An Update for Our Clients & Business Partners from our Managing Partner, Doug Sieg | Lord Abbett
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To Our Clients and Business Partners: 

Throughout the past year of crisis and uncertainty, Lord Abbett has been committed to full transparency about our plans, our actions, and our perspective on the markets as we navigated the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. By sharing what is on our minds, we want to keep you apprised of what has been happening at the organization and provide some thoughts to help inform your efforts as all of us begin to embrace the new normal.  

Today marks an important step on our journey as we reopen our global headquarters at 90 Hudson in Jersey City as a voluntary option for our people and continue to follow all of medical safety best practices, including mask-wearing, social distancing, and six-foot spacing of work areas. I look forward to the gradual readjustment process that will energize the organization and further strengthen the relationships, culture, and trust we have built over the years—all of which have  been crucial factors in our success over the last 12 months. We are committed to being innovative in our approach to the future work environment by offering maximum flexibility to work remotely, while using the office as a center for in-person collaboration and relationship-building. As we learn about the best ways to work in this new era, we will be more than happy to share our experiences with you.  

Outlook 

It is my hope that we are in the late stages of the pandemic, but we understand that this phase is not without risks and requires continued caution. With that said, I believe the rapid development and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines will be remembered as one of the greatest achievements in our lifetime. These monumental achievements reinforce my optimism that, while battered and bruised by multiple crises, America has reasserted itself as a global leader in the fight to end this pandemic. We should all be proud of this accomplishment, which I hope will signal a new age of leadership in the United States. 

As an asset manager that believes in fundamental research and active management, our investment professionals are always focused on the changing economic environment. If 2020 was the “Year of the Virus”, I believe 2021 will be remembered as the “Year of the Vaccine”. The combination of reopening dynamics, unprecedented fiscal stimulus, and highly accommodative monetary policy promise relief to many, especially industries hard-hit by the risk of infection: restaurants, hotels, airlines, education, and healthcare among them. In our view, an increasingly brighter economic and policy outlook has changed the market regime to a reflationary one, as evidenced by rising 10-year Treasury bond yields, elevated inflation expectations, and higher commodity prices. Coupled with the economic recovery that is proceeding at varying rates outside the U.S.—with China surpassing its pre-pandemic high, and Europe and Japan lagging—one can see additional investment opportunities emerging in real time. These cross-currents provide a tremendous backdrop for a nimble and thoughtful active manager. As market conditions unfold, we will remain ever vigilant and always agile. 

No investor should overlook the fact that one of the lasting impacts of the pandemic has been the emergence of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors as a major input in fundamental research. We are fully committed to holding ourselves—and the companies in which we invest—accountable. Moreover, as investors, we have found that our voice carries weight, and we intend to lean in and engage with companies on the crucial issues of sustainability. We remain committed to using the power of our voice as active investors in our continued efforts to secure a sustainable future for the benefit of all stakeholders.  

Among the myriad challenges of the pandemic, the physical separation from loved ones, especially those stricken with COVID-19, has been difficult for many people. Having lost a close family member to the coronavirus, my heart goes out to all those who have dealt with the trials of isolation. As someone who believes in relationships, I am struck by the fact that it has taken a pandemic to remind us just how much we rely on in-person connections with each other. While I will always cherish the time I have been able to spend with my family, I know I am not alone in looking forward to the simple power of a handshake, the camaraderie of a large gathering with friends, or the roar of a stadium. Now that my daughters have returned to in-person learning, I have seen them come home excited and invigorated by the interaction with their classmates. All of us are ready for that same level of engagement.  

On a broader level, as with all crises, troubling weaknesses have been exposed in our nation. Most notable among these are ongoing racial violence and injustice, particularly toward the Black and Asian communities, as well as extreme political division, both of which threaten our progress as a country. It is my fervent hope that we see the rise of strong and thoughtful leadership that will work toward the inclusion and compromise needed to bring America together. As we continue our journey to create a more inclusive and diverse organization, we have learned that a more diverse team is a better team. I believe that when all Americans embrace that fact, our nation will be able to fulfill its true potential.  

Moving Forward 

On April 2nd we marked the three-year anniversary of our journey of generational change and leadership at Lord Abbett. I am extremely proud of our people on so many levels. Over the past three years, we have continued to see an increase in our assets under management and remain in strong net inflows. We have redefined and reenergized our mission, vision, and values. Moreover, we have been recognized as a Best Place to Work in Money Management by Pensions & Investments and achieved a score of 100-percent on the Human Rights Commission Corporate Equality Index, milestones made possible by our commitment to building a culture that is principles-led, performance-oriented, and purpose-driven. Together, these efforts have empowered our people to operate at peak performance on your behalf.  

On behalf of everyone at Lord Abbett, I want to express our gratitude and appreciation for the trust you have placed in us, as evidenced by the new and existing relationships we have built and deepened around the world during the past 12 months. Given the strength of these bonds, the resilience we have demonstrated, and the higher purpose that inspires us, I am more confident than ever that we are moving forward to a brighter future for us all. As we begin the next leg of our journey, we remain committed to emerging even stronger on the other side—together.  

Stay safe. Stay focused. Stay strong. 

 

Sincerely,

Douglas B. Sieg

Managing Partner

OUR MANAGING PARTNER

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