To analyse credit risks with greater precision, we developed a pricing model last year to capture the influence of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors on credit spreads. It showed a convincing relationship between ESG risk and credit spreads, manifesting as an ESG-risk curve.
After expanding this research, we found this relationship between ESG risk and credit spreads to be reinforced.
Michael Viehs joined the international business of Federated Hermes in 2015, initially as part of EOS, and transferred to the Responsibility Office in 2018. He is Head of ESG Integration for all public market equity and credit funds managed from London. As part of that role, he advises the investment and stewardship teams on their integration approach and ensures that they have incisive ESG, sustainability and engagement information at hand to make better investment and engagement decisions for all of our clients. Furthermore, he is responsible for the ESG and stewardship research activities, proving the value-add from engagement and incorporating ESG information in investment decisions. Michael continues to conduct executive- and board-level engagements on environmental, social, governance (ESG), and strategic issues with German publicly-listed corporations.
Prior to this, Michael was Research Director at University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. His work on responsible investment, corporate governance, and stewardship has been published in Corporate Governance: An International Review and Annals of Social Responsibility. Amongst others, he is co-author of the widely recognised study “From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder – How Sustainability Can Drive Financial Outperformance” and contributed a chapter on active ownership to the recently published book Re-Imagining Capitalism (Oxford University Press) edited by Dominic Barton, Dezsö Horvath, and Matthias Kipping. He has also presented his work on responsible investing at several high-profile academic and industry conferences around the world.
Michael holds a BSc, MSc and PhD from Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics.
CFA, Head of Research and Sustainable Fixed Income
Mitch joined the international business of Federated Hermes in February 2010 as Head of Research on the Credit team before becoming Co-Head of Credit from 2012 to 2019. In 2019, in addition to his role of Head of Research, he became Head of Sustainable Fixed Income and co-manager of the Federated Hermes SDG Engagement High Yield Credit Fund. Prior to this he was Co-Head of Credit Research for the global credit team at Fortis Investments. Other roles at Fortis include portfolio manager of European high yield funds, based in London, and senior credit analyst, based in Paris. Before this he worked as an associate analyst in the leveraged finance group at Moody’s Investors Service in New York. Mitch earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs at Columbia University in New York City and a Bachelor’s degree in History at Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges in California. He is a CFA charterholder and Co-Chair of the Federated Hermes Sustainability Investment Centre. Among his current and former advocacy roles are: founding member of the Executive Committee for the European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA); Co-Chair of the Credit Risk and Ratings Advisory Committee at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI); workstream member CFO Taskforce for the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC); member the Target Setting workstream at the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC); Technical Working Group (Communications and Technology) for the US-based Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB); (former) Co-Chair of the Capital Markets Advisory Committee of the IFRS Foundation; (former) member of the Sovereign Working Group (PRI); (former) workstream member of the UK-China Green Finance Task Force; and (former) Green Finance Advisory of the City of London.