BAML and Camradata Introduce New ESG Analysis Service

The tool, aimed at institutional investors, will cross-reference databases assessing 172 environmental, social, and governance risk factors.

Today Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) and investment information provider Camradata Analytical Services announced a new tool for tracking and assessing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) exposure within investors' portfolios, aimed particularly at institutional investors like pension funds and insurance companies.

The ESG Geographic Portfolio Analysis application will cross-reference two databases that BAML and Camradata say produce clearer output with a wider scope than previous offerings. The first database will break down revenue, assets, and operating income information across geography for 4,000 firms; the second then will use authoritative international sources to rank 214 countries on 172 different ESG risk factors to include climate change, water scarcity and health issues, corruption, and strength of democracy among others.

The new service comes as markets increasingly recognize the importance of social issues and geopolitical risk. "Investors increasingly recognize that environmental, social and governance factors may influence long-term financial performance," says Sarbjit Nahal, SRI analyst at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research.

The tool will "also allow institutional investors, such as pension fund trustees, to compare ESG risks across apparently similar global equity funds and against benchmark indices," adds Steve Butler, managing director at Camradata Analytical Services.

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