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Former BoAML ESG head launches ‘Grizzly RI’ research firm

First clients won by newly-launched Paris-based outfit.

Valéry Lucas-Leclin, one of Europe’s top rated ESG broker analysts who jointly ran Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BoAML) sustainability research in London, has struck out on his own with the creation of a Paris-based ESG research firm, idiosyncratically called ‘Grizzly RI’.
Lucas-Leclin left BoAML in April last year for a career break after 15 years in RI research for five different companies: AReSE, Innovest, CM-CIC Securities, Société Générale, and BoAML. His last role was as Director
, Senior Analyst, Thematic, ESG Sustainability, 
EMEA Global Research, at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets in Paris, after returning to his native France during 2013 after three years in London.
Lucas-Leclin told RI that he had subsequently started planning Grizzly RI, which he said was based on two main research lines. The first is carbon analytics and footprinting. The second is in-depth, quant research of corporate ESG risks and opportunities based on a company’s geographical operations and a breakdown of sector research into comparable business lines and factors such as research and development spend.Grizzly has already started working with a number of clients in Paris including Raymond James Asset Management International, the thematic equities manager. Raymond James already works on an approach known as “Results on ESG criteria” in partnership with BoAML and CAMRADATA, the UK consultant, which the two research entities jointly launched in 2012.
Lucas-Leclin said Grizzly RI would also be majoring on building out a service to corporate clients based on ESG research for the purposes of business development and peer comparison. He said he had chosen the company name based on various qualities of the grizzly bear: independence, breadth of exploration for sustenance, durability, and the weighing up of risk and opportunity for survival.
Lucas-Leclin’s former co-head of ESG research at BoAML, Sarbjit Nahal, remained with the firm and is currently Managing Director & Head of Thematic Investing.