Mischler Financial Group Corporate Responsibility Report Year End 2021
Long before corporate social responsibility became a best practice across multiple industries and organizations, since our inception in 1994, Mischler Financial Group has staunchly embraced the pillars associated with advancing environmental, ethical, philanthropic, and economic responsibility.
As the nation’s oldest veteran-owned & operated broker-dealer, we view our role as paramount within the investment banking and financial service sectors. Equally crucial, our commitment to corporate responsibility has been consistently evident in terms of the many direct and indirect roles that we play; as evidenced by the following (3) examples.
1. To the above, our investment banking role within the context of corporate and municipal debt underwriting, 2021 found Mischler bidding on and/or committing firm capital to the underwriting/origination and placement of $10bil notional value of “responsible” issuances, as each of those corporate and municipal debt issuances is categorized as either “Sustainable”, “Social”, “Green”, and/or “Green/ Sustainable.”
*In addition to 06/2020 co-manager role for a landmark $1bil Ford Foundation Social Bond, with proceeds earmarked to grant-making for Nonprofits in response to community impact from Covid-19.
In each instance where Mischler has committed firm capital (as well as human capital and related resources) towards the above-referenced underwritings, our contribution to corporate and social can be mapped to each CSR element.
• Environmental Responsibility: 17/20 transactions in 2021 (YTD) are categorized as “Green” and/or “Green/Sustainable”; proceeds from the capital we helped raise have enabled Issuers to implement strategies and/or deploy additional capital to programs intended for climate improvement and environmental projects, and to a lesser extent, enhancing the environmental efficiency of manufacturing processes.
• Social/Ethical Responsibility. At least 4 of 20 transactions can be viewed within the framework of both Social and Ethical (and to a lesser extent, Philanthropic, when considering ultimate use of proceeds), as those respective bond offerings are formally categorized as “Social Bonds”; a form of debt that allow investors to help raise funds for projects with positive social outcomes that in some cases, provide an investment return. They include projects on improving food security and access to education, as well as health care and financing.
• Economic Responsibility has been achieved in both direct and indirect ways:
i. We have committed firm capital and resources towards advancing responsible offerings brought by Issuers, whereby proceeds of the capital raised are dedicated to initiatives that will advance environmental betterment programs.
ii. We have advanced the agenda of investment and asset managers who are focused on deploying capital to investment vehicles that meet their respective ESG and DEI objectives.
• Philanthropic Responsibility. Mischler’s role i.e. ‘social bonds’ in which proceeds go towards enhancing the quality of life in communities is perhaps overshadowed by the direct philanthropic role(s) and initiatives advanced by Mischler and where we provide upwards of 10% of firm profits to organizations that serve under-resourced groups (e.g. service-disabled veteran-centric), under-resourced communities, and organizations that rely upon philanthropic contributions in the course of researching and discovering cures for life-threatening ailments/diseases.
2. Further, 2021 was a landmark year for Mischler’s advancement of ESG-centric investment vehicles, and for further aligning our DEI thought-leadership with those of our investors, as well as with the largest investment banks that we partner with.
I. The strategic partnership we formed with BlackRock in Q4 2020, which includes our offering two exclusive share classes of BlackRock administered ESG-centric money market funds for Mischler clients, accelerated noticeably in Q2, Q3, and Q4 2021. Through the leadership of Mischler’s Managing Director for Corporate Cash Solutions La-Yona Rauls CNAV FedFund (HUAXX) and FNAV LEAF (MFGXX), [both ESG-designated funds without 12b-1 fees, have attracted $2bil in investments from a discrete spectrum of Fortune corporate treasury teams. Based on standing commitments from other corporations and a select universe of municipal/public pension managers, we are projecting $5bil AUM in these funds by year-end 2022.
II. Alongside the roll-out of the exclusive BlackRock share classes, we also launched Mischler Invest, a proprietary online portal that enables investors to access ESG-focused MMFs managed by eight other “top ten” investment managers.
3. 2021 also marked the formation of the “Mischler ESG|DEI Cohort”, an internal working group led by Managing Director La-Yona Rauls and Joni Abel, Director of ESG & DEI, who has been charged with developing, refining, and implementing the firm’s best practice policies. This working group is also responsible for engaging with counterparts across the financial service sector in the course of sharing perspectives that can be leveraged amongst peers and clients.
As we draw a close to 2021, Mischler Financial Group looks forward to further expanding our commitment to corporate social responsibility, both within our organization and in the course of learning from and aligning with those who are focused on CSR best practices.
Dean Chamberlain (SDV)
Principal & Chief Executive Officer