July 22, 2020  |  Emerging Markets Debt
The Spread Over Sovereign Framework

Portfolio Manager

Luis Olguin, CFA, is an emerging markets corporate portfolio manager on William Blair’s emerging markets debt (EMD) team. Before joining William Blair, he was a senior portfolio manager on NN Investment Partners’ EMD team. In that role, he had global portfolio management responsibilities for emerging markets corporate credit as well as analyst duties across the Latin American oil and gas, metals and mining, and industrials sectors. Previously, he was head of equities for AFP Habitat, a pension fund in Peru. During this time, he was also a professor at the University of Lima, where he taught several courses on investment management. Before that, he was a director with financial and managerial responsibilities for a family-owned conglomerate in Peru. He also spent eight years in fixed-income research and portfolio management roles at ING Investment Management (NN Investment Partners’ predecessor). Luis received a B.B.A. from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

RELATED STRATEGIES:


Emerging Markets Corporate Debt

Portfolio Manager, Credit Analyst

Mariana Villalba, CFA, is an emerging markets corporate portfolio manager and credit analyst on William Blair’s emerging markets debt (EMD) team. Before joining William Blair, she was a credit analyst on NN Investment Partners’ EMD team, where she covered Latin American banks and corporates. Before joining NNIP, Mariana was part of the sell-side credit research team at Itau, where she focused on Brazilian banks. Mariana received a B.A. from the University of São Paulo.

RELATED STRATEGIES:


Emerging Markets Corporate Debt

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As the emerging markets hard currency universe has evolved from an asset class predominantly composed of sovereign debt to a more diversified one including sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns, and corporate debt, opportunities to create better risk-adjusted portfolios using corporate debt have emerged.

Adding Corporates to Portfolios: A Systematic, Risk-Managed Approach

The hard currency emerging markets debt (EMD) universe is currently valued at more than $3 trillion, with each sub-asset class—sovereigns, quasi-sovereigns, and corporate debt—accounting for approximately one-third of the total.

Quasi-sovereign and corporate credit issuers usually trade at an additional spread to their country of risk. While corporate credit can have quite different risks than sovereign credit, we believe a systematic and bottom-up approach is useful in extracting the spread-over-sovereign (SoS) premium while managing excess idiosyncratic corporate credit risk.

Most emerging markets (EM) corporate issues trade at a higher spread than their respective sovereigns, reflecting an additional premium for risk. According to our analysis, based on the bonds that compose the J.P. Morgan Corporate Emerging Markets Bond Index (CEMBI) Broad and J.P. Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Global (EMBIG), about two-thirds of corporate bonds offer at least 100 basis points (bps) in additional spreads to their comparable sovereign bonds, as the chart below illustrates.

Similarly, J.P. Morgan analysis shows that corporate bonds in the J.P. Morgan CEMBI offer, on average, an 83-bps pickup relative to their sovereign bonds as of June 26, 2020, as the chart below illustrates.

Lastly, when looking at some of the largest countries in the J.P. Morgan CEMBI Broad, such as Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, China, Russia, and Peru, the spread of the corporate index over the sovereign index (the J.P. Morgan EMBI) ranges from 75 to 430 bps as of June 25, 2020.

At the same time, the credit quality of many EM corporate issuers can be significantly intertwined with the macroeconomic conditions and policy agenda of their respective countries, either because the issuers belong to highly regulated and/or domestically driven sectors, such as utilities, financials, and infrastructure, or because they are partly owned by their sovereigns.

These relationships affect corporates’ credit ratings. The majority of corporate issuers are rated below their country of risk. While the stand-alone credit quality of many corporate issuers merits a lower rating than the country of risk, there are also a large number of issuers whose ratings are capped by their sovereign’s rating even though their intrinsic credit quality suggests a higher rating.

Alternatively, corporate issuers with government ownership and strategic importance to a country can benefit from rating uplifts due to an expected high likelihood of sovereign support should the issuer require it.

Even though ratings vary by rating agency, our analysis suggest only 2% to 8% of issuers in the J.P. Morgan CEMBI are rated above their respective sovereign, while an additional 6% to 13% have the same rating as their country of risk, as shown below.

Alternatively, there are also companies whose credit trajectories are, to some extent, negatively correlated with their sovereigns, such as commodity exporters. These issuers are more exposed to the global dynamics of their industries than to domestic conditions. If a country’s fundamental deterioration leads to a currency depreciation, these issuers could benefit through hard-currency-denominated sales and local currency cost structures. In those cases, adding portfolio exposure to these corporates could create benefits within the country allocation.

Adding corporate exposure to a sovereign portfolio offers the clear advantage of the spread pickup over a sovereign’s curve, but it also exposes the portfolio to a range of new risk factors.

Adding corporate exposure to a sovereign portfolio offers the clear advantage of the spread pickup over a sovereign’s curve, but it also exposes the portfolio to a range of new risk factors outside the scope of sovereign risks.

Sovereign debt risk factors include fiscal conditions, debt sustainability, capital flows, political risk, and reform momentum (or lack thereof).

Corporate credit risk includes, in addition to the sovereign risk component itself, risks associated with the company’s financial fundamentals, sector, liquidity, and quality of management, as well as risks related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and regulatory risks.

To properly address this broad range of risks, we analyze corporate issuers using a multi-risk-factor framework, including financial, business profile, management and strategy, debt structure, ESG, and sovereign risk.

Our Approach

We aim to capture the excess spread corporates offer over their sovereigns while avoiding exposing the portfolio to excess idiosyncratic corporate credit risk. To achieve this objective, we adopt a bottom-up approach to security selection.

We select the majority of the corporate securities for our sovereign portfolios through our SoS framework, which combines a valuation screen, fundamental analysis, and risk-management framework.

We maintain limited exposure to corporates in countries with high-risk profiles (high-beta countries) because the high level of sovereign risk in those countries can have unpredictable negative effects on the credit profiles and ability of companies to service their debt. These risks can materialize through regulatory changes, such as higher taxes and price controls; legal action, such as property expropriation; and intervention in financial markets, such as the imposition of capital controls.

Nevertheless, we have observed many cases of corporates in high-beta countries outperforming their respective sovereigns due to their strong credit profiles and transparent access to U.S. dollars. In those cases, relative valuation can be another reason to avoid exposure to corporates in high-beta countries. Some of these companies trade at a tighter spread than their sovereigns. This is the case in many sovereigns that trade at distressed levels, such as Argentina, Nigeria, and Zambia.

The most recent output of our framework selected 54 bonds from 43 different issuers in 17 countries, offering an average spread over sovereign of 189 bps.

In terms of regional breakdown, Asia represented 43% of recommendations, Latin America 39%, and Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEEMEA) 19%. Because the CEEMEA region has a higher share of high-beta countries than Asia and Latin America do, it usually represents a smaller share of the model’s recommendations. China, Brazil, and Indonesia accounted for most of the recommendations (24%, 19%, and 11%, respectively); the high representation of China and Brazil is not surprising since those are the largest countries in the CEMBI Broad.

In terms of sectors, financials clearly dominated, accounting for 43% of the recommendations, including securities in the UAE, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Qatar, and Poland. Bonds in the utilities, oil and gas, and industrials sectors made up 15%, 13%, and 11%, respectively, of the total recommendations.

By adding corporates to our sovereign portfolios, we aim to capture the excess premium over the sovereign created by market dislocations.

Takeaways

To avoid exposing portfolios to excessive idiosyncratic corporate risk, we believe it is important to add this exposure through a systematic, risk-managed approach. Our security-selection process seeks to take advantage of attractive spread pickup while mitigating risks by combining a valuation screening within predefined risk parameters with our bottom-up credit analysis.

While historical default rates for EM corporates have been modest (averaging 2.8% over the past 10 years ending in 2019), we acknowledge the off-benchmark nature of exposures, which warrants a cautious and quality-focused methodology. By adding spread while avoiding issuers on a deteriorating credit trend, we believe we can improve the risk/return profile of our portfolios.

We believe exposure to corporates in sovereign portfolios is an important source of alpha. By adding corporates to our sovereign portfolios, we aim to capture the excess premium over the sovereign created by market dislocations.

This can occur for two reasons: first, because of the linkage of some corporates to their respective sovereigns’ trajectories while providing additional yield, and second, because a corporate’s price performance is not always fully correlated to a deterioration of a sovereign’s fundamentals and corporates can act as a diversifier.

A more in-depth discussion is available in our white paper.

Luis Olguin, CFA, and Mariana Villalba, CFA, are portfolio managers on the Emerging Markets Debt team.

Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Investing involves risks, including the possible loss of principal. Investing in foreign denominated and/or domiciled securities may involve heightened risk due to currency fluctuations, and economic and political risks. These risks may be enhanced in emerging markets. Investing in the bond market is subject to certain risks including market, interest rate, issuer, credit, and inflation risk. Rising interest rates generally cause bond prices to fall. Sovereign debt securities are subject to the risk that an entity may delay or refuse to pay interest or principal on its sovereign debt because of cash flow problems, insufficient foreign reserves, or political or other considerations. High-yield, lower-rated securities involve greater risk than higher-rated securities; portfolios that invest in them may be subject to greater levels of credit and liquidity risk than portfolios that do not. Individual securities may not perform as expected or a strategy used by the Adviser may fail to produce its intended result. Diversification does not ensure against loss. Framework output is provided for illustrative purposes only and is subject to change without notice.

The J.P. Morgan Corporate Emerging Markets Bond Index (CEMBI) is a market-capitalization-weighted index consisting of U.S.-dollar-denominated corporate bonds issued by emerging markets entities. The J.P. Morgan CEMBI Broad is one of four sub-indices of the CEMBI family; it includes bonds with an outstanding amount of $300mm and above and has no diversification weighting scheme. The J.P. Morgan Emerging Markets Bond Index Global (EMBIG) tracks total returns for traded external debt instruments in the emerging markets. (Index information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but J.P. Morgan does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. The indices are used with permission. The indices may not be copied, used, or distributed without J.P. Morgan’s prior written approval. Copyright 2020, JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.) Beta is a quantitative measure of the volatility of a portfolio relative to the overall market, represented by a comparable benchmark.

Portfolio Manager

Luis Olguin, CFA, is an emerging markets corporate portfolio manager on William Blair’s emerging markets debt (EMD) team. Before joining William Blair, he was a senior portfolio manager on NN Investment Partners’ EMD team. In that role, he had global portfolio management responsibilities for emerging markets corporate credit as well as analyst duties across the Latin American oil and gas, metals and mining, and industrials sectors. Previously, he was head of equities for AFP Habitat, a pension fund in Peru. During this time, he was also a professor at the University of Lima, where he taught several courses on investment management. Before that, he was a director with financial and managerial responsibilities for a family-owned conglomerate in Peru. He also spent eight years in fixed-income research and portfolio management roles at ING Investment Management (NN Investment Partners’ predecessor). Luis received a B.B.A. from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

RELATED STRATEGIES:


Emerging Markets Corporate Debt

Portfolio Manager, Credit Analyst

Mariana Villalba, CFA, is an emerging markets corporate portfolio manager and credit analyst on William Blair’s emerging markets debt (EMD) team. Before joining William Blair, she was a credit analyst on NN Investment Partners’ EMD team, where she covered Latin American banks and corporates. Before joining NNIP, Mariana was part of the sell-side credit research team at Itau, where she focused on Brazilian banks. Mariana received a B.A. from the University of São Paulo.

RELATED STRATEGIES:


Emerging Markets Corporate Debt

Related Posts

Investing in emerging markets debt is about properly assessing risk. We believe our beta-bucket approach improves our ability...

Subscribe to Our Blog

Gain insights on macro market events, the economy, and investing strategies.
Receive our latest blog posts in your inbox.

Subscribe to Our Blog Now

Gain insights on macro market events, the economy, and investing strategies. Receive our latest blog posts in your Inbox with headlines like:

SIGN UP

Cookie Policy

At William Blair, your privacy is important and we want to be clear about the information we may collect when you visit our website. This policy explains how we use cookies and may be amended, from time to time, without notice. Please read the information below about our cookie use. By using this site you agree to the placement of cookies on your computer in accordance with the terms of this policy. If you would like to modify your browser to notify you when you receive a new cookie or to disable cookies, please refer to Managing Cookies below. Additional resources, and a link to our full Privacy and Security Policy may also be found below.

What are cookies? Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information that are downloaded to your device when you visit a website. When you revisit the website, the cookies allow the website to recognize your device and remember certain information about you. Cookies can serve many purposes (helping us to understand how visitors use the website, letting you navigate between pages efficiently, remembering your preferences, and generally improving your user experience). Cookies also can help ensure that we provide information to you that is relevant or that you have requested.

You also can learn more about cookies at www.allaboutcookies.org.

Our use of cookies

Session Cookies
Session cookies are used to temporarily store information about logged in users. These cookies do not collect information from the user’s computer, and do not identify the user. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing purposes or remembering where you have been on the internet. The William Blair website uses the following session cookies:

  • “ASP.Net_SessionId”: this cookie helps to identify each browser session on the server so that the user has an uninterrupted journey through the William Blair Website. It expires automatically when the session ends.
  • “ARRAffinity”: these cookies are set by our hosting provider to help load pages efficiently by routing users to the same server consistently. They expire as soon as you close your browser.

Permanent Cookies
Permanent cookies are used to enhance a user’s browsing experience by “remembering” users on subsequent visits. Please note that if you delete these cookies, we will not be able to remember your preferences or your login details or provide you with the content you have requested. These cookies do not gather information about you that could be used for marketing purposes. If you no longer wish for us to remember your selections, you should delete cookies on your machine. The William Blair website uses the following permanent cookies:

  • “recentOffice” and “recentPeople” cookies to speed up navigation by giving you the option to return to pages you have already visited. The cookies expire one year after the last page was requested.
  • “SC_Analytics_Global_Cookie”: this persistent cookie identifies repeat visits from a single user. The cookie expires one year after the last page was requested.
  • “SC_Analytics_Session_Cookie”: this cookie is used to collect anonymised information about how visitors use the site, including the number of visitors, where visitors have come from before coming to the site and the pages they visit on the site. The cookie expires one year after the last page was requested.

Analytics Cookies
There are also certain unique cookies and/or third-party cookies that we may use for analytics purposes to enhance the performance of our website. These cookies may track and provide trend analysis on how our users interact with our website, or help us to track errors. The data collected will generally be aggregated to provide trends and usage patterns for business analysis, site/platform improvement and performance metrics. The type of information we collect includes how many visitors visit our website, when they visited, for how long and which areas of our website are visited and which services are used. While this analysis may be performed by third parties, only William Blair will review the analytics. Your use of our website indicates your consent to the use of these web analytics cookies. One of these third party analytic tools used is a web analytics service provided by Google. Google Analytics is one of the most widespread and trusted analytics solutions on the web for helping us to understand how you use the site and ways that we can improve your experience. Google Analytics uses cookies to help analyze how visitors use the William Blair & Company website. Four types of cookies are used by Google Analytics:

  • __utma Cookie A persistent cookie – remains on a computer, unless it expires or the cookie cache is cleared. It tracks visitors. Metrics associated with the Google __utma cookie include: first visit (unique visit), last visit (returning visit). This also includes Days and Visits to purchase calculations which afford ecommerce websites with data intelligence around purchasing sales funnels.
  • __utmb Cookie & __utmc Cookie These cookies work in tandem to calculate visit length. Google __utmb cookie demarks the exact arrival time, then Google __utmc registers the precise exit time of the user. Because __utmb counts entrance visits, it is a session cookie, and expires at the end of the session, e.g. when the user leaves the page. A timestamp of 30 minutes must pass before Google cookie __utmc expires. Given__utmc cannot tell if a browser or website session ends. Therefore, if no new page view is recorded in 30 minutes the cookie is expired.
  • __utmz Cookie Cookie __utmz monitors the HTTP Referrer and notes where a visitor arrived from, with the referrer siloed into type (Search engine (organic or cost per click), direct, social and unaccounted). From the HTTP Referrer the __utmz Cookie also registers, what keyword generated the visit plus geolocation data. This cookie lasts six months.
  • __utmv Cookie Google __utmv Cookie lasts “forever”. It is a persistent cookie. It is used for segmentation, data experimentation and the __utmv works hand in hand with the __utmz cookie to improve cookie targeting capabilities.

For further details on Google analytics cookies, visit cookies set by Google Analytics.

Targeting Cookies
William Blair may utilize a select set of cookies provided by third parties, such as Like and Share buttons. These cookies store non-personally identifiable information, but may store information that is available to third-party advertisers, publishers, or ad networks.

Managing Cookies
Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies. However, you have the ability to disable cookies if you wish, generally through changing your internet software browsing settings. It may also be possible to configure your browser settings to enable acceptance of specific cookies or to notify you each time a new cookie is about to be stored on your computer permitting you to decide whether to accept or reject the cookie. To manage your use of cookies, there are various resources available to you. For example the “Help” section on your browser may assist you. As our cookies allow you to access some of our website’s essential features, we recommend that you leave cookies enabled. Disabling cookies may mean that you experience reduced functionality or will be prevented from using our site altogether.

Additional Resources

http://www.allaboutcookies.org

https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/online/cookies

William Blair & Company Privacy and Security Policy

Social Media Disclaimer

William Blair & Company, L.L.C. is a broker dealer and investment adviser dually registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). William Blair, along with affiliated entities William Blair Investment Management, LLC and William Blair International, Ltd (collectively, “William Blair”) sponsors and publishes posts on or through pages, profiles, accounts, feeds, channels or other portions of various social media platforms, including but not limited to YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (each, a “Site”) for educational, promotional or other business reasons.

About William Blair Posts

No William Blair post published on any social media platform is an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy shares of any William Blair investment product to any person in any jurisdiction in which an offer, solicitation, purchase or sale would be unlawful under the laws of such jurisdiction. Additionally, all William Blair posts published on any social media platform are for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or recommendations to invest in any particular security, strategy or investment product.

William Blair posts on social media may include statements concerning financial market trends, and are based on current market conditions, which will fluctuate and may be superseded by subsequent market events or for other reasons. Historic market trends are not reliable indicators of actual future market behavior or future performance of any particular investment which may differ materially, and should not be relied upon as such. The investment strategies and broad themes discussed in William Blair’s social media posts may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial situation. Information contained in posts has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. You should note that the materials on the social media platforms are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranties. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. All investments involve a degree of risk, including the risk of loss. No part of William Blair posts may be altered without express written permission from William Blair.

William Blair posts may provide links to third party websites only as a convenience and the inclusion of such links does not imply any endorsement, approval, investigation, verification or monitoring by William Blair of any content or information contained within or accessible from the linked sites. While we make every attempt to provide links only to those websites we think are trustworthy and accurate, we cannot be responsible for the content or accuracy of the information presented on those websites and we specifically disclaim any liability for any loss or damages which you may incur, directly or indirectly, as a result of your use of them. We reserve the right to terminate a link to a third party website at any time.

General User Guidelines

Due to the highly regulated nature of our industry and as a matter of policy, William Blair, in some instances, may not reply to user comments. Please ensure that your contributions in relation to any William Blair posts are relevant and topical. Do not publish your own advertisements of any kind on any William Blair social media page or with respect to any William Blair posts. We ask you to be respectful and courteous and refrain from publishing, including through hyper-links, inappropriate or offensive material on any William Blair social media page. Do not attempt to promote investments (this includes posting testimonials, giving investment advice, or making recommendations about specific securities, securities strategies, products or services) on any William Blair social media page. Do not attempt to submit to William Blair any personal, confidential or account information through any William Blair social media page. William Blair is not subject to any obligations of confidentiality regarding information submitted to them through any William Blair social media page or otherwise through any social media platform.

Third-Party Posts on any William Blair Social Media Page

While William Blair may monitor third-party posts published on any William Blair social media page, such posts may be reviewed to ensure regulatory compliance, but otherwise are not edited before being displayed. Third-party posts on any William Blair social media page are the view and responsibility of the third-party, not William Blair. William Blair cannot guarantee the appropriateness, accuracy or usefulness of any third-party posts or of any third-party hyper-link, nor are they responsible for any unauthorized or copyrighted materials contributed by a third-party in any William Blair social media page. William Blair reserves the right to remove or edit any third-party posts or comments on any William Blair social media page that are inappropriate or that violate (or may violate) applicable regulations.

William Blair does not publish or otherwise disseminate statements relating to current or former clients’ positive experiences with or endorsements of William Blair and expects you to refrain from publishing such posts on any William Blair social media page. You should limit your posts on any William Blair social media page to investment themes rather than commenting, positively or negatively, on William Blair, its products, services or personnel. Although our clients may follow this account, this should not be interpreted as a testimonial regarding any client’s experience with our firm.

Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services do not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by, or affiliation with William Blair with respect to any hyper-linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by William Blair. William Blair expressly disclaims any responsibility for the posts, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites, as posted by third-parties on any William Blair Social media page.

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.

Privacy Policy

William Blair is not responsible for the terms of use or privacy policies of any social media platform on which William Blair posts may appear, including in any William Blair social media page. For additional information regarding account security and privacy, refer to our Privacy and Security statement

Copyrights and Trademarks

Each social media page’s content and information, and all trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade dress, logos, copyrights and other intellectual property displayed on the Site by William Blair (“Content”) are protected by U.S. and worldwide copyright and trademark laws and treaty provisions, and are owned by, controlled by or licensed to William Blair or their respective owners. By using any social media page, we do not grant you any rights to reproduce, sell, or license any of the content contained herein, except that you may print a copy of the information contained herein for your personal use only. You may not reproduce or distribute the text or graphics to others or copy all or substantially all of the content to your own hard drive or server without the prior written permission of William Blair.

Permitted Uses of Our Sites and Content

We have listed below the permitted uses of our Content. We reserve the right to change our permitted uses at any time.

  • William Blair grants you a limited, revocable, nonexclusive and nontransferable right to view, store, bookmark, download, copy and print pages from the Site for your personal and noncommercial use only. Unless you receive our permission in advance, you may not exploit any of the Content commercially or forward it as a mass distribution.
  • If you link other websites to any Site, you may not imply or suggest that William Blair has endorsed or is affiliated with such websites and you may not display this Site as “framed” within another website.

Prohibited Uses of Our Sites and Content

William Blair does not grant, by implication, estoppel or otherwise, any license or right to use Content on any social media page other than those set forth above, and you shall not make any other use of such Content without William Blair’s written permission. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing:

  • You agree not to copy large portions of any social media page (such as by bots, robots or spiders that “harvest” the Site), interfere with the functioning of the Site or restrict or inhibit any others from using the Site.
  • If you download any pages from any social media page, you agree that you will not remove or obscure any copyright or other notices or legends contained in any such Content. You may not alter or modify the Content in your copies.
  • You may not (and may not encourage or assist others to) violate any law, regulation, rule or the intellectual property or contractual rights of others, or attempt to violate the security of any social media page or use or gain access to the identities, information or computers of others through any social media page.
  • You may not transmit any virus, worm, time bomb or similar system interference or corruptant through any social media page.

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.

Forward-Looking Statements

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.

Forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to, among other things, the operations and performance of our businesses. You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “outlook,” “believe,” “expect,” “potential,” “continue,” “may,” “should,” “seek,” “approximately,” “predict,” “intend,” “will,” “plan,” “estimate,” “anticipate” or the negative version of these words or other comparable words. Forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

International Use

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.

Miscellaneous Provisions

YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other social media sites are public sites. William Blair is in no way affiliated with them and has no responsibility for their operations and services or for related service sites. William Blair is not responsible for any social media platform’s terms of use or privacy or security policies, or any other third party sites that may be linked to by a social media platform. By using a social media platform, you accept at your own risk that the Internet and online communications medium may not perform as intended despite the efforts of William Blair, your Internet Service Provider, and you.

For additional information regarding account security and privacy, refer to our Privacy and Security statement. For customer service inquiries or questions about your accounts, please visit our website at: www.williamblair.com.

Your Acceptance of these Terms

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.

Glossary

INDICES
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.