State Street (NYSE:STT) gab Ende Mai die weitere Verbesserung der internetbasierten Plattform des Unternehmens, ESGX, bekannt, mit der Kunden die Risiken ihrer Portfolios unter den Gesichtspunkten Umwelt, Soziales und Unternehmensführung (Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG) genau bewerten können. BondGuide sprach mit Mark McDivitt von State Street über das Tool und was es leisten kann. Naheliegenderweise war es auf Englisch, dürfte aber für Leser jeglichen Levels gut zu verstehen sein.
BondGuide: Mark, how did this new product come about?
Divitt: The expansion of State Street’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and analytics offering came through demand from our global client base, who were asking for an analytics capability that was not tied to any one point of view and that offered a level of simplicity as it related to uploading their portfolios.
Was it designed following the demand of institutional investors who already used State Street’s ESG tool, or was it conceived on STT’s own initiative?
The product was conceived as a self-starter initiative taking the view that this was where the “puck was headed” so-to-speak. We executed on the vision to meet this perceived demand that we are now seeing play out.
How will investors benefit from this tool?
Through our ESGX platform, we deliver the information and analytics our clients need for comprehensive ESG analysis, with a clear, integrated view into their exposurers relating to material ESG risk. By integrating client portfolio data, and our State Street Global Exchange quantitative analytics, ESGX can help institutional investors uncover ESG drivers and indicators of material financial risks.
What do ESGX users expect to find further more – using this tool?
In addition, ESGX users can generate interactive and intuitive visualizations of portfolio metrics and statistics, providing a holistc view of ESG drivers. ESGX also allows users to: compare ESG exposures across portfolios; measure ESG performance against benchmarks; correlate ESG factors with financial performance and risk measures for your portfolio; view historical ESG performance; determine top and bottom performers in your portfolio; and analyze underlying ESG drivers.
What ESG criteria exists/do you use on bonds and how are they measured?
We assign an ESG score to the assets under management, AuM, of a particular company – public equities or corporate bonds – within the portfolios and make the general assumption that they have similar risk. It is not a perfect science but provides the ability to view portfolio-level statistics and drill down to company-level drivers across multiple interactive data sets for diverse analytics.
And anything addressing the currently public discussions?
Yes, referring to the current public discussion on climate and decarbonization, the carbon metrics which we use might be interesting to your readers. These are, for example, the carbon/environmental cost intensity and the company’s contribution to carbon footprint related to market cap and revenue.
Looking at one individual company: Does the ESG quality of bonds differ a lot from shares?
As said before, the introduction of the data and analytics tool is only the start. We need to refine this effort and will do so as the quality of the data improves overtime.
What were the first reactions of State Street’s clients to the new offering?
We had a positive response in that no one at the time had created a portfolio decision support tool that offered flexibility to analyze one’s portfolio across data vendors. That being said, this has very much been a work-in-progress as we continue to digest client feedback and incorporate their suggestions into new releases throughout the year.
What will be your next ESG project: Government bonds, maybe?
Next on the agenda is sovereign bonds, real estate and an increased focus on harnessing artificial intelligence, AI, capabilities to assist in identifying provenance of data, often referred to as ground truth data. Generally speaking, asset managers worldwide have realized the relevance of ESG metrics, and there is a growing demand for more data and intelligent solutions to handle them.
Marc, thank you very much indeed for your time!
Interview: Falko Bozicevic
Mark McDivitt ist General Manager und Leiter des ESG-Teams von State Street. Bevor McDivitt 2010 zu State Street kam, war er Gründer und Präsident von CarbonCCY Management.