SRI a ‘Buy’ for RiskMetrics

By November 19, 2009News

Earlier this month, RiskMetrics Group (RMG) announced that it will acquire KLD Research & Analytics (KLD), a provider of research that integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the investment analysis.

KLD provides research, compliance and consulting services for use by institutional investors as they assess public companies. It also constructs indexes such as the Global Climate 100 Index that are marketed to serve as benchmarks for socially responsible investment strategies.

RMG’s acquisition of KLD comes just seven months after it swallowed up Toronto-based Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, a former KLD competitor in the ESG investment research arena.

With this pair of buyouts, RMG has bought itself some much needed depth in the analysis required by socially responsible investors as well as a growing group of so-called mainstream investors who have come to understand that to fully evaluate investment risk,  they must inform themselves of the environmental and social profiles of public companies.

Darragh Gallant, former head of client services and marketing at KLD, will not be going to RMG with her colleagues. She has accepted the position of director of US operations at Sustainalytics, another ESG research firm which is headquartered in Amsterdam and recently merged with Toronto-based Jantzi Research. Matthew Kiernan, Innovest’s co-founder, stayed with RMG just eight months before moving on to “pursue personal interests”.