Polen Capital focuses on doing the right thing for our clients, employees, investors, community, and the environment. We encourage the same from the companies in which we invest. As part of our extensive research process, risk assessment and due diligence, we are interested in a company’s viewpoint and best practices for sustainability which complements our long-term approach.
While we do not use “ESG scores” provided by third parties to exclude companies from consideration, our disciplined process is focused on identifying businesses that we believe are among the most financially sustainable in the world. This involves analyzing whether the company’s governance, environmental practices and overall value proposition support both continued financial strength and value creation in the view of the business’s key stakeholders.
- We believe strong governance is important for shareholder rights. Investors should have the ability to be heard if management does not run the business in their best interests. High quality, properly incentivized management puts these companies in a better position to succeed.
- Sound environmental practices can lower risk profiles and improve financial strength. All companies should strive to better protect the environment in which they operate.
- Social considerations can be approached in different ways. At Polen, this analysis requires a deep understanding of a company’s value proposition to its customers and other stakeholders. We also analyze competitive advantages, financial strength, and the ongoing initiatives that allow the company’s financial strength to endure. It also our view that that making personal moral judgments is not an appropriate strategy in properly assessing the sustainability of a company’s business model.
- We vote proxies in accordance with our views on best corporate sustainability practices.
Our Approach to ESG is Being Recognized
*Ranking is for the Polen Growth Fund. Source: Morningstar, Barron’s. Morningstar Sustainability Score and Ratings as of 3-31-2021. Scores and ratings may be different for the portfolio as of 3-31-2021. The US Equity Large Cap Growth Category consists of 1,486 funds as of 2-28-2021. Sustainalytics provides company-level analysis used in the calculation of Morningstar’s Sustainability Score. Rating and score are based on the portfolio of the Polen Growth Fund (POLIX), which may not be identical to the model Polen Focus Growth managed account portfolio. Barron’s rankings are based on large-cap U.S. stock funds with assets of $300 million or more, with at least one year’s worth of performance and high Morningstar sustainability ratings (10th percentile of their category), ranked by one-year returns for the applicable 12 months ended on Dec. 31. The Polen Growth Fund was ranked one of the Barron’s Top Performing Sustainable Funds for 2018-2020, scoring 1st (out of 188 funds), 9th (out of 189 funds), and 35th (out of 191 funds, consecutively).
Polen Small Company Growth team discusses why they prefer to invest in consistent, durable-growth businesses, rather than the fastest-growing businesses in the small-cap space
We invest in U.S., global and international companies with exceptional earnings growth, driven by a sustainable competitive advantage, superior financial strength, proven management teams and powerful products or services.
Our centralized compliance, trading, distribution, marketing and technology teams all work together to support our investment process and the investors we serve.