From their 1983 inception, the international business of Federated Hermes has been at the forefront of responsible investing. Here, Michael Viehs, Head of ESG Integration, explains why the delivery of Sustainable Wealth Creation has and always will be Federated Hermes core purpose.
Interest in ESG has grown exponentially recently but has been important to Federated Hermes for decades. Can you detail some milestones?
Since our first CEO openly challenged a major UK company to improve its governance, to our current leader Saker Nusseibeh being awarded a CBE for services to responsible business, the international business of Federated Hermes has always been at the forefront of responsible investing. But, I guess, some milestones that stand out are:
- The establishment of our dedicated stewardship team, EOS at Federated Hermes, in 2004 – coining the term ‘engagement’ to help explain stewardship to international investors. Today, with $1.3tn in assets under advice, it is now a world-leading stewardship provider;
- We led the working group that developed the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) – and in 2006, when they were launched, we became a founding member;
- In 2014, in an industry first, we established our Responsibility Office; and
- Placing responsibility, integrity and client focus at the heart of everything our people do, we established the Federated Hermes Pledge in 2015, which compels us, as employees, to put clients’ interests first and to act responsibly and transparently.