Karina Funk enjoys defying expectations. Trained as an environmental and chemical engineer, she likes knowing the figures and fundamentals that drive how things work. She also believes that caring about people and the planet can be profitable.
As a portfolio manager and chair of sustainable investing at Brown Advisory, Funk—a chartered financial analyst—co-manages the large-cap sustainable growth strategy. Brown Advisory’s fund consistently outperformed the
Russell 1000 Growth Index
since its inception, and has grown in asset size by over 1,800% over the past five years. Brown Advisory is responsible for more than $100 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2020.
100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance
David Powell, her portfolio co-manager at Brown Advisory, says Funk deserves credit for convincing skeptics of the value in examining a company’s environmental, social, and governance impact. “She didn’t mind that people didn’t get it. She was very courageous and brave, and she kept at it,” he says.
Funk, 49, says that viewing potential investments through a sustainability lens should be just as rigorous and require the same degree of scrutiny as other strategies. She and Powell evaluate opportunities according to companies’ sustainable business advantages, looking for solid long-term investments.
Covid-19 has helped people better understand how interdependent we are and how much the world’s health, economies, and climates are tied together, Funk says. “We’re going to be learning lessons from the pandemic for a long time.”
Comments? E-mail us at [email protected]