Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Emerging Markets Debt - ESG Engagement Through An Expert Approach

Mar. 18, 2021 9:28 AM ET
Eaton Vance profile picture
Eaton Vance's Blog
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.


  • ESG analysis has long played a critical role in the country research and investment selection process for the Eaton Vance emerging markets team.
  • With increased industry focus on ESG investing and a growing EM bond universe, engagement is now more important than ever before.

By: Emerging Markets Debt Team

Article published on: March 16, 2021

Boston - ESG analysis has long played a critical role in the country research and investment selection process for the Eaton Vance emerging markets team. With increased industry focus on ESG investing and a growing EM bond universe, engagement is now more important than ever before.

The team intends to improve the value of clients' investments and deliver positive externalities in the form of ESG gains via its engagement initiatives. To this end, we have developed a structured, two-pronged approach to engagement that utilizes both systematic and opportunistic channels to identify and undertake engagement opportunities.

Importantly, we believe the goal of engagement is to focus on initiatives in subject matters where we are competent and credible resources to the market, rather than engaging on every topic. We focus on areas where our experience and knowledge can lead to successful engagement outcomes, as we find this "expert approach" allows us to credibly advocate for beneficial ESG policy changes.

Systematic engagement — A universal approach applied to all markets in a uniform and consistent manner. As an example, we use a scorecard to analyze each country's data transparency according to a variety of metrics, including the frequency, timeliness and level of detail available for data published by the ministry of finance and central bank. We update this score frequently as part of our fundamental country analysis. We also use similar scorecards for trading best practices to help identify areas for credible engagements, where we can advocate for policy improvement in each market.

Opportunistic engagement — A bespoke approach that captures engagement opportunities as they arise. Over the course of its multiyear history, the team has developed an extensive network of government officials, policy decision-makers, thought leaders, local business executives, think tanks and academics with whom they regularly engage in conversation. Through the cultivation of these relationships, we opportunistically identify ESG issues and advocate for policy change in the areas where we are credible experts.

Our approach differs from the "engage-on-everything" approach, as, frankly, we are not experts on every ESG issue, and, thus, focus where we know we can have meaningful impact on both investment and ESG outcomes. The "Everything ESG" approach certainly matters for research activity and investment selection, but by focusing on the areas where we are most competent and credible, we can benefit both our investors and the sovereign.

Bottom line: Investors have increasingly made engagement a topic of manager due diligence. Our long-standing efforts to engage with sovereign issuers in the effort to improve ESG metrics features an "expert approach." Our most successful engagements identify initiatives where sharing our expertise supports our efforts to be credible advocates for policy change.

Eaton Vance is part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, the asset management division of Morgan Stanley.

Content for Financial Advisors only This image indicates content designed specifically for Financial Advisors / Investment Professionals. This material is not to be used with the public.

Before investing in any Eaton Vance fund, prospective investors should consider carefully the investment objective(S), risks, and charges and expenses. For open-end mutual funds, the current prospectus contains this and other information. To obtain a mutual fund prospectus or summary prospectus and the most recent annual and semiannual shareholder reports, contact your financial advisor or download a copy here. Read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money. For closed-end funds, you should contact your financial advisor. To obtain the most recent annual and semi-annual shareholder report for a closed-end fund contact your financial advisor or download a copy here. Before purchasing any variable product, consider the objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with the underlying investment option(S) and those of the product itself. For a prospectus containing this and other information, contact your investment or insurance professional. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.


Eaton Vance does not provide tax or legal advice. Prospective investors should consult with a tax or legal advisor before making any investment decision.

The information on this Web page is for U.S. residents only and does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase, securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is not lawful to make such an offer.

© Eaton Vance Management. All rights reserved. Eaton Vance open-end mutual funds are offered through Eaton Vance Distributors, Inc. Two International Place, Boston, MA 02110. Member FINRA / SIPC

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.