April 2020

Sustainability and impact report

A dialogue with investors

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Section 1

Investment process and engagement

Research is the foundation that supports our products and process, so before reviewing the details of our portfolios, we discuss the context for sustainable investing at Putnam and for our integrated fundamental research process.

Sustainable investing at Putnam

Putnam Investments is an active manager with $149 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2020, and 80 years of investment heritage. In May 2017, Putnam appointed Katherine Collins, CFA, MTS, to the newly created role of Head of Sustainable Investing. She serves as Portfolio Manager of Putnam Sustainable Leaders Fund and Putnam Sustainable Future Fund with Stephanie Dobson. A recognized thought leader, Ms. Collins leads Putnam’s sustainable research, investing, and collaboration. She is the author of The Nature of Investing, founder of Honeybee Capital, graduate of Harvard Divinity School, and former Head of Equity Research and Portfolio Manager at Fidelity Management & Research Company.

Over the past three years, our team has continued to grow and now includes:

  • Stephanie Dobson — Portfolio Manager of Putnam Sustainable Leaders Fund and Putnam Sustainable Future Fund
  • Shep Perkins, CFA — Chief Investment Officer Equities and Portfolio Manager of Putnam Global Equity Fund
  • Alexander Rickson, CFA — Dedicated quantitative research analyst on the Sustainable Investing team
  • Shelby Centofanti — Dedicated equity associate in the Putnam Equity Research group focused on fundamental and thematic research
  • Sam Alpert — Dedicated equity associate in the Putnam Equity Research group focused on fundamental and thematic research
  • Yolanda Taylor — ESG Integration Manager, leading our ESG investment operations across the firm and coordinating Putnam’s corporate sustainability efforts

Importantly, our sustainable investing team is part of the core equity team, not separate from it. We are investors first and foremost, and an integrated part of Putnam’s investment group. In addition to the dedicated team members above, we include the entire research department and our fellow portfolio managers as colleagues and collaborators.

The sustainable investing team works with the broader 59-person equity research and portfolio management team on a daily basis. Our investment process incorporates sector analysis, stock recommendations from the core research team, and insights from other portfolio managers. Activity that supports Putnam’s collaborative research process includes daily morning meetings, company management meetings, investment conference attendance, and company visits. We are supported by the same risk oversight and trading platforms as the broader team.

Likewise, our own thematic and company-specific work is shared with the entire investment team, with a goal of benefiting the whole. We focus on research that highlights investment-relevant ESG issues and forward-looking thematic trends, as identified through our materiality map and our idea map. Our company-specific research is intended to complement and extend the fundamental work of the core research team. Activity that supports our sustainable investment team’s work includes all of the elements noted above, plus ongoing dialogue with issue-specific experts, early stage companies with a sustainability focus, and peers who are focused on ESG analysis and sustainable investing. In addition to the supports noted above, our work is also augmented by a series of internally developed tools that help us to assess ESG data and sustainability performance in a fundamentally relevant way.

Our Sustainable Investing work includes three key priorities: research integration, portfolio management, and contributions to the field.