Thomson Reuters is likely to look at becoming a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment following its surprise acquisition of ESG data firm ASSET4.
The news and information giant announced the acquisition of the Swiss company for an undisclosed sum today.
ASSET4 is a signatory to the UN PRI as a service provider. Abel Clark, Thomson Reuters’ global head of strategy and marketing for investment and advisory, and ASSET4 co-founder Henrik Steffensen said Thomson Reuters would look at joining itself. Arch rival Bloomberg, which has recently entered the ESG data arena, recently also signed up to the UN PRI.
Clark said in an interview that the acquisition was driven by client demand for ESG data and analysis. “We’ve been looking at this space for a few years now,” he said,adding that the data giant had spoken to ASSET4’s client base before the acquisition.
Steffensen, ASSET4’s vice president of marketing and business development, said it was always his and co-founder Peter Ohnemus’ intention for their data to reach the mainstream and that Thomson Reuters’ distribution platform would provide this. He said the approach of using key performance indicators and specific data points was pioneering at the time when the industry focused on negative screening and qualitative factors.
Abel said it would be able to market the data to corporate clients in addition to financial services users.
Most of the ASSET4 team would be moving over to Thomson Reuters, including product development staff in India and Mauritius and teams in London and New York.