Breckinridge Capital Advisors, Inc. is expanding the distribution of its nearly $40 billion municipal portfolio, including taxable and ESG bonds, to institutional investors in Europe by partnering with Harrington Cooper, a cross-border distribution provider for asset managers.
“This partnership is really about the demand we’re seeing for comprehensive ESG integration in fixed income,” said Peter Coffin, president of Breckinridge Capital Advisors. “We have integrated ESG across all of our strategies, including municipals. Muni market participants are aware of the increased global demand for both taxable and tax-free munis that have developed over the last several years. Munis are high quality, can provide valuable duration to portfolios and finance essential public purposes. Those are attributes broadly in demand from investors.”
European investors will have access to Breckinridge’s full suite of investments, including environmental, social and governance integration across sector-focused, multi-sector and sustainable corporate and municipal bond strategies in customized separate accounts.
As of June 30, 2021, Breckinridge Capital Advisors’ assets under management for tax-efficient strategies was $38.4 billion. Its total sustainable AUM in tax-efficient strategies was $3.8 billion. Breckinridge manages just under $8 billion in taxable multi-sector strategies for institutional investors such as foundations, endowments and retirement pools.
“Breckinridge has always favored a significant overweight in taxable municipal bonds with our multi-sector strategies,” Coffin said. “Harrington Cooper will certainly highlight this as a key differentiator.”
Coffin said the Breckinridge believes taxable municipal bonds have important attributes that will be attractive to European investors, “most notably, their high credit quality, attractive relative yields and the positive social and/or environmental impact of many projects financed by municipal bonds.
“Breckinridge and our partners at Harrington Cooper believe those multi-sector strategies are where we will see the most interest,” Coffin said.
Over the last 15 years, Harrington Cooper has raised over $6 billion of assets across more than 20 highly differentiated investment strategies, the firms said. Their team boasts strong, long-held relationships with some of the most significant wholesale and institutional investors located across the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, continental Europe and Japan.
Breckinridge will be Harrington Cooper’s only distribution partner that specializes in investment grade fixed-income and ESG integration.
“Breckinridge is exceptionally unique in its offering,” said Harry Dickinson, managing partner of Harrington Cooper. “We’ve seen a gap in adoption of ESG among fixed income managers in Europe, and Breckinridge is very well-positioned to serve clients in an effective and authentic manner considering their deep experience in ESG.”
Coffin said Breckinridge has 10 dedicated municipal credit analysts and formal ESG assessments across its muni coverage universe, a focus for more than 15 years.
“ESG in municipal research is a core competency for our firm, and a key competitive advantage to attracting prospective clients who want exposure to local government, credit (or sub sovereign or taxable munis),” he said. “Improved disclosure is a universal issue for bond investors. Specific to the muni market, we feel investors will increasingly be focusing on standardized climate risk disclosure for risks material to the credit worthiness of the borrower.”