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Blake Pontius, CFA

Director of Sustainable Investing, Portfolio Specialist

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, Blake 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 the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Chicago. In addition, he holds the SASB Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential and the CFA Certificate in ESG Investing. Blake received a B.A. in economics, with honors, from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. in finance, with distinction, from DePaul University.

COVID-19 Drives ESG Demand

COVID-19 Drives ESG Demand

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 ESG outlook from here, it is important to...

China’s ESG Transformation

China’s ESG Transformation

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 in clean energy. China’s...

Why ESG Matters in Emerging Markets

Why ESG Matters in Emerging Markets

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 environmental, social, and governance...

Is Sustainability Sustainable?

Is Sustainability Sustainable?

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 incorporate ESG factors...

Our ESG Journey

Our ESG Journey

The William Blair Global Equity team’s emphasis on quality inherently incorporates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations, and analysts have always considered ESG factors alongside the more traditional financial factors. But our ESG journey has...

Approaches to ESG Implementation

Approaches to ESG Implementation

With the majority of investors believing it makes sense to incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions, and surveys highlighting significant growth in ESG adoption by both asset owners and consultants, let’s look at...

How Investors View ESG

How Investors View ESG

A majority of our recent webinar participants (62%) think it makes sense to incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) into investment decisions, according to a June 2017 William Blair poll —and industry surveys highlight significant growth in ESG...

ESG Integration on the Rise

ESG Integration on the Rise

ESG implementation strategies vary widely across asset owner types, as I explained in “Does ESG Matter?” But it is important to bear in mind that integration is itself a broadly defined category, with varying degrees of systematic processes used across different...

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