFA Institute and of the New York Society of Security Analysts.
About ClearBridge Investments
ClearBridge Investments is a well-established global investment manager with $117.8 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2015. With a legacy dating back over 50 years, our long-tenured portfolio managers and fundamental research team focus on building equity portfolios for clients who seek income solutions, high active share or low volatility. Owned by Legg Mason, ClearBridge operates with investment independence from headquarters in New York and offices in Baltimore, San Francisco and Wilmington.
About Legg Mason
Legg Mason is a global asset management firm with $707 billion in assets under management as of May 31, 2015. The Company provides active asset management in many major investment centers throughout the world. Legg Mason is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: LM).
What should I know before investing:
Equity securities are subject to price fluctuation and possible loss of principal. Small- and mid-cap stocks involve greater risks and volatility than large-cap stocks. International investments are subject to special risks including currency fluctuations and social, economic and political uncertainties, which could increase volatility. These risks are magnified in emerging markets. The Fund's ESG investment strategy may limit the number of investment opportunities available to the fund and, as a result, the fund may underperform funds that are not subject to such criteria. As a non-diversified fund, it is permitted to invest a higher percentage of its assets in any one issuer than a diversified fund, which may magnify the fund's losses from events affecting a particular issuer.
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Before investing, carefully consider a fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. You can find this and other information in each prospectus, or summary prospectus, if available, which is available at www.leggmason.com/individualinvestors. Please read it carefully.
Active management does not ensure gains or protect against market declines.
All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Equity securities are subject to price fluctuation and possible loss of principal.
©2015 Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC and ClearBridge Investments, LLC are subsidiaries of Legg Mason, Inc.
INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT FDIC INSURED | NO BANK GUARANTEE | MAY LOSE VALUE
SOURCE ClearBridge Investments