Investing in Our Communities
- Measuring Successful Partners
- 98% of Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy graduates receive a high school diploma.
- 88% of Academy graduates matriculate at post-secondary educational institutions.
The primary focus of the Legg Mason Charitable Foundation is on education, especially as it relates to at-risk children in the areas in which Legg Mason employees live and work.
We believe that our foundation contributions will yield the most results when we partner with grassroots organizations with strong local presences. More importantly, we take an integrated approach: applying both our financial resources and our employee time and effort with our Tier One Partners in the community.
Our partners directly meet one of our stated objectives; they are at a size in which Legg Mason’s commitment really makes a difference; and they generally have Board support from one or more Legg Mason employees.
Our objectives focus on the following needs:
- Strong and innovative principals
- Well-trained teachers with appropriate resources
- Funding high-quality early education and after-school programs
- Scholarship funding for at-risk children
We rolled out this focused investment in community partners last year in Baltimore at Saint Ignatius Loyola. We are in the process of implementing similar partnerships at local organizations in metro areas in which we have a strong employee presence.
Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy is a tuition-free, independent Jesuit school for underserved boys in grades six through eight. The Academy has a 20-year history of providing quality education to at-risk children, of diverse races, ethnicities and religions, who live in Baltimore. Enrollment in the Academy is determined by a variety of factors, including financial need, a demonstrated desire to succeed and residence in Baltimore City.
Legg Mason’s financial contribution supports scholarships for students and new building renovations at the school’s campus. Our employees volunteer at the school with the students and provide skill-based volunteering to support the school’s infrastructure. Legg Mason professionals are currently helping to relaunch the school’s website. And, there are fundraising opportunities throughout the year to engage employee interest.
We published our most recent Corporate & Social Responsibility Report earlier this year, which covered calendar year 2013.
The report provides an update to our many stakeholders on the programs and activities we offer in all areas of sustainability: the environment, diversity, volunteerism, community and philanthropy, with a focus on environmental issues and initiatives.
Among key achievements noted in the report was our inclusion in the prestigious 2013 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, which required a score within the top 10% of S&P 500 companies that submitted a CDP response. Legg Mason ranked ninth out of 55 financial services companies that responded.
Environmental, Social and Governance Factors
Institutional investors and consultants increasingly understand the relevance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors to well-run companies and to the long-term health and stability of the markets.
At Legg Mason, our investment managers have long considered that sustainability is part of the long-term health of businesses and the markets in which they function.
Approximately 13% of our total long-term AUM is in ESG/socially responsible investing strategies, and as consultants, pensions, foundations and endowments increasingly look at these factors when making investment decisions, we expect this area to grow.
In fact, our largest equity Affiliate, ClearBridge Investments, believes that the integration of ESG factors into its fundamental research and stock selection process is a compelling offering. Governance issues are another important component of its engagement and advocacy work, as an integral part of its long-term view of stock ownership. ClearBridge has offered active ESG strategies for clients since 1987.
As long-term investors, responsible stewardship of our investments is an important consideration. We firmly believe that the companies that are thoughtful about these issues are often well-run companies.
And, at Legg Mason, we seek to run our business in the same way. Over the past several years, we have sought to both increase our efficiency in operations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We have done this through consolidating in energy-efficient buildings, investing in teleconferencing technology, outsourcing data centers and utilizing cloud technology. The space in Legg Mason’s headquarters has obtained LEED gold certification. Collectively, these actions allow us both to run our business more efficiently and to have a positive long-term impact on the environment.
Legg Mason benchmarks its efforts against standards set by leading ESG organizations.
In partnership with sustainability advocate Ceres, we engage with our stakeholders on an ongoing basis regarding our sustainability efforts and reporting to take advantage of diverse perspectives on our progress. The Carbon Disclosure Project named Legg Mason to the 2013 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) in recognition of the firm’s energy use reporting. We believe that reflecting corporate environmental factors in business planning has a positive impact on mitigating climate-related risks and strengthens our business.
Legg Mason’s Sustainability Council, led by Investor Relations, is focused on education and awareness, operations and efficiency, and carbon reporting and data collection.
In 2013, Legg Mason and its investment Affiliates, in partnership with Mercer Consulting, hosted a “Responsible Investing Teach-In” that included investment professionals and shared services employees from multiple corporate and Affiliate campuses.