Sustainability, Investors, and Strategy – Integrating ESG at BlackRock: How environment, social, and governance considerations are shaping investment decisions at the world’s largest asset manager, and how these trends will affect your business
1st Quarter 2016 MSR Topic
Conversation Starter: Verity Chegar, Vice President, ESG Strategist P Corporate Sustainability at BlackRock
DATE: Friday, March 11th, 8am-noon
LOCATION: Milwaukee Metro – details made available to members
Attendees: Bostik, Broan-Nutone, BRP US, GE, GE Healthcare, InPro, Kohl’s Department Stores, Quad Graphics, Quad Packaging, Rexnord Corporation, Rockwell Automation, Smithfield (formerly Patrick Cudahy), and WMEP.
Over the past few years the amount of ESG (environment, society, governance) information available to investors has skyrocketed, through both submitted information and data mining. There is an ESG tab with over 300 items on the Bloomberg Table. We, at the Milwaukee Sustainability Roundtable wanted to learn more and understand what kind of impact this is going to have on our companies. To that end, we have invited Verity Chegar of BlackRock to speak to our members.
BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management firm, with $4.6Trillion assets under their management. BlackRock is a large player in the bond and debt market. In addition, they are one of the largest Socially Responsible Investors (SRI) with $225 billion in mandates that explicitly address social, ethical, or environmental considerations.
On Feb 1st, 2016 Larry Fink, BlackRock’s CEO sent a bold and interesting letter to the CEOs of 500 firms calling for a shift of focus away from quarterly returns to reporting against long term strategy and impact of ESG (NYTimes article).
Our Conversation Starter:
Verity Chegar, Vice President, is an ESG Strategist within the BlackRock Investment Stewardship group. She is responsible for global research of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) trends and their implications for investment. Her work informs Stewardship’s corporate engagement program. She also works with portfolio managers to integrate ESG factors into investment decision-making within BlackRock’s active investment strategies.
Prior to joining BlackRock, Ms. Chegar worked at Allianz Global Investors as an ESG analyst. She was responsible for research and ratings of companies in the global healthcare and global technology sectors. Her role included company and policy level engagement, and she also served as chair of the US proxy voting committee. In 2006 she joined the US Large Cap Portfolio Management team at RCM, which later became Allianz Global Investors. Her investment career began in 2003 at a small cap investment advisor.
Note: As our memberships each include two seats on the roundtable, we are strongly suggesting that members bring one of the following guests to the session: Investor Relations leader, CEO, or a senior strategist.