General Investing >> Money Manager Interviews >> October 25, 2019

Putting a Premium Valuation on Companies Managing Their Own ESG Risk

Prenner Bryant, Melody
Melody Prenner Bryant joined Gabelli Asset Management Company in 2018 as a Portfolio Manager and recently also joined the portfolio management team of the Gabelli ESG Fund in February 2019. Ms. Bryant has almost 30 years of experience as a Portfolio Manager, having begun her career as a security analyst for Oppenheimer Capital Corp. She then joined John A. Levin & Co., Inc. as a security analyst and subsequently became a portfolio manager, Co-Chairman and a member of the board of directors of BKF Capital, a holding company for the asset management firm. Following her time at Levin, Ms. Bryant then became a senior portfolio manager and managing director for Neuberger Berman, LLC, responsible for the firm’s institutional and wrap accounts and a member of Lehman Wealth Asset Management Committee. She then went on to oversee a $10 billion equity portion of a sovereign wealth fund, responsible for all matters that pertained to managing the relationships with external managers, their selection, portfolio structure and conformance to investment policy. In 2009, Ms. Bryant joined Kempner Asset Management, a family office, as research analyst, portfolio manager and partner. In 2014, Ms. Bryant joined Trevor Stewart Burton & Jacobsen Inc., a New York-based RIA as a managing director and Chief Investment Officer. She received her B.A. in political science from The State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, New York, and attended The Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University. She lives with her husband and five children in New York City. Profile
Alfandary, Christina
Christina Alfandary rejoined Gabelli Asset Management Company in 2016 as Managing Director, Environmental, Social & Governance — ESG — and Sustainable Investments. In her role, she leads the company’s expansion of its ESG integration efforts and ESG investing capabilities. Prior to rejoining, she was Senior Managing Director, Co-Head of Nikko Asset Management Americas, Inc. where she worked from 2005 to 2015. While there, she managed the U.S. business and was instrumental in a U.S. product launch of an innovative impact investing Green Bond product developed in collaboration with the World Bank. Before Nikko AM, she was a vice president at GAMCO Investors from 2000 to 2005 where she worked with institutional and high net worth clients. Her early professional experience includes working at Morgan Stanley, in institutional fixed income sales and trading and as a banker in municipal finance. Ms. Alfandary speaks on ESG investing frequently and is a guest lecturer on ESG investing at Fordham University in its impact investing course. She is also a member of the board of trustees of the Thacher School, a California Green Ribbon school recognized for its environmental sustainability. A native of California, Ms. Alfandary received an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School and earned her B.A. from Lewis & Clark College. Profile
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TWST: Could you please begin with an introduction to ESG, its mission and guiding financial strategy?

Ms. Alfandary: The Gabelli ESG Fund,