Dear Federated Hermes colleagues,
All of us have been deeply affected by the tragic and horrific death, in police custody, of George Floyd. We grieve with his family and loved ones.
Racism in all its forms has no place in any civilised society and is something we condemn without hesitation. It is insidious in the way it promotes hatred, drives inequality and halts progress.
And while peaceful protest is a cornerstone of democracies, the scenes of a breakdown of law and order are a source of deep sadness to all.
Many of us are fortunate to live our lives peacefully and without prejudice, but it is not the case for millions of others. They live in a world where prejudice is a part of their life, and are feeling particularly vulnerable and outraged by what happened to Mr. Floyd because it reflects a prejudice they feel. We are aware of their pain and reach out to them as colleagues in our firms and members of our communities.
Prejudice is not only wrong, it is also insidious economically. As stewards and investors, we can expose this and demand change. It is a responsibility we take extremely seriously in our engagement with companies and policymakers and today, more than ever, requires our undivided attention.
We put huge value on the importance of diversity and inclusion across our industry. We seek it because it is the right thing to do and it makes us better. Better in our work and better in our understanding of what is good in society. However, we need to accelerate our efforts and address, through dialogue and positive action, a rebalance of what is acceptable.
In our company pledge, we commit to act with consideration for our community and the environment. It is incumbent upon us, and many other firms like us, to uphold this promise with renewed vigour. Each of us can promote the values of dignity and respect, condemn hatred and racism and do our part to make our communities safer, more peaceful and beacons of opportunity for all members.
Chris Donahue, President, CEO, Federated Hermes, Inc.
Saker Nusseibeh, CEO, International at Federated Hermes