Monday, November 30, 2009

Thomson Reuters announces ESG acquisition

News giant Thomson Reuters has acquired Swiss-based ESG information provider ASSET4 AG for an undisclosed sum.

In a news release, Thomson Reuters said the deal represents a step forward in the integration of ESG data into mainstream financial analysis and underscores the company’s commitment to meet the evolving needs of the global financial community.

The global credit crisis, climate change, new regulation and other issues have highlighted the need for financial firms to assess the environmental, social responsibility, governance and reputational risks attached to the firms in which they invest, the release stated.

“Through the acquisition of ASSET4’s leading ESG information and tools, Thomson Reuters clients worldwide will benefit from having direct access to this increasingly important information as part of their investment process,” the company said. “This information allows investors to engage companies, improve investment performance, reduce risk and lower research costs, while corporate executives can reduce risk, enhance corporate governance and increase accountability, transparency and trust.”

“Thomson Reuters’ acquisition of ASSET4’s business is timely as our clients are looking for deeper insight into the combination of financial and extra-financial factors that drive the performance and risk of their investments”, said Abel Clark, global head of strategy and marketing, investment and advisory at Thomson Reuters. “The ESG content and tools will bring our clients increased transparency into areas of corporate performance that will grow in relevance as voluntary and mandatory ESG disclosure and performance standards become more prevalent.”

“Thomson Reuters is the natural choice to take the extra-financial information and tools that ASSET4 has built over the last five years to a truly global and mainstream client base,” added ASSET4 president Peter Ohnemus. “Thomson Reuters clients will now have the information and tools to make this type of analysis a reality.”

ASSET4 is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) and it is likely that, in the wake of this acquisition, Thomson Reuters will also consider signing.

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