RiskMetrics Group, Inc., a leading provider of risk and corporate governance services to participants in the global financial markets, announced today that it has agreed to acquire Innovest Strategic Value Advisors. Headquartered in New York, Innovest is a leading provider of sustainability research for the institutional investment community.
The acquisition of Innovest and its team of experts led by co-founders Dr. Matthew Kiernan and Hewson Baltzell, enlarges RiskMetrics footprint in the environmental, social & governance research space at a time when the financial community’s interests in sustainability are growing.
Established in 1995 with the mission of integrating sustainability and finance by identifying non-traditional sources of risk potential for investors, Innovest specializes in analyzing companies’ performance on environmental, social, and strategic governance issues. The acquisition will bring together two established firms with deep expertise in the newly emerging field of climate governance and carbon finance.
A myriad of long-term sustainability factors, particularly around climate change, are playing an increasingly important role in the way funds invest and view their portfolio risk, said Stephen Harvey, head of the Governance business at RiskMetrics Group. Innovest is one of the few firms that has successfully taken a quantitative approach to assessing ESG issues, thereby helping investors view what are typically intangible, compliance-oriented issues through a clearer financial lens.
RiskMetrics currently provides ESG research, data feeds and portfolio screening tools to more than 350 global institutions that have a need to comply with clients’ investment mandates. With the acquisition of Innovest, clients will have access to an ESG analyst team of more than 50 research professionals and an integrated environmental, social & governance suite of research and compliance-focused services.
It would be an understatement to say that today’s turbulent market environment is placing an unprecedented premium on understanding the entire spectrum of investment risks both traditional and non-traditional, said Dr. Matthew Kiernan, co-founder and chief executive officer of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, Inc. By combining Innovest’s ESG research with RiskMetrics leading capabilities in risk management and corporate governance, we can help investors make more-informed decisions.
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close March 2, 2009.