French fund Ircantec awards ESG and climate contracts to Sustainalytics and S&P

RI understands that contracts were previously held by Vigeo Eiris, Beyond Ratings and I Care & Consult

Ircantec, the French public pension scheme with assets of around €11bn in assets, has awarded ESG and climate analysis contracts to Morningstar-owned ESG data house Sustainaytics and ratings giant S&P Global France, respectively. 

RI understands that ESG assessment contract was previously held by Vigeo Eiris, the ESG house majority owned by ratings giant Moody’s, and the climate assessment one was held by French environmental consultant I Care & Consult and Beyond Ratings, the ESG analytics provider owned by FTSE. 

The fund re-tenders the contracts every three years.  

According to tender documents, Sustainalytics saw off four other bids to win the €391k ESG analysis contract and S&S Global France beat three other bidders for the climate one, which is worth €245k. 

Vigeo Eiris, Beyond Ratings and I Care & Consult had not at the time of publication responded to a request for comment on whether they tendered again for the contracts.  

The ESG assessment of Ircantec’s portfolio is undertaken twice a year and the climate change analysis of its listed holdings is done annually.  

Speaking in June, Francois Tirmarche, Head of External Asset Management, Asset Allocation & SRI at Caisse des Dépôts Group, the investment arm of the French state which houses Ircantec, described the analysis by the providers as a “kind of second party opinion”, providing the fund with a bird’s eye view of its portfolio sustainability performance in a way that cannot be captured or provided by any of its 12 asset managers.   

Tirmarche added that the analysis also allows the fund to “challenge” portfolio managers, which is something, he said, the fund has done in recent years. “We challenged some managers to ask them to improve the ESG metrics of the portfolio,” he told RI.