ESG Investing Picks and Strategy from Award Winning Portfolio Manager Frances Tuite

January 30, 2019

Frances E. Tuite, CFA, is a Portfolio Manager at Fairpointe Capital, LLC. She is part of the Investment Team, co-Portfolio Manager for the ESG Equity Strategy, and is responsible for investment research for both the ESG Equity and Mid-Cap Equity Strategies. In addition, she manages the 1837 LP long/short equity fund, which she founded in 2000.

Earlier, Ms. Tuite managed the 1837 Fund at RMB Capital and at Talon Asset Management — under the name Talon Opportunity Partners. Previously, she worked at Sirius Partners and Harris Associates as an analyst and portfolio manager, as a sellside research analyst at William Blair & Company, and as analyst and Director of Research at Johnson Investment Counsel. Earlier, she was employed at Procter & Gamble in their financial management training program.

Ms. Tuite received a BBA from the University of Cincinnati in finance and accounting and an MBA in finance and accountancy from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She passed the Certified Public Accountant examination. She is a member of the Chicago Finance Exchange, an organization for senior women leaders in finance, and a member of International Women Associates, which pursues global understanding and universal human rights. She is Chairman of the Steppenwolf’s Directors Circle and Board Chair for Recovery on Water, a nonprofit focused on breast cancer survivors.

In this exclusive 2,739 word interview, Ms. Tuite describes how her portfolio integrates ESG and high return stock picks:

“…The firm employs a bottom-up, valuation-based approach to investing. The ESG strategy that I’d like to focus on today really integrates that philosophy with analysis regarding ESG factors. ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. We integrate our investment process by evaluating companies on those criteria as well as looking at fundamentals. We have an internally focused research process that we use in the ESG strategy that combines the two.”

An example:

“A name that we added at the end of Q4 2018 is a company called Agilent Technologies (NYSE:A). They are in the health care sector and provide diagnostic and chemical analysis to life sciences and industrial companies. They also provide test equipment and consumables that help companies diagnose chemistries, whether it is an industrial, health care, academic or government agency.”

Ms.Tuite finds that other ESG investors are ignoring significant issues with many of their portfolio holdings:

“If you look at some of the offerings for ESG strategies, a lot of them are large-cap-focused and very diversified portfolios. Some of the companies we don’t really think are great ESG companies. If you look at a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) or Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) that are part of these portfolios, they have some real issues. You have probably read the headlines regarding Facebook, but also look at Amazon. Its treatment of employees has caused a lot of unrest. Even Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) had some issues on the social side.”

To get more detail on this and many other ESG stock picks from Frances Tuite, read the entire 2,739 interview in the Wall Street Transcript.