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June 23, 2011
MSCI Launches MSCI ESG Manager
    by Robert Kropp

The MSCI ESG Manager, designed to help asset managers and owners manage ESG research, analysis, and compliance, includes on a single platform all of MSCI's research and analysis of companies listed on the MSCI World index.

Following its acquisition of RiskMetrics one year ago, MSCI has "been building out the new MSCI ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) Research and Index businesses," stated Remy Briand, Managing Director and Global Head of Index and ESG Research at MSCI. "Our aim is to set standards for the ESG market place by providing products and services to help clients integrate ESG factors into their investment processes."

To help asset managers and owners manage research, analysis, and compliance relating to ESG factors, MSCI announced today the launch of its MSCI ESG Manager platform, which, the company states, includes an ESG Impact Monitor as well as Business Involvement Screening Research.

The ESG Impact Monitor, according to the company, "allows users to monitor a company's significant social and environmental impacts and its ability to manage those impacts." At present, the ESG Impact Monitor covers companies listed on the MSCI World index, but will be expanded to include all companies in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index in September. Coverage of small-cap companies in several regions of the world will follow.

Business Involvement Screening Research "allows investors to identify all global publicly-traded companies involved in activities such as the production of alcohol or tobacco products, or those that violate religious screening mandates," MSCI stated. "It also allows investors to divest from companies that violate legislative mandates that prohibit investment in companies that manufacture controversial weapons such as cluster bombs and landmines or operate in countries such as Sudan and Iran."

By including all of MSCI's research and analysis on a single platform, the MSCI ESG Manager also helps institutional investors manage their own ESG compliance requirements. In light of the recent announcement by the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) that reporting by signatories, as well as public disclosure, will be required as of 2013, the management by institutional investors of their ESG compliance is likely to draw greater scrutiny.

MSCI also announced the scheduling for July 7th of a webinar, during which the features and functionalities of the ESG Impact Monitor and Business Involvement Screening Research will be demonstrated.


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