Welcome to Highland Good Steward Management, LLC
At Highland Good Steward Management (HGSM), we deploy our investor’s capital in search of superior returns like any other investment firm. Unlike other firms however, we base our entire enterprise on the foundation of the UN’s Principles of Responsible Investing, integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions and risk assessments. We, as a signatory, believe that adhering to the UNPRI principles not only considers risk, it also allows an investment the opportunity for sustainable growth.
As proponents of ESG integration, we do more than simply apply negative screens. We provide the investment advisors and portfolio managers with access to our proprietary Research Consortium ESG database and signal them based upon the occurrence of meaningful changes or trends represented in our database. We believe that access provides our managers with an informational edge which they can then incorporate into their investment activities for the benefit of our investors.
Beyond investing capital, we are active owners using our leverage with companies. In addition to voting our proxies where possible we actively engage corporate management teams, through Hermes EOS, on Human Rights issues (supply chain, operations in troubled regions,), Environmental issues (climate change, water), and Social issues (Base of the Pyramid, access to medicines). In addition, where warranted, we engage on very specific issues with portfolio companies where engagement may actually be a catalyst to unlocking shareholder value. We do not merely hope for change in corporate behavior we seek to catalyze change.
Finally, we believe that ESG Integration, to be done most effectively, must be a collaborative effort between us and the investment managers. HGSM has jointly (with Mercer Consulting) developed a protocol and benchmarking process where we work with the Investment Advisor to identify and integrate ESG insights which add value to the investment outcome. This benchmarking process is completely transparent and will result in a framework of continuous improvement as to ESG integration and compliance with the PRI principles.
We provide a choice of access to our ESG integration platform embedded internally in our co-mingled fund offerings or unbundled from our funds as a separate and customized ESG overlay. Our funds are a Global Bond Fund sub-advised by PIMCO and a Hedge Fund of Funds sub-advised by K2 Advisors.
The ESG overlay may be customized to client specific parameters and integrated with the investment decisions of an asset owner’s asset managers.
The tumult in the financial markets over the past several years has reinforced our belief that an investment philosophy that fails to consider the influences of Environmental, Social, and Governance factors is ultimately bankrupt. And following that belief, we are arranging our business to ensure that we do well even as we do good.