SHOW FILTERS

Looking for something specific? Drill down with our filter tools. Search with one or more of the options below.

  • BY AUTHOR

  • BY TOPIC

  • BY CATEGORY

  • Clear Selections

October 29, 2019  |  U.S. Fixed Income
ESG Engagement for Fixed-Income Investors

Portfolio Manager

Todd Kurisu, CFA, is a portfolio manager for William Blair’s Core Fixed Income and Intermediate Fixed Income strategies. He is also a member of the ESG leadership team. Before joining William Blair in 2005, Todd was the head corporate bond trader at AAM Investment Management. Todd began his career in 1990 as a consultant in the fixed-income research group at Ennis Knupp & Associates. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Chicago. He received a B.S. in finance, with distinction, from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Fixed-income investors have increasingly incorporated ESG analysis into their investment processes, and many of us are now trying to determine our role in regard to engagement with public corporate bond issuers.

As a signatory to the U.N.-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), William Blair commits to the PRI’s six principles. It is the second and third of these principles—“We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices” and “We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest”—that most relate to investor engagement.

PRI’s Six Principles

  1. We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  3. We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  4. We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  5. We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  6. We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

Meaningful Engagement

When most investors consider being actively engaged with companies, they think of it in terms of being an equity shareholder in that company. But acknowledging the responsibility of voting proxies, which accompanies share ownership, we believe public fixed-income investors can also engage meaningfully with companies as stewards in sustainability-focused investing strategies.

In the public bond market, most investors do not have enough influence with issuers to be able to direct specific environmental, social, and governance (ESG) covenants and/or requirements.

Because of this, we believe that engagement is most impactful when investors communicate their preferences to issuers and focus on long-term behavior.

As fixed-income investors, focusing on long-term behavior is consistent with our underlying investment process, which involves seeking to identify companies with strong management teams that are leaders in their respective industries.

Most companies we engage with are amenable to the conversation and eager for feedback.

Our focus has been primarily on smaller-capitalization companies and companies domiciled in emerging or developing markets. That is because many larger U.S. companies have well-documented sustainability-focused initiatives and continue to devote significant resources to ESG issues and reporting, so ample information is available. We find significant value in engagement with companies that do not have such resources or as much publicly available information.

Beginning the Conversation

In our initial conversations with management, our goal is to confirm our understanding of the company’s ESG efforts and reconcile information from independent sources with management’s stated approach and expectations.

Specifically, we try to identify how much ESG is ingrained in the company’s culture—i.e., which of the environmental and social factors are material for the company’s business and how they are being managed.

As we gain an understanding of the company’s fundamentals and become more comfortable with its business, we seek to confirm our understanding of the company’s overall financing needs, sources and uses of cash flow, and long-term capital expenditure plans.

While there may not be a lower cost of capital to a green bond issuer, there also does not appear to be a premium paid by green bond issuers.

This understanding allows us to identify the timing and type of bond issuance management intends. Here we try to identify the appropriateness of green bond issuance for the company.

Green Bond Issuance

As green bond issuance becomes more prevalent among corporations, we have seen a few instances in which a company issues both a green bond and a comparable traditional bond.

Thus far there hasn’t been a persistent difference in valuation for the green bond. While there may not be a lower cost of capital to a green bond issuer, there also does not appear to be a premium paid by green bond issuers. We believe that this serves both the investor and the issuer well.

While some companies may only be interested in a more restrictive issuance (green bond) if it affords a lower cost of capital, it is possible that green bond issuance, because of its dedicated investor base, has more stable spread performance.

This means that if a company has a sustainable business, it may have access to an additional and possibly more stable source of funds.

Green Bond Examples

Starbucks was one of the first U.S. corporations to issue a “sustainable” bond in 2016. Proceeds were dedicated to Starbucks’ supply chain and financing projects in sustainable farming.

Since this inaugural sustainable bond issue, Starbucks has issued bonds for both general corporate purposes and another sustainable bond.

When comparing both structures, adjusting for differences in maturity, we find no evidence of a performance bias in either direction.

More recently, Verizon Communications issued a green bond. Proceeds were intended to be used to fund eligible green investments, including renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects (such as the deployment of 5G wireless technologies, which will allow for real-time response to energy demand and smart city systems).

As with Starbucks, we find no systematic pricing difference between the green bond and bonds issued for general corporate purposes.

We have seen specific trading days, however, where headlines move the spread of the general corporate bond more than that of the green bond. This is likely because green bond investors are dedicated holders and less likely to flip bonds.

Of course, these are examples of large high-grade corporate bond issuers issuing bonds into a stable investor market—so when we engage with potential issuers, we note the nuances of corporate bond pricing and point out the growth of green/sustainable bond issuance and the demand for such issuance.

If a company is a leader in sustainable practices, over time it should see incremental benefits via reduced costs and improved margin, or some other competitive advantage that results in stronger financial performance and/or improved cash flow.

Beyond Green Bonds

Beyond a company’s access to capital and bond issuance expectations, we seek to reconcile the long-term benefits of sustainable themes to a company’s bottom line.

If a company is a leader in sustainable practices, over time it should see incremental benefits via reduced costs and improved margin, or some other competitive advantage that results in stronger financial performance and/or improved cash flow.

Because fixed-income investors favor companies with these characteristics, those companies could be rewarded with incremental depth in their capital markets. This would presumably result in a lower cost of capital.

We find that management teams today are eager to discuss sustainable themes with fixed-income investors. Our goal is to identify companies that are leaders in their industries and have sustainable processes that materially impact their operations.

Some examples of our engagement include:

  • We have engaged with a packaged consumer goods company that is converting to clean energy for all of its operations and to natural-gas-fueled delivery vehicles.
  • We have engaged with a commodity producer that uses sustainable practices for forestry and waste management.
  • We have engaged with a specialty industrial products company that produces infrastructure products for water conservation and management.
  • We have engaged with a water utility company looking to broaden its investor base.

While we cannot claim to have specifically influenced these companies’ corporate strategies, we believe our feedback has been well received and shared within the company.

As a result of our engagements, we have also been able to gain valuable insight into companies’ operations—insight that is significantly greater than what can be gleaned from published information or independent rating services.

As an active manager, we believe that this is a core element of our value proposition.

Todd Kurisu, CFA, is a portfolio manager on William Blair’s Fixed Income team.

References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities. William Blair may or may not own the securities referenced, and if such securities are owned, no representation is being made that they will continue to be held. It should not be assumed that any investment in the securities referenced was or will be profitable. 

Portfolio Manager

Todd Kurisu, CFA, is a portfolio manager for William Blair’s Core Fixed Income and Intermediate Fixed Income strategies. He is also a member of the ESG leadership team. Before joining William Blair in 2005, Todd was the head corporate bond trader at AAM Investment Management. Todd began his career in 1990 as a consultant in the fixed-income research group at Ennis Knupp & Associates. He is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Chicago. He received a B.S. in finance, with distinction, from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Related Posts

Related Posts

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.