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At Riverbridge, there are no shortcuts to choosing responsible investments. We take a bottom-up, human-oriented research approach.

Riverbridge does extensive research prior to investing in any company.

We don’t consider regulatory filings or rating systems sufficient to understanding a company’s commitment to sustainability. We want to uncover the business realities that no screen or checklist can fully provide.

Our research process, led by our investment team, hinges on human insight.

  • We speak to customers, suppliers, competitors, partners, and employees
  • We ask questions, conduct face-to-face meetings, and look people in the eye
  • We are thorough and patient

We have an unwavering appreciation for the value of multiple perspectives within a company’s sphere of influence to improve our decision-making. To us, this work is essential to responsible investing.

And, because we believe responsible investing is an engine to further human flourishing, we think it’s only appropriate that the process for selecting responsible investments is also fundamentally human.

Our research process

We continually look for companies that stand out in their markets.


Through data analysis and face-to-face meetings, we examine a company’s fundamentals.


We continue to review these fundamental investment disciplines to ensure a company remains sound.

Our differentiated investment process allows us to identify companies that demonstrate our investment disciplines.


Riverbridge looks for companies that stand out in their markets and demonstrate long-term potential earnings power. Our idea generation sources include:

  • Bottom-up, fundamental research
  • Competitors, customers, suppliers, partners of current companies
  • Industry events, conferences, trade shows, etc.

We are continually conducting research to identify investment candidates.

due diligence

After identifying a potential investment, we examine the company through face-to-face meetings with its stakeholders and fundamental data analysis:

  • Meetings with company management team
  • 360° peer review
  • Fundamental analysis
  • Investment team socialization

Our differentiated, 360° peer review process looks at a company from multiple perspectives.

COMPANY ADDED: If a company meets our criteria, it is added to our portfolio up to a 1.5% initial weighting.
Continual review

We continue to review a company’s fundamentals relative to our investment disciplines to ensure they remain sound over time.

  • “Champion” / “Devil’s Advocate” collaboration
  • Ongoing engagement
  • Evaluation based on sell disciplines
    - Portfolio diversification
    - Fund new/better opportunities
    - Deterioration in fundamentals

Each holding has a ”Champion” and “Devil’s Advocate” to prevent biases that could cloud judgement. Both parties must agree in order to increase weighting beyond its initial position.


There is no universal definition of terms or practices within the responsible investing space. Here are some insights into what differentiates Riverbridge strategies.

What distinguishes Riverbridge’s approach to responsible investing?

Riverbridge’s approach to responsible investing is distinguished by its authenticity, history, and inherent philosophical integration. Responsible investing is not an approach we have adopted as a recent add-on to our offerings or in response to market demand. Rather, our investment philosophy has been grounded in a mindset of responsible investing since our founding in 1987. Responsible investing is the longstanding bedrock of how we see the very purpose of companies and capital markets and consistently impacts all of our strategies.

Does Riverbridge use negative screens?

At Riverbridge, we believe that the use of negative screens to find the most responsible companies limits our ability to find the companies that make the most compelling business investment. We prefer to dig into a company’s fundamentals through our in-depth research process. This approach avoids:

  • Greenwashing/bias towards surface-level marketing
  • Bias against small-cap companies lacking resources to produce competitive ESG-specific material
  • Companies slipping through the cracks of various screens
What is Riverbridge’s view of third party rating organizations?

Riverbridge’s proprietary research serves as the basis for our investment team’s decisions. This ensures that our responsible investing considerations are grounded in our long-standing investment philosophy. The vast majority of our research is internally produced and stems from our investment team’s due diligence, including interactions with companies and their ecosystems. Riverbridge subscribes to third-party sources such as MSCI to give our team and our clients visibility into how the outcomes of our responsible investing approach measure up to industry standards. In providing third-party impact metrics in this report, we are mindful of the potential shortcomings of third party ratings including:

  • Inconsistencies in company evaluation results between various third party rating agencies due to differences in evaluation approaches and criteria
  • A rating bias against companies lacking resources to produce competitive ESG-specific material
  • Third party ratings reflect a historical period of time and may not take into account future initiatives a company may be working on
What is the difference between Riverbridge’s All Cap Growth and Eco Leaders® strategies?

Both strategies are multi-cap strategies and are very similar in composition. The primary difference is one of designation— Eco Leaders® was created with an explicit ESG mandate. The two strategies have separate inception dates and track records; therefore, there are slight variances in position sizes between companies. Over time, the two strategies have largely converged due to the following factors:

  • Recent recognition by management teams that one cannot take shortcuts to build a sustainable business
  • Increased focus on sustainability by company management that has allowed Riverbridge to become more comfortable in adding certain companies to our Eco Leaders® portfolio from a responsible investing perspective
Is Riverbridge an active manager?

Yes. Riverbridge relies on its own research to select each of the companies in its strategies.

Does Riverbridge have a formalized responsible investing policy?

Yes, Riverbridge has a formal Responsible Investing Policy that is reviewed annually and can be found here.

Which Riverbridge team members are responsible for the implementation of Riverbridge’s responsible investing policy and responsible investing efforts?

Each member of our investment team is responsible for the implementation of our responsible investing policy. The Riverbridge investment team is responsible for continuing to monitor whether the companies we own demonstrate the aspects of our investment criteria and are sustainably building their long-term earnings power. Our investment team provides oversight on Riverbridge’s responsible investing efforts, including our PRI reporting process, the development of our Annual Report, and other related activities.

How does Riverbridge engage with and learn from its industry peers?

At a firmwide level, we actively seek out opportunities to engage in industry discussions and regularly attend conferences held by entities shown below. We are a PRI signatory and as this space evolves we look forward to continuing to learn from others.

Riverbridge Responsible Investing Report 2020