On June 11, 2013, Barclays and MSCI Inc. launched a global family of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Fixed Income Indices, the first fixed income benchmark indices based primarily on ESG factors. The indices are co-branded "Barclays MSCI" and are independently marketed by both firms.
Continue reading Barclays MSCI ESG Fixed Income Indices - Product Launch
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) macro trends are shaping our future and may become material issues for companies and investors alike. ESG research and analysis across sectors remains fragmented and limited to a company or industry level.
Continue reading MSCI ESG Research - Thematic Reports Launch
Online Survey Results and Analysis
By Martina Macpherson, Vice President, MSCI ESG Research
Sustainable investing - understood as the incorporation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis into investment decision-making - is a growing discipline that offers opportunities for long-term value creation both for investors and society as a whole. The industry is a continually growing and changing field that encompasses institutional investors, asset managers and financial service providers.
After a decade of escalating gold prices and the race to expand reserves, mining companies are waking up to the day after the party. Many companies are saddled with lower grade mines that are more expensive to operate and generate high waste per ounce of gold extracted. Even as the value of gold in companies' reserves has fallen, some companies are stuck operating high cost and high waste mines. As indicated, over a million times more waste to gold is a common production ratio for companies in the industry.
ESG Risks and Financial Implications
Sustainability themes: how and when they become financially material to institutional investors?
The RI/MSCI Round Table Report 2013 explores where and how ESG risk can have significant and pressing financial consequences for institutional investors. The presentations and discussion, which took place in New York in late 2012, brought together a panel of noted thinkers, practitioners and academics in sustainable finance for their thoughts based broadly around a series of topical ESG themes in institutional investment.
Continue reading MSCI ESG Research / Responsible-Investor.com Roundtable Report 2013
Chart of the Month: Triggers of Political Unrest: Strength of Civil Liberties versus Unemployment Rate, 91 Countries
We measured the level of each country’s political rights and civil liberty protection and plotted it against its unemployment rate in 2008. Countries that have experienced significant political unrest in subsequent years (2008 to 2012) – as defined by the Heidelberg Institute of International Conflict (HIIK) – are highlighted.
Budget austerity, debt crises and populist disaffection have put corporate tax payments on the political and regulatory front burner across most developed markets. For banks, the use of tax havens represents new risks as cash-strapped governments crack down on tax haven jurisdictions in search of needed capital. Banks relying on customers and investment vehicles looking to utilize offshore tax advantages have the most to lose, and business models are likely to change under new regulatory focus. The seemingly endless allegations of criminal behavior across the financial sector exacerbate these risks as banks' social license to operate is being openly called into question.
Continue reading Chart of the Month: Banking on Tax Havens
First Emerging Markets Custom Index and Fund announced by Northern Trust - in conjunction with MSCI ESG Research and ISS
Unique Fund Designed for Investors Seeking Emerging Markets Exposure while Incorporating Governance Screening
On March 25, 2013, the first emerging markets custom index which integrates Environmental, Social and, uniquely, Governance (ESG) screens has been announced by Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS), in collaboration with MSCI ESG Research’s and Institutional Shareholder Services' (ISS) ESG screens. A pooled fund passively managed to this new index has also been launched.
Sustainable investing - understood as the incorporation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis into investment decision-making - is a growing discipline that offers opportunities for long-term value creation both for investors and society as a whole. In recent years, an increasing number of industry experts and academics across the globe have come to believe that key ESG developments - from climate change, to globalization, to the transforming societal expectations for corporations and finance - can have a significant role to play in long-term performance.
Historically, socially responsible investment has looked first and foremost to the social and environmental risks and opportunities of investing in the equities of corporations. Nevertheless, many investors remain unfamiliar with the state of the field. Compared with public equities, to date relatively little attention has been paid to the ESG implications of investing in other asset classes. Despite many recent and important projects, much work remains to be done to create an overview of how to approach sustainable investment across asset classes and how to develop definitions and guidelines for responsible investment across portfolios.
What are your views on the topic?
Access to nutrition is a major public health concern with global implications. Today two billion people, or approximately 30% of the world’s population, suffer from undernutrition, while obesity has become a challenge affecting both developed and emerging market countries. The food and beverage industry can play an important role in addressing these global nutrition challenges.
Continue reading Introducing the Access to Nutrition Index