Investment Banks Top Independents in ESG Research Survey

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Asset managers plan to increase spending on research analyzing the environmental, social and governance performance of publicly traded companies, according to a recent study. Investors ranked ESG research produced by investment banks more highly than independently produced research.

Investment banks are the top providers of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, according to Integrity Research Associates, a specialist research firm covering the investment research industry.

A recent survey of institutional investors found that ESG research is growing in importance among asset managers, with the majority of respondents expecting to increase spending despite overall reductions in research spending.

ESG research analyzes the performance of publicly traded companies in reducing their carbon footprint, improving social conditions inside and outside the workplace, and the quality of governance. Over 35 investment research firms providing ESG research were mentioned in the study.

The top three providers of ESG research in the study were Citigroup, CLSA and UBS. Respondents generally relied more on ESG research produced by investment banks rather than by independents, and investment banking ESG research was ranked more highly.

A majority of survey participants considered ESG research critical to their research process and expected to increase usage of ESG research over the next 12 months.

Integrity Research conducted the survey of asset management users of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research in the 2nd Quarter of 2011. The survey covered ESG research trends, interests and future usage plans, as well as feedback on specific ESG research providers. Nearly half of the survey participants were from Europe, nearly one third from North America and the remainder from Asia and Africa/Middle East.

The 63-page Integrity ResearchFocus® report details the survey findings including ESG Research usage patterns, comparative analysis and rankings of the ten most prevalent ESG providers. The report is used as a “buyers guide” for investment professionals and other users of ESG research. For additional information, go to http://www.integrity-research.com/cms/our-services/researchfocus/integrity-researchfocus%C2%AE-esg-research/.

About Integrity Research
Integrity Research Associates, LLC is an information and solutions provider specializing in alternative investment research. Its institutional investor clients use Integrity’s services to find non-traditional, non-consensus research providers and monitor existing ones. Integrity ResearchComplianceSM conducts reviews of third party research compliance practices. Integrity ResearchSelect® provides confidential, customized searches tailored to investors’ requirements. Integrity covers over 4,000 research firms in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Additional information about Integrity can be found at http://www.integrity-research.com.

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Sanford Bragg
Integrity Research Associates LLC
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