Credit Research

Robert Fernandez, CFA

Vice President
Director of ESG Research

Rob, vice president, is Breckinridge’s director of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research. In his role, Rob leads Breckinridge’s ongoing ESG integration efforts, regularly contributes thought leadership and performs corporate credit analysis. Rob has been with the firm since 2010 and has over 18 years of research experience. Prior to Breckinridge, Rob was a senior research analyst at Opus Investment Management. Rob began his career in credit research at State Street Bank & Trust Co. as a participant in its commercial loan officer development program. He has also held commercial credit analyst positions at Cambridge Savings Bank and Eastern Bank. Rob serves as treasurer and board member of the CFA Society Boston, Inc., as a member of the Investment Committee for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and as a member of the advisory board for the CECP Strategic Investor Initiative. He holds a BS from Boston College and an MBA from the Boston University School of Management. He is a member of the CFA Institute and is an FSA Credential holder.

On his role…

“As director of ESG research, I am responsible for managing as well as enhancing our ESG research capabilities. This requires a high level of collaborative innovation among Breckinridge team members and a focus on continuous improvement. In addition, I cover industrial sectors as a corporate bond analyst.

On the importance of ESG to Breckinridge…

“We have integrated ESG into our investment process because we believe these issues can impact credit quality. We see ESG analysis as adding an additional level of rigor to our bottom-up fundamental analysis. Our ESG approach aims to rewards practices that support long-term viability through lower costs and higher innovation potential. We also believe ESG is a natural match for investment-grade fixed income strategies, given the longer time horizon of investments and the lower risk tolerance of most fixed income investors.

On developing Breckinridge’s ESG process…

“When we started the integration process over six years ago, we spent a tremendous amount of time assessing the sustainable investing landscape, including the availability of ESG information, to determine how best to embed the analysis into our research process. Being one of the first, if not the first, in the industry to integrate ESG in investment-grade fixed income, we wanted to make sure we were innovative and thoughtful in our approach. This mindset continues to drive our leadership position in ESG research today.

On the importance of Breckinridge’s sustainability collaborations…

“From the start, we’ve worked closely with nonprofits like CERES and SASB. We have gained so much from our collaborations with these organizations because of their deep knowledge and expertise. They helped solidify our understanding of ESG and informed our research. They also appreciate our perspective as an investment manager and often ask us to participate as speakers in a number of sustainable investment conferences.

On Breckinridge’s culture…

“Breckinridge’s culture is one that encourages creativity, non-traditional thinking and teamwork. If you have a good idea that would enhance our investment process and benefit our clients, you can run with it, working with colleagues to get it done. Also, as a B-Corp, we are committed to adhering to the certification’s high standards for social and environmental performance. This commitment permeates everything we do.