ESG advisory firms GES and Oekom Research form strategic alliance

Latest collaboration in ESG research sector

GES Investment Services, the Swedish consulting firm which specialises in environmental, social and governance (ESG) engagement, has formed a strategic partnership with Oekom Research, the Germany-based ESG rating agency.

Both cited growing interest in responsible investment among German and Nordic investors for the tie-up, the latest in the ESG research sector.

In a statement, GES and Oekom said they had teamed up to better handle the growing need for responsible investment services in the Nordic and German-speaking countries. They said Oekom’s institutional clients would now get access to GES’s engagement services, while GES’s clients would benefit from Oekom’s detailed ratings of companies and countries from an ESG standpoint.

The deal comes amid a broader consolidation in the ESG research sector that saw RiskMetrics absorb firms such as KLD and Innovest Strategic Value Partners in 2009 before itself being acquired in a $1.55bn deal by MSCI in 2010.Elsewhere, Sustainalytics has inked deals with Singapore-based Responsible Research and South Korea’s Sustinvest.

“Oekom research and GES’s capacities complement each other perfectly,” said Oekom Chief Executive Robert Häßler, adding that Oekom saw great potential in providing Nordic investors with its analysis.

For GES’s part, CEO Magnus Furugard said his firm’s engagement approach was becoming increasingly important in the German-speaking countries.

Founded in 1992, GES provides engagement services primarily for Nordic investors, among them the Swedish AP pension funds. According to GES, it has €700bn from investors under advisory.

Munich-based Oekom is a leading rating agency for responsible investing. It has 75 asset managers and owners as clients who together have €140bn in assets under management.