Westwood is committed to the successful integration and promotion of ESG at both the corporate level and investment level. We have established two governing structures to ensure we have the strategic influence and leadership required to create a clear corporate sustainability strategy across the business. The separation of responsibilities among the two governing structures was designed to ensure proper accountability across the firm.
The Responsible Investment Committee was established to consider matters related to the maintenance, development and implementation of Westwood’s responsible investment practices to serve our ESG policy. The committee governs and is represented by multiple investment units with the following primary functions:
Across our strategies, ESG analysis is designed to focus only on material factors. We support this approach with an explicit acknowledgement that fundamental analysis of ESG is highly nuanced by security (sector, size, geography) and investment strategy (holding period, position size, share rights). The specifics of integration and execution are left to the discretion of the investment teams.
ESG analysis is performed by our industry analysts during the first step of our investment process where an analyst is conducting deep, forward-looking research. Analysts have access to multiple third-party ESG metric providers (MSCI-ESG and Glass Lewis/Sustainalytics) and often establish their own inputs. For example, our investment team conducts extensive interviews with prospective company management teams, which may provide important insights on the quality of leadership or a better understanding of misunderstood risks. These inputs ultimately are integrated into a proprietary financial statement projection. All of this rolls up into our recommendations on specific companies.