Merrill Lynch teams up with research firm to launch ESG portfolio analysis

Duo unveils ESG Geographic Portfolio Analysis offering

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research has teamed up with institutional investment research firm CAMRADATA Analytical Services to launch a new environmental, social and governance (ESG) portfolio analysis service.

The new offering, called ESG Geographic Portfolio Analysis, helps investors such as pension funds and insurance companies identify how their international portfolios may be exposed to ESG factors compared to their benchmark.

It draws on two databases. The first contains a geographic breakdown of sales revenue, assets and operating income of more than 4,000 companies. The second ranks 214 countries, according to 172 underlying ESG risk indicators. Twenty-eight ESG themes are included, ranging from climate change and water scarcity to health issues, as well as governance-related issues such as business rights, corruption, and strength of democracy.Investors can request reports that identify types of ESG exposure by country or region, by sector and individual stock.

The service is the first of a series from CAMRADATA, which is licensed exclusively to use Merrill Lynch data and methodology. CAMRADATA is part of Punter Southall, the UK-based actuarial and investment consulting group.

“This new service measures the geographic ESG exposure of any portfolio, enabling investors to have a greater understanding of ESG factors that are at play within their portfolios,” said Sarbjit Nahal, SRI analyst at BofA Merrill Lynch. Nahal and colleague Valéry Lucas-Leclin joined Merrill in 2010 as the bank resurrected its dedicated socially responsible investment research team. Merrill’s SRI team is No. 1 ranked in both the Thomson Reuters Extel and Institutional Investor external surveys for SRI, Thematic and Corporate Governance Research. Link