With bonds now looking more attractive than they have in more than a decade, it’s time that investors looked afresh at the financially material environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors that may impact long-term fixed income valuations.
A particularly effective tool that active managers can use to mitigate material ESG risks in their portfolios is investment stewardship. However, while engaging on ESG factors, alongside other financially material factors, is well understood among equity investors, the relationship between fixed income stewardship and ESG is perhaps less appreciated.
Here, we look at three key reasons why we believe fixed income investors can engage just as effectively on financially material ESG issues as their equity counterparts.
1. Engagement with bond issuers is well established
2. The interests of bond holders and shareholders are aligned
3. Bonds provide the potential for broad engagement