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Cass and Sustainalytics Collaborate on Responsible Investment Research

Cass has joined forces with leading global provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, ratings and analytics, Sustainalytics to develop responsible investment research.

by City Press Office (General enquiries)

Cass has joined forces with leading global provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, ratings and analytics, Sustainalytics to develop responsible investment research.

Sustainalytics’ academic programme will be led by Cass academics and analysts from Sustainalytics. The partnership aims to provide a deeper understanding of investor engagement processes.

The first project, which is already underway focuses on responsible investment engagement activities – or direct dialogues between institutional investors and their investee companies to improve the ESG awareness, performance and disclosure of companies.

Engagement is widely considered an effective mechanism for institutional investors to advance their responsible investment and active ownership strategies; by managing investee company ESG risks and ensuring long-term value creation. Yet, while investors have been actively involved in engagements for many years, surprisingly little is known about the actual structure, execution, management and impact of these engagement processes.

The aim of this first project is to gain a better understanding of the range of investor processes underlying ESG engagement and its outcomes for institutional investors, broader society and the environment. Through in-depth interviews with a selection of Sustainalytics’ investor clients, coupled with rigorous academic analysis, the Sustainalytics and Cass engagement project will address this research gap.

Jean-Pascal Gond, Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and current head of the ETHOS research centre said: “This partnership offers a great opportunity to leverage Sustainalytics’ ESG insights and investor client-base to produce cutting-edge academic research on responsible investment. Given our location in the heart of London’s financial district, and Cass’ expertise in finance and CSR, this research can contribute to building more responsible and sustainable investment practices.”

Sustainalytics’ CEO, Michael Jantzi said: “There is a clear need for more in-depth research on engagement activities, especially to better inform ESG data services that seek to enhance these activities for investors. We are delighted to partner with such a prestigious institution as Cass Business School to break new ground in this area, and are also excited about developing additional research projects together in the future.” 

The full research results from the engagement study are expected to be released in mid-2016. For more information on Sustainalytics’ Academic Program, please visit here.

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