Tom Kuh, the former head of ESG indices for MSCI, has taken up the reins at a new index division of sustainability and artificial intelligence specialists TruValue Labs.
The move comes as the US-based firm announced a partnership with German index provider Solactive to launch its first ESG indices out of TruValue Index, where Kuh will be Head of Index.
Kuh spent more than seven years as Executive Director of ESG Indices at MSCI, where he oversaw a major expansion of the company’s sustainability products, including its Low Carbon Leaders and Target families, and the highly-regarded green bond index with Bloomberg Barclays.
In 1993, Kuh started his career as a Research Analyst at KLD Research & Analytics, working his way up to Managing Director by the time the firm was acquired in 2009 by RiskMetrics Group. At that point, he became Head of ESG Indices, until RiskMetrics was in turn bought up by MSCI in 2010.Kuh left MSCI in 2017, with RI reporting at the time that he would “take some time out of the sector”. He set up his own consulting firm last year, focused on ESG in benchmarks, and cited TruValue as one of his clients, along with Fossil Free Indices. He also co-authored a paper on ESG indexing last year, with sustainability specialists at BlackRock.
Now, he will construct indices for institutional, wealthy and retail investors. The benchmarks will cover broad market, alpha and thematic approaches, using ESG factors based on TruValue’s artificial intelligence process. This process involves by-passing self-disclosed company information on sustainability, and trawling raw data to build up profiles.
The first series of products will take Solactive’s Global Benchmark range as a starting universe, and apply a selection criteria based on data volume and ESG scores. According to Solactive, backtesting shows outperformance across different markets.
Last year TruValue announced the close of a $13.6m funding round led by San Francisco-based venture capital firm Katalyst Ventures.