Tech and data firm FE fundinfo has announced it will acquire Liechtenstein-based ESG data and reporting house the Centre for Social and Sustainable Products (CSSP).
The deal will see FE fundinfo acquire all of CSSP’s share capital, including its yourSRI.com platform which provides 38,000 ESG fund screens and ratings based on MSCI data. The terms of the deal were undisclosed.
CSSP was founded in 2009 by Oliver Oehri, who had previously run a microfinance investment firm and was a member of the board of directors for Credit Suisse Funds until 2016; and Christoph Dreher, who headed up a different microfinance company and is a long-standing lecturer at Lichtenstein University. It offers services such as ESG analysis & reporting and carbon footprinting. In 2016, the Swiss government commissioned CSSP and South Pole (the latter is now owned by ISS after a similar acquisition in 2017) to research the carbon footprint of the country’s listed equity funds.
Going forward, Oehri and Dreher will co-head the ESG product group at FE fundinfo. Commenting on CSSP’s acquisition, they said: “The reporting on extra-financial criteria has gained in importance in recent years and investors are rightfully asking for multi-dimensional risk assessments at portfolio level to effectively measure the corresponding exposure.”
FE fundinfo said CSSP’s ESG reporting services would be important to the business as ESG due diligence requirements and reporting standards become more formalised in 2021, such as the sustainable finance disclosure regulations across Europe.
The deal suggests the trend in recent years for larger firms to hoover up smaller ESG data specialists will continue in 2021. Last year, financial data provider FactSet acquired US-based ESG and AI specialist Truvalue Labs and Morningstar took 100% control of ESG data firm Sustainalytics in a €170m deal.