Legg Mason, ClearBridge Bring Active Touch to ESG ETF Investments

Legg Mason has partnered up again with ClearBridge to launch two environmental, social and governance, or ESG, focused exchange traded funds with an active touch to help investors better hone in on shifting business focuses and regulatory issues.

On Tuesday, Legg Mason rolled out the actively managed ClearBridge Large Cap Growth ESG ETF (NasdaqGM: LRGE) and the ClearBridge Dividend Strategy ESG ETF (NasdaqGM: YLDE). Both funds come with a 0.59% expense ratio.

YLDE will be managed by the ClearBridge team, including Harry D. Cohen, Peter Vanderlee, Michael Clarfeld and Mary Jane McQuillen. LRGE will be managed by Peter Bourbeau, Mary Jane McQuillen and Margaret Vitrano.

“For over 25 years, our firm has prioritized integrating ESG factors into our investment process and developing a proprietary ESG rating system across our research platform,” Terrence Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of ClearBridge Investments, said in a note. “ESG analyses are a core part of our fundamental research process and are done for every company in our coverage universe. Our new active ETFs, ClearBridge Large Cap Growth ESG and ClearBridge Dividend Strategy ESG, will leverage this unique ESG expertise.”

Mary Jane McQuillen, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager and Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Investment for ClearBridge, explained that ClearBridge provides investors exposure to one of the longest continuous ESG track records. For example, their large-cap ESG strategy has already accumulated 15 years worth of performance.

ClearBridge also focuses more on the benefits and strong fundamentals found within ESG-related investments as opposed to those who would only seek out companies with strong ESG principles based on personal values.