Artisan Partners' purpose is to generate and compound wealth over the long-term for our clients. The wealth we generate improves retirement outcomes, pays for education, funds charitable purposes and in general improves people's lives. We are proud of our track record for the people we serve and are dedicated to continuing to improve it.

In addition to delivering for clients, we promote success across a diverse group of associates and create sustainable financial outcomes for our shareholders. Operating ethically and with integrity are fundamental to Who We Are and to the sustainability of our firm.

We are proud to present our second annual Sustainability/ESG Report. In it, we describe our Environmental, Social and Governance practices and policies, and we highlight updates made in 2019.

We also encourage you to read our CEO's 2018 letter to clients, associates and shareholders, entitled A Sustainable Firm, available here.

Investment Activities

  • We are a fiduciary with respect to all of our clients, meaning that the decisions we make on their behalf are made in their best interests. Our sole business is high value-added investment management. We do not bundle our investment strategies with other Artisan products or services, and we deliberately try to maintain straightforward investment vehicles, share classes and distribution and marketing relationships. We embrace transparency.
  • Our investment teams manage client assets in accordance with written investment philosophies and processes. All of the assets we manage are in actively managed strategies driven by fundamental research, including consideration of material environmental, social and governance matters. We do not offer passively managed strategies or strategies that purport to represent an index.
  • We are a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investing ("PRI"). As a signatory, we are committed to implementing six principles which include incorporating ESG matters into investment analysis and decision-making processes and reporting on our activities and progress. In March 2020, we completed our first annual PRI transparency report, available here.
  • In addition to completing our first annual PRI report, in 2019:
    • We adopted a firm-wide Responsible Investing Policy, available here.
    • Our Global Equity team, which managed 23% of our AUM as of December 31, 2019, developed and implemented a new systematic ESG risk assessment, adopted a Sustainable Investment Policy and began conducting targeted engagement on ESG topics with management teams of certain portfolio companies.
    • Our Growth team, which managed 29% of our AUM as of December 31, 2019, conducted a comprehensive review of ESG data and research providers and began implementing changes to its research and engagement processes to more systematically and comprehensively integrate ESG data and research.
    • Our Sustainable Emerging Markets team, which for years has systematically incorporated third-party ESG data into its investment process, engaged a new ESG data provider and enhanced both the quantitative and qualitative components of its ESG integration.
    • In addition to our Global Equity, Growth and Sustainable Emerging Markets teams, our Global Value team, which managed 16% of our AUM as of December 31, 2019, recently began to systematically incorporate third-party ESG research into its analysis of each portfolio company.
    • We engaged Sustainalytics on an enterprise-wide basis, so that all of our investment teams have access to at least one dedicated ESG research and data provider. We now subscribe to multiple services that are dedicated either entirely or in large part to providing ESG data and research.
  • In 2019, our investment teams conducted thousands of meetings with corporate management teams. Our teams use those meetings for research purposes, as well as to express their views as active owners and engage with management on a wide range of matters.
  • Except with respect to those clients who choose to vote their own proxies, we vote proxies on behalf of our clients pursuant to our Proxy Voting Policy, available here.
    • Our Proxy Voting Policy specifically provides that all shareholder proposals relating to ESG matters are voted on a case-by-case basis.
    • During the 2019 proxy voting season, we voted proxies at 573 company meetings across 44 different countries.
    • We published our first firm-wide proxy voting report, describing our voting philosophy and results, available here.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • We are committed to maintaining an environment that fosters diverse thinking by hiring and retaining associates from different backgrounds, experiences and locations.
  • As of December 31, 2019, 40% of our associates were women and 17% of our U.S. associates self-identified as minorities.
    • In 2019, 47% and 21% of our new hires were women and/or minorities, respectively.
  • The founding portfolio manager of our Sustainable Emerging Markets team, Maria Negrete-Gruson, was the winner of the 2019 Women in Asset Management award for the emerging markets category. Five of the six members of the Sustainable Emerging Markets team are women, and we believe the team's combination of continuity and diversity is unique in the industry.
  • During 2019, our Women's Networking Initiative, sponsored by a member of our executive management team, held monthly events in our Milwaukee office, and approximately two-thirds of the women in our Milwaukee office actively participated.
  • Our board of directors has committed to including female and/or minority candidates in all future director searches.
  • We have a formal policy, available here, that forbids discrimination based on protected classifications and requires that all associates treat all individuals with respect, courtesy and fairness. The policy also sets forth formal reporting and complaint procedures.
  • We conduct mandatory anti-harassment training for all associates, with special training for managers.

Employee Work Environment, Compensation and Benefits

  • We had 439 associates as of December 31, 2019. Approximately 30% of our associates work within our investment teams, 17% within our distribution teams and 53% within our business management and operations teams. Approximately 95% of our associates operate from our U.S. offices and 5% operate from our offices outside of the U.S.
  • We regularly review compensation paid to associates to ensure it is competitive and fair for the role, experience, location and individual contribution.
  • We publicly disclose the total compensation for our median employee, which in 2019 was $210,103 per year.
  • We provide equity or equity-linked incentives to all of our associates. As of December 31, 2019, associates owned approximately 17% of our firm.
  • Our benefit plans are available to associates regardless of title, role, or responsibility. We offer our U.S.-based associates the following benefits:
    • Paid time-off for vacation, sickness, bereavement, civic duty and parental leave.
    • Medical, vision and dental insurance.
    • Retirement savings plans.
    • Health, limited purpose and dependent care savings accounts.
    • Group term life, voluntary life and long-term disability insurance.
    • Parking and commuter benefits.
    • Travel assistance services.
    • In-office flu shot clinics in the U.S. offices where over 90% of our associates work.
    • Free in-office fitness centers at our two largest offices where over 70% of our associates work.
  • We encourage our associates to save for retirement. In the U.S., we match 100% of employee 401(k) contributions dollar for dollar (fully vested), up to the IRS limit. We also maintain retirement programs or benefits for all non-U.S. associates.
    • In 2019, 64% of our U.S.-based associates received the maximum match of $19,000 (up from 58% in 2018).
  • We pay 100% of our participating associates' health care premiums, which amount to approximately $15,500 per U.S. associate annually. As of December 31, 2019, between associates and their dependents, our health insurance programs covered over 1,200 people.
  • In 2019:
    • We revised and enhanced parental leave programs to provide additional fully paid parental leave to associates.
    • We broadened our sick leave policy and expanded in-office flu shot clinics.
    • We expanded and improved our fitness center in our Milwaukee office and added a fitness center to our largest San Francisco office. Both fitness centers are open and available to associates free of charge.

Employee Development and Engagement

  • Our firm is designed and operated to be an ideal home for talented investors. Everything we do is designed for our investment talent to thrive. We have a 25-year history of recruiting, retaining and developing great investment talent. We have a repeatable process for identifying unique investment leaders and partnering with them to build investment franchises with multi-generational talent. Talent development is at the heart of what we do. For an in-depth discussion of our approach to talent and franchise development, please read our 2017 Annual Report, Talent as an Art, available here.
  • We are similarly focused on developing talent across the rest of our firm. We try to recruit and hire outstanding people who thrive in broad roles and want the freedom to grow their talents and careers. We actively support employee development, including through the programs described below.
  • We support continuing education for our associates with tuition reimbursement for applicable undergraduate, graduate, professional, and licensing education.
  • We understand that associates want and need different types of engagement. As a relatively small firm with a collegial environment, we engage with our associates daily, through formal and informal touchpoints with senior leadership.
    • Our CEO and other executives host semi-annual town hall meetings with our associates to discuss firm culture, firmwide goals, financial results and current trends within our industry.
    • Across the firm, leaders engage with their teams regularly to discuss recent events and results, strategy, team and individual goals and workplace culture and environment.
  • We actively support employee-led groups. A number of these groups began as "grass-roots" initiatives and have grown into programs that facilitate engagement and development across broad sections of our firm.
  • Our CORE program (Communication Outreach Recognition Events), which was founded in 2011 and is led by associates in our Milwaukee office, focuses on employee communication, appreciation and recognition, community outreach, and social events.
    • In 2019, CORE facilitated meet and greet lunches with associates across teams, coordinated employee recognition of birthdays and work anniversaries, hosted employee social events and offered community outreach programs to support Habitat for Humanity, the Journey House and the Sojourner Peace Center, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and the Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin, which sponsors a daily breakfast for the homeless and hungry.
  • Our employee-led Women's Networking Initiative began in 2015. The mission of the group is to connect Artisan women and provide opportunities for sustainable relationships that foster personal development and help individuals navigate career and life.
    • In 2019, our Women's Networking Initiative facilitated the establishment of five small networking groups led by female associates. Each group consisted of approximately 12 women who met regularly to foster discussion around themes related to wellness and self-improvement, women in the workforce, networking and women helping women. In addition, the group facilitated a speaker panel highlighting women supporting Artisan's distribution function and hosted social events to foster relationship building and networking.
  • Our employee-led Training, Education and Development (T.E.D.) program's mission is to provide our associates with educational and cross-functional knowledge sharing opportunities helping associates take ownership of their careers and integrate into our firm's culture. The group surveys associates to identify key areas of interest for programming.
    • In 2019, the T.E.D. group offered our associates multiple educational programs, as well as a fall and spring book club.
  • Our employee-led Mentoring Program, which began in 2015, provides a structured way for associates to meet one another and establish mentoring relationships. The program pairs mentees with mentors based on development goals identified by mentees, provides training and education to both mentors and mentees, encourages regular meetings between mentors and mentees and facilitates programs to engage regularly.
    • In 2019, 28 members of the firm participated in the program, including members of our executive management team.

Governance and Transparency

  • Five of the six members of our board of directors are independent of management, including all three members of the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee.
    • In 2019, the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee of our board of directors assumed formal oversight of our firmwide ESG activities.
  • Each share of our common stock has equal voting rights with one vote per share.
  • We provide updated information about our assets under management (a key performance indicator) to the public on a monthly basis, and we provide a fulsome review of our business and financial outcomes on a quarterly and annual basis.
  • Quarterly presentations (and the accompanying prepared remarks) by our CEO and CFO since our IPO in March 2013 are archived and accessible to the public here.

Business Conduct

  • We believe in, and believe that we maintain, a culture that promotes high standards of ethics and integrity.
  • Our Code of Business Conduct, available here, sets forth expectations of our directors and associates with respect to integrity, conflicts of interest, disclosure controls and procedures and compliance with laws, rules and regulations.
  • We maintain policies and programs directed specifically at prohibiting and preventing bribery and other corrupt business practices.
  • We maintain a whistle-blower policy, available here, and anonymous reporting system for the communication of employee concerns to the Audit Committee or other non-management directors of our board. The whistle-blower policy and anonymous reporting system include any and all concerns that associates may have about illegal or unethical behavior or behavior inconsistent with our culture or policies.
  • Our legal and compliance team provides oversight on compliance with new and existing laws and regulatory requirements, the firm's policies and procedures and industry standards. The team maintains a testing program, regularly reports to management, our board of directors and clients and serves as a liaison with the firm's regulators.
  • All associates receive annual training on key policies and procedures including our code of ethics (which includes policies on gifts and entertainment and conflicts of interest), anti-corruption and bribery policies, our anti-money laundering program and our policy on political contributions.
    • In 2019, over 45 training sessions were held at multiple Artisan office locations, including Milwaukee, New York, London, San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta and Wilmington. The compliance team also provided more than 90 ad hoc compliance training sessions during 2019, focusing on discrete compliance topics.
  • Our chief compliance officer is required to evaluate the effectiveness of our compliance program on an annual basis. This evaluation is based on, among other things, the results of internal and external testing and assurance activities, and our experience with respect to errors and incidents taking place during the course of the year.
    • For 2019, no material compliance matters were identified, and the compliance program was found to be operating effectively.

Privacy and Information Security

  • We maintain privacy policies, management oversight, accountability structures and technology design processes to protect private and personal data.
  • Our information security and privacy program is overseen by senior management, and our board of directors reviews our information security program at least annually. The information security program is also subject to internal audit and independent third-party review, and third-party security penetration tests are performed at least annually.
  • Our associates receive annual, mandatory security training, which includes updated information regarding specific policies and procedures, education on phishing attacks, social engineering, password management and privacy. New associates receive training as part of their orientation process.
    • In 2019, our information security professionals conducted 44 separate, live training sessions covering 477 associates and contractors. All sessions were conducted either in-person or via video conference.
  • We have not experienced a cybersecurity breach that resulted in any material loss or misappropriation of personal information or any material impact on our applications or business processes.

Community Investment

  • Under our Matching Gift Program, we match eligible employee gifts up to $2,000 per year per employee.
    • In 2019, we matched gifts made by 120 associates (29% of our associates as of December 31, 2019), up from 91 associates in 2018. Recipients of matching gifts in 2019 included 151 educational, religious, cultural, and other charitable organizations in the communities in which we operate and our people live.
  • Our associates engage in community outreach events through employee-led groups and team events. In 2019, these events included serving meals to the homeless, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and school supply and toy drives.

Environment

  • We participate in recycling programs, energy-saving technology, and the use of energy efficient equipment, materials and techniques in our offices.
  • In 2019, we installed water bottle filling stations throughout our largest office in Milwaukee, which we estimate will save 100,000 plastic bottles per year.
  • Five of our twelve U.S. office locations are in LEED certified buildings.
  • 100% of our office locations are outfitted for video conferencing, which we believe reduces business travel.
  • We maintain business continuity policies to ensure the safety of our personnel and facilities and the restoration of our critical business functions in case of natural disasters. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have successfully implemented aspects of our business continuity plan and have effectively maintained our business operations.