BlackRock taps Thomson Reuters’ ASSET4 for global ESG data

Further sign of ESG integration as global asset manager adds data

BlackRock, the US-based asset manager with $3.56trn (€2.49trn) in asset under management, has chosen Thomson Reuters’ ASSET4 as a global environmental, social and governance (ESG) data provider.
BlackRock will use the system to help it identify risks and opportunities in its portfolios, said Chad Spitler, BlackRock’s Director of Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment – adding that managing ESG risk is “core to our investment process”.
Data from ASSET4, which was acquired by the news and data giant in 2009, will be available to the approximately 20 BlackRock staff involved in responsible investments. It will be one of a range of systems staff can use. The two companies declined to reveal the terms of the contract.
“An increasing number of clients such as BlackRock are demanding more flexibility to apply sector andcountry specific criteria in their investment research and Thomson Reuters is proud to be leading the way in providing the tools the asset management industry needs to bring transparency to their clients and the market,” said Henrik Steffensen, vice president, commercial strategy ESG at Thomson Reuters.
Steffensen co-founded ASSET4 with Peter Ohnemus in 2003 before it was acquired amid a wave of consolidation in the ESG research sector. ASSET4 has a database of 3,400 listed companies sorted by more than 750 data points and 250 key performance indicators (KPIs).
Earlier this year, ASSET4’s Director of Data Content Christopher Greenwald left to join sustainability manager, SAM. Last month it was announced that Michelle Edkins would take over from Abe Friedman as BlackRock’s Global Head of Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment.