Blake Pontius, CFA, is director of sustainable investing. In this role, he coordinates the firm’s integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in its investment processes and provides ESG research support to the global equity team. Blake also leads the firm’s ESG leadership team. Previously at William Blair, he was a global portfolio specialist and institutional client relationship manager. Before joining William Blair in 2005, Blake worked at UBS Asset Management and Mercer. He is a board member of Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley, and a member of CFA Institute and CFA Society Chicago. In addition, Blake holds the SASB Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential and the CFA Certificate in ESG Investing. He received a B.A. in economics, with honors, from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. in finance, with distinction, from DePaul University.
Companies are increasingly embedding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into their strategic decision making, and certain companies are generally more favorably exposed to these trends—including companies in the building materials and consumer-related industries. Watch...
Investor demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration has increased rapidly across regions and asset classes in recent years and is now poised to accelerate in the wake of COVID-19. To help frame the...
China is the world’s worst polluter, so why feature it in a series about the critical but underappreciated value of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in emerging markets? It’s also the world’s largest investor...
The January 2019 collapse of a Brazilian mine tailings dam—which released 11.7 million cubic meters of toxic mud, killed at least 150 people, and led to a corruption probe—underscores the critical but underappreciated value of...
Given investors’ surging interest in combining financial return objectives with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors—a concept known as “blended value”—some may be tempted to dismiss this as a transient trend.1 But our journey to...
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About William Blair Posts
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General User Guidelines
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Use Social Media Platforms at Your Own Risk
William Blair is in no way affiliated with any social media platform and has no responsibility for any social media page’s operations and services. William Blair and their respective affiliates, directors, officers, or employees are not liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive or special damages arising out of or in any way connected with your access or use of, or inability to access or use, a social media platform, any William Blair social media page thereon or reliance on any William Blair post or any failure of performance, interruption, defect, delay in transmission, computer viruses or other harmful components, or line or system failure associated with a social media platform or any William Blair social media page thereon. Use of a social media platform or any William Blair social media page thereon is at your own risk.
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We have listed below the permitted uses of our Content. We reserve the right to change our permitted uses at any time.
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Prohibited Uses of Our Sites and Content
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William Blair has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor any social media page for unauthorized or objectionable conduct and to take all appropriate actions in response, without notice to you. We reserve the right to change or supplement our website policies at any time to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.
Statements made on any social media page that look forward in time involve risks and uncertainties and are forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the adverse effect from a decline in the securities markets or a decline in William Blair’s products’ performance, a general downturn in the economy, competition from other companies, changes in government policy or regulation, inability of William Blair to attract or retain key employees, unforeseen costs and other effects related to legal proceedings or investigations of governmental and self-regulatory organizations.
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The Content provided in or accessible through any social media page is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation or which would subject William Blair to any registration or other requirement within such jurisdiction or country. William Blair reserves the right to limit access to the Site to any person, geographic region or jurisdiction. Unless otherwise expressly set forth herein, William Blair makes no representations that transactions, products or services discussed on or accessible through the Site are available or appropriate for sale or use in all jurisdictions or by all users, or that access by any user in the place it is located is not illegal or prohibited. Users who choose to access the Site from other locations do so on their own initiative and are responsible for establishing the legality, usability and correctness of any information or Content on the Site under the laws of any applicable jurisdictions. You may not use or export the Content on the Site or accessible through the Site in violation of applicable laws and regulations.
Transmission to and From any Social Media Page
Subject to any applicable terms and conditions set forth in our Privacy and Security Statement, any communication or other material that you send to us through the Internet or post on any social media page by electronic mail or otherwise, is and will be deemed to be non-confidential as between you and us and William Blair shall have no obligation of any kind with respect to such information. William Blair will be free to use, for any purpose, and without compensation due or payable to you, any ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques provided by you to William Blair through any social media page.
Disclaimer and Indemnity
William Blair and its affiliates disclaim, to the fullest extent permitted by law, all express and implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. If you live in a state that does not allow disclaimers of implied warranties, our disclaimer may not apply to you.
William Blair does not warrant that the information in any social media page is accurate, reliable or correct, that any social media page will be available at any particular time or location, or that any social media page is free of viruses or other harmful components. Electronic communications can be intercepted by third parties and, accordingly, electronic mail and other transmissions to and from any social media page or made via any social media page may not be secure.
The investments and strategies discussed in the content may not be suitable for all investors and are not obligations of William Blair or any of its affiliates or guaranteed by William Blair or any of its affiliates. The investments are not bank deposits and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other entity and are subject to investment risks, including the loss of the principal amount invested. Nothing contained on the Site constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice nor is to be relied on in making an investment or other decision. You should obtain and carefully review any applicable prospectus, statement of additional information and/or offering memorandum as well the William Blair Form ADV, as applicable, before making any investment decision. Decisions based on information or materials contained on any social media page are the sole responsibility of the user.
As consideration for access to any social media page, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless William Blair and their employees, contractors, affiliates, officers and directors from and against any claims whatsoever and of any nature for damages, losses and causes of action, including but not limited to actions by third parties against you, William Blair or any of its Related Person, arising out of or in connection with any decisions that you make based on such Content, your use of any social media page, or your violation of our website policies. You agree to make William Blair, whole for any and all claims, losses, liabilities, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) arising from your use of the Site or any violation of this the policies laid out in this Disclaimer, unless prohibited by law.
Your use of the Site constitutes your acceptance of the terms contained herein. You may reject these terms by leaving the Site at any time.
For additional information about William Blair or to contact us, please visit our website at: www.williamblair.com.
The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based benchmark that measures the investment grade, U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market, including Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, mortgage-backed securities (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass-throughs), asset-backed securities, and commercial mortgage backed securities.
The MSCI ACWI IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets.
The MSCI ACWI ex-US IMI Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures large, mid, and small cap representation across developed and emerging markets, excluding the U.S. The Value and Growth Indices are a subset of the Index that adopt a framework for style segmentation in which value and growth securities are characterized using different attributes. Multiple factors are used to identify value and growth characteristics.
The MSCI ACWI Small Cap Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that captures small cap representation across developed and emerging markets.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of emerging markets.
The MSCI World Index is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets.
The Russell 2000 Index is a market capitalization-weighted index designed to represent the small cap segment of the U.S. equity universe.
Index performance is for illustrative purposes only. The indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested in directly.
TERMS Alpha is a measure of an investment’s return in excess of the market’s return, after both have been adjusted for risk.
Beta is a measure of the volatility of an investment relative to the overall market, represented by a comparable benchmark.
Half-life is a statistical measure of the time required for the discrepancy between price and value to contract by half of its starting value. Fundamental value estimates are based on the Dynamic Allocation Strategies team’s proprietary research.
P/E Ratio is a measure of valuation which compares share price to earnings per share, calculated using estimates for the next twelve months.
Standard deviation is a statistical measurement of variations from the average.
QUANTITATIVE MODELS – FACTOR DEFINITIONS The William Blair Earnings Trend Model captures information about short- and medium-term changes in analyst estimates in an attempt to anticipate future estimate changes and stock performance. The score combines measurements of earnings revisions, momentum, and earnings surprise.
The William Blair Valuation Model combines varying metrics used to characterize the relationship between the stock’s trading price and its intrinsic value. By going beyond using only one or two measures, the model attempts to build a more holistic version of a stock’s worth vis-a-vis the market. The score combines measurements of earnings/cash flow based, asset-based, and model-based factors.