The Power of ESG Shorting: How Investing in Sovereign Bonds Impacts Government Policy, BlueBay's Impact-Aligned Bond Fund, and More | Mark Dowding, BlueBay Asset Management (#023)
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Mark Dowding is Chief Investment Officer at BlueBay Asset Management. Mark is a macro fixed income specialist who meets regularly in that context with global policymakers and has been actively involved in sovereign ESG engagement. He began his career in 1993 as a fixed income portfolio manager, after earning his economics degree at the University of Warwick.
In today’s episode, Mark speaks about his early career, how he came to be the Head of Global Fixed Income at Invesco at only 28 years of age, his move to Frankfurt to work with Deutsche Asset Management and why he chose to move with his family back to the UK, where he joined BlueBay Asset Management in 2010.
We discuss his time at the University of Warwick and whether Warwick lives up to its title of the happiest place to live in Britain! Mark tells us about his love of football and his support of Chelsea F.C. and then we move onto the more serious stuff, with an overview of BlueBay and Mark’s role as Chief Investment Officer.
We hear how BlueBay incorporates ESG criteria into all of their investment decisions, and how they have incorporated ESG analysis into their investment teams rather than structuring it as a separate research function. Mark shares real life examples of their engagement activities with sovereign issuers, how they have shorted bonds of issuers who they perceive as performing poorly from an ESG perspective and how their investing strategies in sovereign bonds have impacted government policy and behavior.
No fixed income ESG discussion would be complete without talking about greenwashing, and we discuss to what extent this practice exists at the sovereign level. We speak about BlueBay’s Impact Aligned Bond Fund and finally, I quiz Mark with some rapid fire questions such as the single most important challenge in the fixed income space, and his advice on how to get into the sustainable fixed income space.
I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful discussion with Mark and I hope you will too!
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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