Income Research + Management appoints Head of ESG and Corporate Sustainability

Income Research + Management (Income Research or IR+M) have appointed Allison Walsh as Head of ESG and Corporate Sustainability on 1 September, 2020. 

A four-year veteran of the USD83.6 billion fixed income asset manager, in her new role Walsh collaborates with the investment research and portfolio teams to enhance integration of material Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment process.

“At IR+M, we believe that integrating ESG factors into our fundamental research process leads to a more complete understanding of a company’s material risks, which should ultimately result in superior risk-adjusted returns for our clients over the long-term,” says Bill O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer. “Allison will play an important role in guiding our integration efforts, in addition to championing the development of new thematic and impact-oriented strategies.”

IR+M strives to deliver strong fixed income performance through transparent, highly selective, bottom-up investing. The firm believes that comprehensive credit evaluation extends beyond traditional financial analysis, and the consideration of ESG factors helps to identify favourable investment opportunities and mitigate downside risk. In 2013, IR+M became a signatory of the PRI.

IR+M’s investment team has developed a proprietary, sector-specific assessment of pertinent ESG issues. Credit and securitised analysts use their sector expertise, along with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) guidance, to identify key themes and issues, focusing on materiality. The investment team is also focused on fostering an effective and ongoing dialogue with the management of issuers to encourage them to pursue sustainable practices.

The Head of ESG and Corporate Sustainability is a new role at IR+M. In addition to helping the investment team root existing strategies more deeply into ESG principles, Ms. Walsh unites with the product and client services teams to enhance strategy offerings and create custom solutions for clients.

Walsh also took on responsibility for IR+M’s cross-functional ESG and Sustainability Committees. Through this, she advances the firm’s internal environmental initiatives, community/societal strategies, and alignment with Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations as part of these roles.

Allison Walsh, Head of ESG and Corporate Sustainability at IR+M, says: “We are fully committed to understanding how ESG factors influence long-term sustainability and creditworthiness. Beyond the investment process, we are also committed to being good corporate stewards, partnering with our clients and giving back to our community.”

Walsh joined IR+M in 2016 as a Client Portfolio Manager. She served as the main point of contact for portfolio reviews and market updates for the institutional and private clients IR+M serves. Prior to joining IR+M, Ms. Walsh was the Director of Portfolio Management at Sun Life Financial, where she assisted in the management of fixed income portfolios to maximise risk-adjusted return and coordinated investment activities to achieve portfolio objectives. She has a BA in Political Science from College of the Holy Cross, an MBA from Boston University and is a CFA charterholder and SASB FSA accredited.

Walsh reports to Brooke Anderson, Director of Investment Product Management.