Introduction: Steadfast in Our Journey
Breckinridge Capital Advisors is a Boston-based, independently owned asset manager that focuses on offering strategies that seek to generate income and preserve capital. Working through a network of investment consultants and advisors, we serve a wide variety of clients ranging from high-net-worth individuals to large institutions.
This report offers an overview of our approach and commitment to sustainability both in our investment process and our business operations. Our strong conviction in the merits of environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration in our investment approach motivates examination and reporting on our own sustainable business practices.
In addition, we believe in reporting material and decision-useful sustainability information to our stakeholders. As such, we report to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards (now part of the IFRS Foundation’s International Sustainability Standards Board), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Throughout the report, you’ll see disclosure codes at the bottom of most pages. These codes correspond with the three standardized reports in the index section. Answers will most often be found in the narrative or an external document, rather than in the index.
We pride ourselves on how engrained sustainability is in our culture. Our commitment to remaining independent lends itself well to this, as does our Benefit Corporation status, prompting us to consider all stakeholders in our business decisions. To demonstrate, we can examine the governance of sustainability at the firm. Breckinridge is led by a Board of Directors, which includes a Benefit Director who is tasked with determining whether the firm created general public benefit during the year. The Board of Directors guides an Executive Committee that sets the strategic direction and trajectory of the firm and provides direction to departmental managers. Departmental managers are responsible for implementing operational initiatives. The Board of Directors and Executive Committee monitor and/or approve strategic sustainability initiatives.
The investment process is managed by the Investment Committee. ESG risks—including climate risk—are integrated into the investment process as directed by our co-heads of research, and our director, ESG research.
The firm’s corporate sustainability efforts are led by our director of corporate sustainability, who works with departmental managers as appropriate to implement sustainability initiatives within our business operations.
Both the director, ESG research, and the director of corporate sustainability work closely with the Sustainability Committee—chaired by the director of sustainability—which serves as the steward of Breckinridge’s sustainability efforts and is entrusted with responsibility for broadening firm-wide awareness and participation in sustainability initiatives.
The Sustainability Committee recommends sustainability policies to the Executive Committee, departmental managers, and the Board of Directors.
After implementation, the Sustainability Committee monitors and reports on progress.
A welcomed enhancement to our governance in 2022 was the establishment of a Stewardship Committee to advance our ESG priorities and engagement efforts. This new ESG governance body has two initial responsibilities:
- Decide on investment related requests to sign-on and/or publicly support external initiatives, letters, and statements related to material ESG issues; and
- Provide input on corporate engagement activities, when relevant.
The committee is largely comprised of members from our investment team and our consultant relations department, and reports to the firm’s Investment Committee.
During 2022, we continued the journey toward greater sustainability in our business at Breckinridge. Our 2022 Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) provides details about our efforts across a range of initiatives.
As an investment manager, we examine corporate and municipal bond issuers for indications their operations are and will be resilient in the face of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. As a business, a sense of accountability calls for us to integrate sustainability into our own operations.
Breckinridge is a certified B Corp and a Massachusetts-registered Benefit Corporation. As such, it is our responsibility to measure our performance on key sustainability issues. Throughout this report, you will gain insights about our team’s commitment to fully understanding and improving how our actions affect all stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, and communities.
For example, we made progress on an investment framework as part of our commitment to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAM) and our own operational commitment to net zero through better measurement of our own corporate carbon footprint.
We also made progress last year on our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Specifically, you will read about our involvement with Fenway High School and the UNCF Lighted Pathways program that reflect our efforts to be involved earlier in the educational journey with students, as we build a more diverse pipeline for future employees.
I encourage your attention to the full report for more insights into these and a number of other substantial efforts undertaken in 2022. Along with our accountability comes the responsibility to continue to address the substantial work that is ahead in order to advance our sustainability goals. In this 2022 CSR, we seek to be transparent about these aspects of our sustainability journey.
I want to express my appreciation to our employees and stakeholders who drive progress in our sustainability programs. Active participation in educational series, volunteer efforts, and fundraising activities in addition to their efforts in the office demonstrate the commitment of our organization to improve our performance on a range of sustainability goals.
As always, I also welcome your questions about our results and the progress we still plan to achieve.