High Yield Sustainable Fixed Income: How SDGs + Engagement outperform index, deliver positive change to society & environment | Mitch Reznick | Head of Sustainable Fixed Income, Federated Hermes (#022)
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Mitch Reznick is the Head of Sustainable Fixed Income at Federated Hermes and the Co-Portfolio Manager of the company’s SDG Engagement High Yield Credit Fund. With over 23 years experience in the corporate credit industry, he was previously the Co-Head of Credit Research for the global credit team at Fortis Investments, and prior to that was an associate analyst in the leveraged finance group at Moodys Investors Service in New York.
Mitch has a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University, a Bachelor’s in history from Pitzer College and is a CFA charterholder. He is Co-Chair of the Federated Hermes Sustainability Investment Centre and holds several advocacy roles, including founding board member of the European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA); Co-Chair of the Credit Risk and Ratings Advisory Committee at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and workstream member CFO Coalition for the SDGs of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).
Formerly, Mitch was Co-Chair of the Capital Markets Advisory Committee of the IFRS Foundation; member of the Sovereign Working Group (PRI); workstream member of the UK-China Green Finance Task Force; and served on the Green Finance Advisory of the City of London.
In today’s episode, Mitch recounts that it was early in his career while working in the leveraged finance team at Moody’s that he fell in love with finance in general and specifically with the high yield corporate credit world. He later moved to London as a high yield fund manager for Fortis Investments and then left in 2008 for Federated Hermes as part of a team hired to rebuild the credit business in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Mitch discusses how early on he observed that Federated Hermes was well-placed to bring sustainable fixed income solutions to the market and since then he has been focused on ESG integration and building investment solutions that deliver financial returns while delivering positive change for society and the environment with engagement being the catalyst. Mitch describes in detail the Federated Hermes SDG Engagement High Yield Credit Fund which he is Co-Manager. He discuss at length the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and what they mean in the fixed income space.
We talk about greenwashing, ‘greeniums’, ‘step-ups’, transition bonds and much more.
Mitch is active on a number of technical working groups and work streams that are currently developing the connection between sustainability and fixed income investments. As a representative of a large investor in the fixed income space, he is very much in the flow of this evolution and represents the current thinking on the subject.
About the SRI 360° Podcast: The SRI 360° Podcast is focused exclusively on sustainable & responsible investing. In each episode, Scott Arnell interviews a world-class investor who is an accomplished practitioner from all asset classes. In my interviews, I cover everything from their early personal journeys—and what motivated and attracted them to commit their life energy to SRI—to insights on how they developed and executed their investment strategies and what challenges they face today. Each episode is a chance to go way below the surface with these impressive people and gain additional insights and useful lessons from professional investors.
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