Our Materiality Map Progress

Retaining focus on ongoing procedures

As noted previously, we’ve restructured our report to focus on the items that rose to the top in our efforts in 2021, but the additional topics remain material to our business. The following provides a high-level sample of some of the practices and progress in each of our material categories.

Business Ethics

Focusing on ethics through the following practices allows us to meet regulatory requirements, better serve our clients’ needs, and create a secure workplace for employees:

  • Commitment to our core values
  • Adherence to our code of ethics/conduct
  • Providing firm-wide compliance training
  • Administering quarterly and annual certifications
  • Creating and maintaining written policies
  • Fulfilling requirements of providing disclosure documents
  • Collecting feedback and reporting
Human Capital Management

Our people and their intellectual capital are the backbone of our business, and we seek to support them and provide an environment where they can thrive through:

  • Offering low premiums on medical/dental coverage for employees and their families
  • Offering adoption assistance ($20,000) and fully paid parental leave (14 weeks)
  • Providing tuition assistance to aid in professional development
  • Matching a portion of employee 401K contributions
  • Providing a series of mental health courses in 2021
  • Creating an Employee Spotlight series in 2020/2021 to build connection among employees
  • Offering virtual workout classes in our Fitness Friday series throughout the pandemic
  • Onboarding care provider service in 2021/2022 to assist families in finding reliable care for child and adult dependents
Client Experience

The past two years have been focused on strengthening our client relationships and providing a more tailored client experience by:

  • Focusing on customizing relationship management outreach and touchpoints based on each relationship’s needs and remote work scenarios to ensure the communication aligns with the client’s preference in format and cadence
  • Regularly including subject matter experts most tailored to clients’ interests
  • Creating higher volumes of client-driven content with topics that are top-of-mind to our investors
  • Engaging in a study on ESG and investment grade fixed income (See Thought Leadership)
  • Publishing our first ESG Issuer Engagement Report (See Thought Leadership)
  • Hosting quarterly webinars to maximize client time and ensure they stayed up to date on market and firm developments
  • Publishing quarterly metric-driven ESG reporting for our sustainable multi-sector strategies to allow for greater portfolio transparency
  • Updating our website to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to ensure accessibility for current and potential clients
Risk Management

We conduct and maintain the following to ensure we keep adapting and evolving:

  • Internal and third-party risk assessments
  • Policy reviews and updates
  • Routine audits and testing, such as personal trading reviews, sensitive data access reviews, penetration tests, tabletop exercises, and marketing audits
  • Ongoing risk management-related training and education for all staff
  • Appointed committees assess and monitor enterprise risks and conflicts
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery plan (BCP)
  • Two geographically diverse office locations
  • Two secure off-site data centers offering data and application redundancy
ESG Integration in Financial Analysis

A decade of integrating ESG has helped us better understand our investments and our role in business and society, and our progress in the space this year included:

  • Signing the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, and developing new approaches to assessing climate transition risks for both corporate and municipal issuers
  • Updating our municipal framework for evaluating school districts which helps us identify districts that are helping students achieve more with less, are engaging with their community, and that have sound governance and disclosure practices
  • Enhancing our corporate ESG scoring model to improve the assessment of a company’s exposure and management of ESG risks, which included:
    • Increasing the weighting in the model to reflect improved corporate ESG disclosure
    • Augmenting the integration of the Bloomberg data collection process
    • Reflecting additional input from an analyst's opinion on sector materiality
Corporate Citizenship

Giving back to our communities is engrained in our culture and we believe it creates a sense of purpose, values alignment, and teamwork among our employees through:

  • Our commitment of donating 1% of gross revenues to charitable organizations, which totaled $540,000 in 2021
  • Offering employees up to three days of paid volunteer time off, and while we continued to experience challenges with volunteerism during the pandemic, our employees still managed to collectively volunteer 320 hours between a handful of outdoor events in the summer, virtual events, and independent opportunities
  • Matching individual employee giving up to $1,500 with 70 percent participation in 2021
  • Continuing to maintain relationships and provide monetary support to our Ambassador Program organizations including The Trustees of Reservations, Pine Street Inn, Frontier Nursing University, The Home for Little Wanderers, and The REAL Program
Operations & Supply Chain

We continuously look for ways to operate more efficiently, safely, and in a manner that has the least negative impact on the environment including:

  • Our gradual and flexible return of employees to our Boston and San Diego offices in late 2021
  • Consistent updates to COVID-19 protocols to align with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state, and local guidance
  • The completion of a vendor audit in 2021 as part of our B Corp recertification process, which we hope to use as a baseline to develop a vendor policy that will consider ESG factors
  • The review of practices that could be more environmentally conscious such as the use of QR codes to replace printed content for conferences, our use of tablets to present in meetings, and switching to a sustainable B Corp printing service for remaining printing needs