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This Week’s Tech and Tools News: ESG Assessment Framework Launched for Private Markets

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news on technology and tools in the sustainable investing sector, including ILPA, RIMES, Limina, Bloomberg, C8 Technologies, S&P DJ, ISS and State Street.

The Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) has released its ESG Assessment Framework to help limited partners evaluate and understand the stages of ESG integration peers are observing among general partners. “The private markets industry is increasingly focused on stewardship and on making meaningful progress on ESG,” noted ILPA CEO Steve Nelson. “LPs are looking for alignment with their managers on ESG integration and GPs are looking for clarity on what LPs expect. The Framework helps solve for both of those issues: for GPs, it sets expectations on what LPs are looking for and for LPs, it provides a rubric against which they can assess and benchmark a manager during due diligence. Over time, LPs will be able to use this information to set goals and to track a manager’s progress on ESG.” ILPA’s suite of ESG-related resources also included an ESG Roadmap and an expanded ESG section of the ILPA Due Diligence Questionnaire, adopted from the Principles for Responsible Investment’s LP Responsible Investment DDQ, and will be out for public comment later this summer. “Our focus with this resource was to promote transparency around ESG integration practices observed in the market in a way that enhances investor dialogue and drives further progress,” added Matt Schey, ILPA’s Senior Director of Strategic Projects and ESG-related engagement lead.

Data services provider RIMES has launched an ESG data management solution to help asset management firms quickly access high-quality data to evaluate the sustainable credentials of any asset. According to RIMES, the new solution addresses the challenges arising from fragmented ESG disclosure requirements, which can leave asset management firms struggling to find, understand and trust the ESG data needed to pinpoint sustainable assets. RIMES’ ESG data management solution is a fully managed, end-to-end cloud-based service that offers transparent and actionable ESG data through a vendor-agnostic library of ESG sources, extensive cross-referencing and harmonisation across sources, mapping from issuer to issue, and a suite of desktop and analytics tools. RIMES said its fully managed service model and lean data management approach results in enhanced data quality for insights, greater operational efficiencies, better resource allocation and faster time to market and time to quality, compared with technology-led solutions. “Any firm serious about long-term success needs to be addressing ESG now and ensuring that they have in place robust data management and reporting capabilities required to provide clients and regulators transparency within portfolios and products regarding E, S, G and climate factors,” said Elisabeth Seep, ESG Project Manager, RIMES.

Limina, a customisable cloud-native investment management solution for mid-sized asset managers, has integrated Bloomberg Enterprise’s ESG datasets, with the aim of helping clients to track key ESG investment criteria, such as carbon emissions and progress against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Limina’s clients will be able to access Bloomberg’s comprehensive suite of ESG metrics and data, which spans 11,500 companies in 80+ countries, within a wider suite of capabilities, including portfolio forecasting, data automation as well as pre-trade compliance controls. Supported by Limina’s cloud-native, agile platform, asset managers can automatically integrate the ESG dataset via Bloomberg Enterprise without requiring any additional technology changes or onboarding delays.

Direct indexing fintech platform C8 Technologies has added S&P Dow Jones Indices to its platform, meaning institutional investors will be able to access and customise S&P Dow Jones Indices’ benchmarks for bespoke investment purposes. Existing providers include IHS Markit, Morningstar, Ned Davis Research and Alerian S Network. C8’s technology allows institutional investors to fully customise their investments using direct active and passive index tracking across asset classes, and send them for execution via their existing dealing relationships in one seamless end-to-end process. This enables institutions to create bespoke portfolios with tailored risk profiles in a cost-efficient manner, including exclusion of assets for ESG investment strategies.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a provider of market intelligence and fund services to the global asset management community, including proxy voting and ESG solutions, is to acquire Rainmaker, a platform that delivers data, research, events, and media solutions to investment institutions and intermediaries in Australia. Rainmaker’s service offerings include a market-leading combination of proprietary datasets, industry benchmarking, research, and market-share reporting for Australia, integrated and accessible via its RainmakerLive software platform. Rainmaker’s platform allows investment professionals to access data and insights that facilitate targeting new business opportunities, analysing multiple distribution channels, tracking market decision makers, and connecting with customers.

State Street Corporation, a provider of institutional financial services, has acquired private markets data management specialist Mercatus with a view to launching its own private markets solution. State Street Alpha for Private Markets solution will allow institutional investors to manage the entire lifecycle of their infrastructure, private equity, real estate, private debt and fund of funds investments through a fully integrated, digital front-to-back, single platform. The new solution, which covers both public and private markets, provides functionality including cloud-based asset management, deal management, ESG, investor relations and portfolio monitoring. “Institutional investors are turning to the private markets as the hunt for alpha intensifies,” said Paul Fleming, global head of State Street’s Alternatives Segment. “Expanding our alternative offerings will help us meet the multifaceted needs of these investors and provide our clients with even more solutions.”

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