We believe that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) best practices are important factors to consider when running a business and assessing the intrinsic value of any investment. Southeastern incorporates ESG considerations into our analysis of companies, vetting of management teams and disciplined valuation process. As long-term business owners, we evaluate ESG considerations from a fundamental, bottom-up perspective and engage to drive long-term shareholder value creation and promote positive change, rather than passively exclude broad sectors of the market. ESG considerations extend beyond how we invest and shape the way we run our own business.
AUM with ESG integrated in bottom-up investment process
Engaging with companies to drive better outcomes
Company meetings in last two years
Companies directly engaged on ESG issues in last two years
Ross Glotzbach, CFA
CEO & Head of Research
The ESG Committee oversees the incorporation of ESG matters into our investment process, client engagement and day-to-day business operations.
The ESG Committee is chaired by our Head of Client Relations and Communications and includes our Manager of ESG Integration and Reporting, as well as senior representation from our Research, Client Relations, Legal and Finance/Human Resources teams. The ESG Committee is involved in ongoing oversight of the incorporation of ESG matters into our investment process and client reporting, as well as our day-to-day business operations. The committee also works with our Operations/Human Resources teams to help review and integrate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) reporting, policies and training. The committee meets at least quarterly, with much more frequent direct communication informally as needed. The Committee Chair reports directly to our CEO and Head of Research, Ross Glotzbach, on progress on a weekly basis.
Global Head of Client Relations and Communications,
Chair of ESG Committee, Principal
Ms. Myerberg joined Southeastern in 2008 and oversees our global client relations and communications efforts. Based in our London office, she is a member of Southeastern's Executive Committee, chairs the ESG Committee and serves as CEO and a board member of Southeastern Asset Management International (UK) Limited. She served as Chairman of the Board for the Longleaf Management Company (Ireland) Limited for seven years. Previously, Ms. Myerberg was Manager of Investor Relations at Thales Fund Management in New York, NY and prior to that was Manager of Investor Relations at Twinfields Capital Management in Greenwich, CT. Ms. Myerberg holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. She completed the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Business Sustainability Management course in 2020.
Client Service Support Manager, ESG Integration & ReportingMore about me
Mr. Bolton joined Southeastern in 2011. He serves as a Manager on the Client Service Support team and is responsible for environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration and reporting. Prior to joining the company, he spent two years as an auditor at Watkins Uiberall in Memphis and three years as an auditor and consultant with Ernst & Young in Memphis and Charlotte. He received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Auburn University and a master’s in Business Administration from University of Memphis. He holds his CFA Level 4 Certificate in ESG Investing.
Portfolio Manager, PrincipalMore about me
Brandon Arrindell, CFA is a senior analyst and Principal at Southeastern Asset Management, and the CEO and Portfolio Manager of Greenwood Pine Partners. Brandon graduated from Harvard College with a degree in economics and is a CFA charterholder. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Ubiquiti Inc. and serves on the board of multiple Memphis-area non-profit organizations including The Collective Blueprint, BRIDGES, and REACH Memphis.
Senior AnalystMore about me
Mr. Utrera joined Southeastern's London Office as an Analyst in 2021. He has 10 years of investment experience and previously held investment research roles in T. Rowe Price International Equities and AnaCap Financial Partners. Prior to that, he was an M&A Analyst at J.P. Morgan's Investment Banking division in London. Mr. Utrera received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Finance from C.U.N.E.F University and a master's degree in Value Investing from OMMA Business School. He holds his CFA Level 4 Certificate in ESG Investing.
AnalystMore about me
Ms. Scarratt joined Southeastern’s London Office in 2019. She began her career at NewRiver REIT and has 7 years investment experience. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of Bristol and a Masters degree in Real Estate Investment and Finance from the University of Reading.
Chief Financial Officer, PrincipalMore about me
Ms. Pressgrove joined Southeastern in 2015. She spent 5 years with KPMG in the audit and assurance practice and then an additional 5 years with regional financial services firms based in Memphis. Ms. Pressgrove holds both a bachelor’s and master’s in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and is a Certified Public Accountant.
General Counsel, PrincipalMore about me
Mr. McCarroll joined Southeastern in 1998 and serves as General Counsel and as a member of Southeastern’s Executive Committee. Prior to that, he spent several years practicing corporate and securities law at a Nashville law firm. Mr. McCarroll obtained a bachelor’s in English and a JD degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in Religious Studies from The University of Chicago.
Our global research team is responsible for investment valuation and assessing ESG factors from a bottom-up perspective for every company we own or consider. We pull from multiple sources to determine the most critical issues at each company and to identify any opportunities to help drive positive change.
We look to partner with properly incentivized management teams and boards of directors that think and act like owners and are growing value per share through intelligent capital allocation.
We own high quality companies with sustainable competitive advantages, strong balance sheets and expected long-term free cash flow growth.
We buy businesses trading at 60% or less than our conservative estimate of a company’s intrinsic value, calculated using present value of free cash flow, net asset value and/or comparable business sales.
Analysts include a dedicated section on ESG analysis in all research reports. This analysis details how each company rates on ESG factors, including how the reality compares to the market’s perception of these issues, as well as areas where we might seek to engage with management to improve ESG causes. We use Sustainalytics as a third-party data provider to help quantify ESG-specific metrics. While we will never outsource research on a topic this important, we have found this to be a useful supplement to our in-house, bottom-up analysis that draws upon our extensive global resources and network to gain a more comprehensive picture. Sustainalytics ratings are a helpful starting point for deeper engagement with some of our companies on how they can improve their relevant practices. In our experience, most ratings agencies take a necessarily formulaic approach to determine a rating, but this often does not allow for a nuanced understanding of a company’s true efforts. We do our own bottom-up analysis and use our network and access to engage with the ratings agencies, ISS and management, boards, ESG and corporate communications professionals at our portfolio companies to understand the perceived issues and encourage improved reporting and ratings agency engagement.
Southeastern approaches every investment with a business-owner mindset, and we believe it is our fiduciary duty to encourage responsible corporate governance by always keeping an engaged dialogue with our management teams and boards of directors.
We constructively engage with our management partners to help drive successful, long-term investment outcomes, using our global network, size, reputation and expertise. The primary focus of our engagement is long-term shareholder value creation, which covers a broad range of topics. We tailor our engagement based on our on-the-ground experience and understanding of what factors are most important to each business and what approach is most effective in each region. Engagement efforts on ESG issues span a broad range of topics, including: adopting standardized climate-related reporting, committing to long-term carbon neutrality and setting near-term goals along the way, curbing and/or offsetting emissions, adopting cleaner energy practices, reducing water usage and other waste, sourcing sustainable and ethical raw materials, encouraging ethical industry pricing standards, creating ESG bonds, improving management and board diversity, vetting supply chain for ethical and/or modern day slavery concerns, taking actionable steps to foster an inclusive culture, aligning management properly through compensation, encouraging value-additive capital allocation, addressing dual-share structures that disadvantage minority shareholders, engaging with ratings agencies and adopting clear reporting on policies on ESG topics and many more. Our engagement on environmental and social issues roughly doubled from 2020 to 2021, as we increased our direct engagement on carbon reporting and mitigation and diversity, equity and inclusion matters.
For more information on our engagement, see Our Approach
We are a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), a leading global network for investors who are committed to integrating ESG considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies. We are a signatory to Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative that is supported by PRI and focused on actively engaging with management teams that are in a position to help drive change. We are also a supporter of Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), an initiative created by the Financial Stability Board to improve and increase reporting of climate-related financial information. We support all three organizations’ commitment to improving governance, strengthening transparency and disclosure and advancing positive long-term change.
We vote proxies where we are given client discretion to do so. We do not rely upon management guidance and/or a proxy service consultant to determine how we will vote. Rather, we review each individual proxy on a case-by-case basis and make our own determination. Our Manager of ESG Integration and Reporting and ESG Committee Chair review each proxy for potential ESG considerations for each vote and share additional analysis with the research team to consider. We sometimes engage with proxy service consultants to encourage them to propose that shareholders vote in what we believe to be the most productive manner for the long-term shareholder value and sustainability of the business. We vote our proxies in support of strong and shareholder-friendly corporate governance agenda items that we believe will help each company create and realize long-term sustainable value for shareholders.
For more information:Proxy Voting Policy
Soil Health: Local Regenerative Agriculture
Southeastern employees and their families have multi-generational ties to agriculture. In the last several years, Southeastern leaders have invested personally in local (near Memphis) regenerative farming with the goal of increasing soil organic matter to improve soil health and productivity and ultimately benefit water quality, food security and the overall health of global ecosystems. These efforts started with converting existing owned land and expanded as the evidence of the benefits of these practices quickly mounted. While we are still in the early stages, we are undertaking extensive research and are investing personally both directly and through early-stage partnerships in regenerative farming. We are offering financial backing to bridge farmers in the local Memphis and surrounding area to increase the scope of these efforts, while also helping to educate local farmers and global investors on the regenerative – and potentially highly lucrative – benefits of this approach. We hope to see an increased focus on soil-based carbon sequestration as a key climate solution and are encouraged by efforts like the Yale Planetary Solutions Project, sponsored by a $100mn donation from FedEx and focused on finding solutions to climate change through advances in natural carbon sequestration. We would welcome conversations to learn from others and/or share our insight gained thus far on this important topic.
Longleaf pine – a tree native to the southeastern United States and the namesake for the Longleaf Funds – is important to the legacy of our firm and founders. Longleaf pine’s impact goes well beyond the value of its timber. The trees support a vast ecosystem of hundreds of plant and animal species. Southeastern supports efforts to re-forest longleaf pines, which have been endangered due to overcutting. The longleaf pine in our lobby, hundreds of years old, was reclaimed from riverbeds where the logs sank while being transported to mills decades ago.
ESG is qualitative and subjective by nature, and there is no guarantee that the criteria utilized, or judgment exercised, by Southeastern Asset Management will reflect the beliefs or values of any particular investor. Information regarding responsible practices may be obtained through voluntary or third-party reporting, which may not be accurate or complete, and Southeastern Asset Management may be dependent on such information to evaluate a company’s commitment to, or implementation of, responsible practices. Socially responsible norms differ by region. Past performance is not a guarantee or reliable indicator of future results. This material contains the current opinions of Southeastern Asset Management and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material is distributed for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. While Southeastern integrates ESG considerations into its assessment of a business’s value, and engages to promote progress on ESG matters as discussed in this report, we do not view our advisory services or funds as “ESG Focused” or “ESG Impact” strategies, as defined by the SEC in its proposed ESG regulation for advisors and funds. Please see our ADV Part 2 for a discussion of our investment approach.