Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Consolidation continues in ESG research sector

U.S.-based RiskMetrics Group is set to make its second major acquisition of the year by purchasing Boston-based KLD Research & Analytics, according to industry insiders.

Neither company is talking, but U.K. website Responsible Investor says the deal is in its final stages. Global Proxy Watch, a corporate governance newsletter, predicts the agreement will be announced later this month.

KLD is one of the world’s oldest and respected ESG research firms, and is the creator of the first socially-screened index, the Domini 400 Social Index (named after co-founder and well-known SRI author Amy Domini), now known as the FTSE KLD Social Index.

Earlier this year, RiskMetrics acquired SRI research group Innovest. With the purchase of KLD, RiskMetrics would solidify its position as the world’s largest ESG research group.

It’s been a big year for buyouts in the SRI research world. In August, Jantzi Research, one of Canada's leaders in responsible investment research, announced that it was joining forces with Sustainalytics, a European ESG research provider to the financial sector. The new company is operating as Sustainalytics globally and Janzti-Sustainalytics in North America.

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