Franklin Templeton Launches Stewardship and Sustainability Council

From Franklin Templeton
contact Stacey Coleman
Telephone (650) 525-7458

The Council will be co-chaired by David Sheasby and David Zahn

San Mateo, CA, March 17, 2021 –  A key benefit from the acquisition of Legg Mason and its specialist investment managers is that Franklin Templeton now has one of the industry’s most extensive networks of ESG leaders embedded in our investment teams. This breadth of talent has been a catalyst to further evolve our firm-level approach to stewardship and sustainable investing. As the ESG landscape transforms rapidly, we continue with our strong firm-wide commitment to be responsible stewards of clients’ assets, and we aspire to become a global leader in stewardship and sustainability.

In support of the firm’s ESG growth strategy, we are bringing together the strength and expertise of our collective ESG capabilities to form our new Stewardship and Sustainability Council. The Council will connect our dedicated ESG leaders from across our 19 specialist investment managers to guide the continued evolution of our ESG infrastructure and best practices. In addition to setting and supporting a common research agenda for stewardship and sustainability, the Council will tackle topics such as data requirements, transparency, and reporting. The Council will also provide insights and guidance on key sustainability topics and serve as forum to monitor and provide feedback on related policy and regulation.

Jenny Johnson, President and CEO of Franklin Templeton, said: “We aspire to become a global leader in stewardship and sustainability and we are excited to announce the formation of the Stewardship and Sustainability Council that will leverage the considerable ESG expertise embedded within our investment teams. While the strength of our organization lies with the breadth and autonomy of our specialist investment managers, we also recognize that an organization of our scale can have tremendous positive impact by working collectively on stewardship and sustainability matters for the benefit of our clients.”

The Council will be co-chaired by David Sheasby, Head of Stewardship and ESG for Martin Currie, and David Zahn, Head of European Fixed Income, and Head of Sustainable Fixed Income for Franklin Templeton Fixed Income. Sheasby, based in Edinburgh, and Zahn, based in London, bring a wealth of ESG experience and diversity of investment perspective to their roles, coming from an equity and fixed income perspective, respectively. Both will retain their current responsibilities within their respective investment teams as they take on this co-chair role.

Each of our specialist investment managers maintains their own ESG-integrated approach, which determines how they identify, measure, and allocate ESG-related risks and opportunities to achieve better outcomes for their clients, and these autonomous investment processes are not changing. The active participation of ESG leaders from each specialist investment manager in the new Council will strengthen the wider organization in deepening our overall ESG expertise and enabling more innovative sustainability investment solutions to meet client needs. Participants from each autonomous specialist investment manager will bring distinct perspectives that will enhance our ability to evaluate ESG factors from multiple angles. This intellectual capital bolsters our ability to improve client outcomes across all asset classes.

After eight years with the firm, Julie Moret, Global Head of ESG, has decided to leave on March 17 to pursue another opportunity. As we actively recruit for the Global Head of ESG position, which will play an integral role in the Council, the global ESG team and the dedicated ESG talent embedded within each of our autonomous specialist investment managers will continue their work supporting our clients.

“I would like to thank Julie Moret for her dedicated leadership and contribution to the firm over the last eight years, and we wish her well in her future endeavors,” Jenny Johnson added.

About Franklin Templeton
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 165 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the company brings extensive capabilities in equity, fixed income, multi-asset solutions and alternatives. With offices in more than 30 countries and approximately 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based company has over 70 years of investment experience and approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under management as of February 28, 2021. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.