Funds Group: Mesirow Financial
Management Company: Mesirow Financial Investment Management, Inc.
Funds Affected: Mesirow Financial Small Cap Value Sustainable Fund
Principal Sustainable Investment Strategies: ESG integration, shareholder engagement
The adviser considers environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors within its fundamental assessment of macro, sector and company specific trends, as may be modified over time. The adviser incorporates ESG factors through creating aggregate ESG scores for companies in the investable universe and removing companies that score less favorably from potential investment consideration. Factors taken into consideration may include (but are not limited to): environmental factors such as the management of natural resources, carbon related issues, waste and recycling; social factors such as diversity and inclusion at the board of directors level, workplace policies, child labor and human rights; and governance factors such as board composition, share class structure and shareholder voting rights. The adviser believes that certain ESG factors have the potential to reduce the cost of capital, materially lower operating costs or increase the profitability of a company, which may, in turn, lead to higher investment returns by the Fund if it invests in such company. The adviser also believes incorporating such ESG factors may contribute to better investment returns by reducing the overall risk profile of the fund’s portfolio holdings. Under normal circumstances, the fund invests at least 80% of its net assets, plus any borrowings for investment purposes, in securities of companies that have favorable scores in the fund’s investable universe, as determined by the adviser in accordance with the adviser’s sustainable equity strategy. This investment policy may be changed by the Fund upon 60 days’ prior written notice to shareholders.
The adviser continuously monitors and evaluates investments held by the Fund to discern changes in trends, modify investment outlooks, and adjust valuations accordingly. The adviser attempts to mitigate excess risk through ownership of what it considers a well-diversified portfolio with broad representation across market industries and sectors. The adviser seeks to actively encourage management of the Fund’s portfolio companies to improve their ESG factors with the goal of producing better investment results and positive environmental and societal outcomes.