Friday, February 7, 2020

Kathy Vorisek and Leo Harmon of Mesirow Addressed Marquette AIM Students During Mission Week



Mesirow Financial Equity Portfolio Managers, Kathryn Vorisek and Leo Harmon, Visited Marquette's AIM Program this Past Week

These experienced equity managers utilize ESG factors 
in this investing process

Co-Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager
On Monday, February 3rd, 2020, Kathryn Vorisek and Leo Harmon were the guest lecturers in the AIM program. 

The students in the Class of 2021 were able to hear their insights on small cap equity investing and ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations. 

Their visit and the ESG topic was especially timely since it is Mission Week at Marquette University.

Dr. David Krause, AIM program director, said, “Kathy and Leo were clear in their belief that excess equity returns can be produced by investing in attractively valued stocks that are poised to appreciate due to catalyst driven earnings and cash flow growth – and that are good global citizens.”

Co-Chief Investment Officer, Portfolio Manager
The Mesirow Funds managed by Kathy and Leo in their Sustainable Equity funds incorporate environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors into their investment decisions to derive favorable performance and risk characteristics for their portfolios. 


Kathy Vorisek stated, “Our team seeks to make a positive impact on the environment and society as well as encourage incremental improvements through active engagement with the companies we own.”

Krause added, “It was a pleasure to host Kathy and Leo – they have been gracious hosts to us when we visit Chicago, so it was nice to have them on campus this week. The AIM students enjoyed their presentation – and the discussion about sustainable investing was an great was to kick off Mission Week.”

Kathryn Vorisek and Leo Harmon
were the guest lecturers in the AIM program


Kathryn Vorisek is a Senior Managing Director of Equity Management with Mesirow Financial. She earned a BS in Finance from Marquette University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. As chief investment officer, she oversees all aspects of the investment process for the Small Cap Value and SMID Cap Value strategies, a role she has held since 1998.

Image result for mesirow financial logo

Leo Harmon (CFA, CAIA) is also a Senior Managing Director of Equity Management. He is the co-chief investment officer who along with Kathy oversees all aspects of the investment process. Leo has more than 25 years of industry experience - he joined Mesirow Financial when the firm acquired Fiduciary Management Associates in 2016.  At FMA Leo was Director of Research, portfolio manager for the Small Cap Value and SMID Cap Value strategies and a research analyst covering the Financial Services sector. Prior to joining FMA in 2003, he was a portfolio manager at Allstate Insurance Investments.

Their Sustainable Equity funds incorporate
environmental, social and governance
factors into their investment decisions 
Kathy and Leo explained how this link ESG factors to performance, risk, profitability, and growth of a company and incorporate this analysis into their overall assessment of a potential investment. 

They utilize third-party data sources to develop their own proprietary ESG score, which they track and monitor over time. They believe this process results in a list of favorable investments that informs their stock selection process.

Leo added, “We also proactively communicate with management teams to build awareness of ESG factors and encourage positive incremental change in support of ESG initiatives. Our aim is to include companies in the portfolio that have strong governance, emphasize positive community impact and demonstrate high-quality characteristics.”






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