We call for a seismic change in the way the investment management industry operates: from one that has for too long focused on short-term returns, at the expense of sustainable wealth creation. In our view, successful stewardship needs to be at the heart of business purpose and inextricably linked to investment decision-making. In order for this to happen, we need a “new normal” in the relationship between asset manager and the companies in which they invest.
Saker is Chief Executive of HFML. He was appointed CEO in November 2011 having joined HFML in June 2009 as CIO. Prior to joining HFML, Saker was Global Head of Equities at Fortis Investments, having initially been appointed as Fortis CIO Global Equities in 2005. Before this he was CIO of Global Equities and Head of Marketing for SGAM UK. This role followed SGAM’s acquisition of Trust Company of the West (“TCW”), where Saker was a Managing Director, running global and international strategies, as well as managing TCW’s London office. He started his career at Mercury Asset Management in 1987.
Saker is the founder of the 300 Club, a group of leading CIOs and investment professionals who seek to challenge investment orthodoxy. He is a member of the CFA Institute’s Future of Finance Advisory Council, a member of the IIRC Council, and the FCA-PRA Climate Financial Risk Forum, as well as the United Nations Environmental Programme Financial Initiative Steering Committee. He sits on the Banking Standards Board (the “BSB”), which was created as a result of a Parliamentary enquiry to restore trust in the UK banking industry. In May 2020, Saker was appointed as a director of BSB (Global) Services Limited, a subsidiary of the BSB, and appointed Chairman, in November 2020. Saker also sits on UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing.
At the 2020 Funds Europe Awards, in November, Saker was named as Funds Europe “European Personality of the Year”, in recognition for his "lifelong mission to bring ESG and Socially Responsible investing into the mainstream”. This followed on from being awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List at the beginning of the year, which recognised his services to the development and promotion of Responsible Business and for contributions more broadly to the finance industry in the UK. In 2015, Saker was named CEO of the Year at the Global Investor Investment Excellence Awards and, in 2018, he was named CEO of the Year at the Financial News Asset Management Europe Awards.
Head of Responsibility, International at Federated Hermes
Reporting to the CEO of the international business of Federated Hermes, Leon has led the firm’s Responsibility Office since 2014 consisting of the firm’s Advocacy, Stewardship and ESG Integration activities. This involves ensuring that investment teams across all asset classes are aware of and integrate ESG performance in investment decisions and that engagement is effectively incorporated alongside investment activities. As chair of EOS at Federated Hermes, Leon oversees the development and management of the pioneering stewardship service the firm offers in public markets. In addition, he is responsible for ensuring stewardship of investors’ interests are embedded in the culture and behaviours across the firm. This includes oversight of how the firm’s responsibility activities and performance are integrated into our client relationship management and reporting, the delivery of our corporate citizenship programme, and the development of responsible structures and processes for the firm.
Previously, Leon was responsible for the development and delivery of EOS at Federated Hermes’ global corporate and public policy engagement programme from 2012-2014 and acted as its commercial director from 2009-2012. Prior to that, Leon worked within the Hermes UK Large Cap Focus Fund for seven years, where he was responsible for executing the fund’s engagement programmes. He also has 12 years of strategy consulting and operational industry experience.
The Meeting Room Webcast: Global Emerging Markets, May 2021
As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of the coronavirus, the Global Emerging Markets team reflect on recent performance, and discuss the outlook for Global Emerging Markets from both a market and portfolio positioning perspective.