Collaboration and Thought Leadership
In addition to focusing on our own corporate social responsibility, we seek to advocate for system-level change. We support organizations that are using their expertise to lead the way for progress in areas like climate change, diversity and improved sustainability reporting. Our intention in these efforts is to advance sustainability practices, ESG research and related efforts. These efforts also embed sustainability into our corporate culture. By supporting and partnering with these organizations, we aim to create long-term value for our clients and the broader investor community.
Presented here is a sample of the organizations we partner with, the initiatives we stand behind, and the advocacy letters we wrote or signed during the reporting period.
Breckinridge Shares Thought Leadership with Stakeholders
Breckinridge maintained a commitment to developing and offering insights and perspectives with stakeholders throughout 2022. These efforts were in addition to ongoing monthly and quarterly programs, including our Investment Committee’s monthly and quarterly market commentaries, personalized client reporting, which were enhanced in 2022, our quarterly newsletter focused on ESG and sustainability topics, and industry conference participation.
At an industry level, we sought to inform our stakeholders of key developments in the advancement of sustainability and ESG objectives. These reports included our support of new accounting standards for greenhouse gas emissions, as well as news about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that focused on the urgent need for climate action among investors and business. In addition, we offered information on our website about Securities and Exchange Commission efforts to improve climate-related reporting, regulatory and legislative efforts to improve ESG disclosures, and the effort to improve global consistency of ESG reporting.
We also provided insights into the development of our own approaches to integrating ESG analysis into our investment process. These efforts included a closer look at credit fundamentals for public schools serving students in kindergarten through grade 12, an updated local government research framework, and the role of climate-smart budgeting as municipalities address ESG risks.
As initiatives related to net zero by 2050 increased during 2022, we shared information about our direct involvement as well as commentary on the broader issue of a global transition to a low-carbon future economy. Those reports included Through Their Transition, Higher Education Endowments and Foundations Lend to Net Zero Trend, Corporations Sign Net Zero Pledge, But Can They Back It Up?, and There’s Nothing Passive about Net Zero in Fixed Income.
During 2022, questions increased in some quarters as to the efficacy of ESG analysis and its materiality, we weighed in with our perspectives. In a report on our website and in a letter to the editor of The Wall Street Journal from Breckinridge President Peter Coffin we reasserted our confidence in a systematic approach that integrates ESG analysis with fundamental research.
In addition, we maintained that when grounded in materiality and investment-relevance, the addition of ESG research can provide a more holistic view of potential long-term risks and costs, shifting the sightlines of investors a little further out on the horizon beyond short-term considerations.
Breckinridge published our 2022 ESG issuer engagement report in February 2023. Titled Wider Engagement Lens Deepens Examination of Material ESG Risks, the report is an in-depth review of issuer engagement efforts across corporate and municipal bond markets, reporting in detail on the work of our research analysts directly with bond issuers and industry experts on material topics related to ESG and sustainability.
During 2022, Breckinridge employees were quoted in various investment and ESG-related articles in major news outlets such as Bloomberg, The Bond Buyer, Environmental Finance, FundFire, Impact Alpha, International Financing Review, Institutional Investor, MarketWatch, and The Wall Street Journal, for example.
Our employees also dedicated time at industry conferences during the year. Breckinridge supported several events as sponsor(*).
- 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit
- Morgan Stanley Investing with Impact Directors Gathering*
- Confluence Philanthropy Annual Gathering
- Confluence Climate Week Event on Net Zero
- Camradata Net Zero Focus Roundtable*
- Coaching Corps 2021 Game Changer Awards on “The transformative power of coaching”*
- Oxford Sustainable Finance Summit 2022
- Portfolio Summits: ESG West Summit*
- ESG in Fixed Income
- The Summit for Asset Management East Coast on Diversity/Climate Risk
- Fixed Income Leader Summit on ESG
- Markets Group: 9th Annual New England Fall Institutional Forum on ESG/Net Zero*
- Evening with Ceres on Sustainability Impacts*
- Schwab IMPACT
- CFA Society Sustainable Investing Conference*
- PRI 2022 on responsible investment
Also, during 2022, industry organizations recognized Breckinridge’s work that brought attention in the marketplace to key sustainability efforts. Breckinridge was a winner of the Gramercy Institute’s ESG Marketing & Communication Awards. Our ESG Issuer Engagement Report was selected as the winner of the Content Marketing, Institutional/Business Audience-Targeted category. Founded in 2002 and based in New York, the Gramercy Institute seeks to “to provide insight and information to senior marketers from the world’s leading financial brand while honoring and sharing the industry’s very best practices.”2
Camradata recognized Breckinridge’s net zero work, including our report on corporate signatories to net zero commitments in its net zero white paper. Camradata has Breckinridge on the shortlist for the ESG Investing Awards “Best ESG Investment Fund: Fixed Income.”3
 The Gramercy Institute (GI) hosts more than 25 annual conferences, summits, forums, and award shows worldwide. GI also provides research, analysis, and consulting to the world’s top financial brands. The awards were based on data and content from the previous 18 months from the submission deadline in May 2022. Breckinridge paid a fee for the submission. Public announcement of the 2022 ESG Marketing & Communications Awards was in May 2022 and can be found here: https://www.gramercyinstitute.com/2022-esg-winners.
 CAMRADATA, established in 2003, provides institutional investors, including pension funds, insurers and consultants, with data and analysis to research and report on their investments. Camradata enables investors to conduct assessments of more than 5,000 investment products offered by over 700 asset managers. Camradata Awards are based on data that is housed in its manager research database. Camradata’s proprietary scoring system assesses performance returns and if the fund scores highly (based on Camradata’s 5 quantitative factors) then managers receive an award. Breckenridge paid a fee to add its data to Camradata’s manager database, to be part of the awards consideration, and to be included in assisted searches Camradata runs via investors.