Arabesque takes over WBCSD’s ESG corporate reporting database

Oversight of The Reporting Exchange passes to ESG data and investment house

ESG house Arabesque has acquired The Reporting Exchange – an open-source corporate disclosure database – from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). 

The German data and investment firm has become the new 'host' of the platform, which was launched in 2017 by WBCSD in collaboration with the Climate Disclosure Standards Board. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it comes as part of a wider strategic partnership between Arabesque and the World Business Council. 

The WBCSD was founded in 1995 and has more than 200 corporate members including Google, Shell, Total, Unilever and Vale. Arabesque is also a member. 

It describes the Exchange as the “go-to resource for ESG reporting“, where users can find “comprehensive and reliable information on ESG reporting requirements and resources”.

Arabesque and WBCSD said that the Exchange will continue to be free to access, but added that the move will allow the database to “leverage the newest technological and data intelligence advances”.

“The rapid increase in ESG regulation on a global scale has highlighted the need for technology-based, scalable and quantitative data solutions for corporates and investors”, said Daniel Klier, the incoming CEO of Arabesque S-Ray, the ESG advisory and data arm of Arabesque. “We are delighted to be partnering with WBCSD and taking over The Reporting Exchange and look forward to enhancing the platform’s capabilities as a leading ESG data resource for all market stakeholders.”

Klier, who Arabesque poached from HSBC earlier this year, is one of several big hitters the firm has added to its ranks in recent months. In March, Arabesque announced that Herman Bril, CIO of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, had been appointed as head of its asset management arm. At the same time, Ulrika Hasselgren, former Global Head of Sustainability and Impact Investment at Danske Bank, was named as the firm’s Head of Nordics, as well as Head of Europe for Corporates and Sovereigns. 

Last month, S-Ray was unveiled as the data provider behind ESG scores being added to Citigroup’s securities data platform, Velocity Clarity.

And in March, professional services company Accenture became the latest investor in S-Ray, joining the State of Hessen, Allianz, DWS and Commerzbank among the German firm’s owners.

Despite Arabesque’s high profile, however, RI reported last year that its holding company almost doubled annual losses in 2019 against the previous year, to the tune of £6.18m at December 31, 2019 versus £3.35m in 2018.