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Former Citi analysts set up SRI research boutique

Tyrell and Davis strike out with Sustainable Investor.

Two former members of Citi’s recently disbanded dedicated SRI research team, Mike Tyrell and Natalie Davis, have set up their own independent research outfit. Tyrrell, a highly respected SRI analyst, was placed first in the individual SRI broker research rankings for 2008 by Thomson Reuters Extel. In December 2008, Responsible Investor revealed that Citi had cut its specialist SRI broker team and that Tyrell and Davis had left the company. Since leaving Citi, the two analysts have created a research boutique called Sustainable Investor and are in the early days of building the business. It will carry out integrated sustainability investment analysis and says it also aims to incubate new business models to facilitate the integration of social and environmental issues into the mainstream capital allocation process. The company will be working with investors, companies, data and research providers, NGOs, governments and consultancies. Following the departure of Tyrell and Davis, Citi integrated SRI research into its mainstream broker research departments under Meg Brown, a former member of the specialist team and the second top ranked SRI analyst for 2008 according to Thomson Reuters Extel. Following Citi’s SRI research cuts, Responsible Investor revealed that JP Morgan had ended dedicated ESG coverage and would roll it into mainstream equityresearch and that Deutsche Bank had discontinued corporate governance research and decommissioned its specialist related website.
Separately, UniCredit, the Italian banking and fund management group, which merged with Germany’s HVB in 2005, has launched the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Leaders Germany Index Monitor, which it says is a challenge to portfolio strategies based on responsible investment indices. UniCredit said RI indices had played a key role in the growth of responsible investment over the last decade, but said its research found significant shortcomings in their performance, diversification and sustainability. UniCredit said its partnership with Germany’s oekom research would offer investors thorough sector reviews and company profiles covering 18 sectors and 140 German equities leading to a key stock recommendation list, which integrates ESG ratings with financial and strategic views. UniCredit said: “Our monitor does not set any index construction constraints allowing the inclusion of leading mid/small-cap ESG performers, which are not represented in major blue-chip RI indices. In order to capture ESG dynamics in the German equity universe, we provide investors with a monitor capturing the key changes in ESG ratings in order to identify key movers and shakers.”