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New Analytics Service Helps Investors, Asset Managers Make Sense of ESG Claims

A new AI-powered analytics service functions like the online hotel search site “Trivago” for fund and asset managers. It helps them rapidly identify risks and opportunities of companies based on their respective views on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) by compiling and maintaining for them an overview of all the available ratings for publicly held companies.
The ESG Portfolio Monitor from Abel Noser Solutions, a New York-based trading analytics firm for asset owners and investment managers, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to consolidate ESG data from multiple rating vendors and other sources to generate consensus ESG ratings by company, industry, and other filters.
According to the service’s founders, Steve Glass, Co-Chief Executive Officer at Abel Noser Solutions and Brian Greene, Senior Vice President of ZeroAN Solutions, the platform is designed to “minimize the inherent subjectivity associated with the use of any single ESG rating firm. The consumption of such large amonts of data enables significantly greater coverage, and facilitates more frequent rating updates.”
The founders hope the platform, powered by the technologies of OWL ESG, will help provide greater clarity in what both believe is the very early stages of ESG investing by helping analysts make better sense of the meanings of ratings and to drill down more deeply on the E, S, or G, based on their priorities. It covers all publicly held companies, regardless of their sector, including oil, guns, tobacco, etc.
While the politicization of ESG has become somewhat of a distraction—Greene recounts recently receiving non-publishable public responses from two attendees at a conference when in a presentation he mentioned the subject—both believe the opposition is based on a false definition of ESG. Explains Glass, “Everyone has a different view of what’s important to them in ESG. There are probably plenty of people who believe in aspects of ESG with holdings in oil, guns, or tobacco, which is why we of course included them in our ESG Monitor. Let fund and asset managers decide."
Tesla, he says, is a great example of the subjectivity inherently involved. An investor motivated by the E of ESG might put Tesla on his or her list, while others focused more on the S or G might not consider it. "Our job is to help investors and asset managers drill down based on their own personal priorities or those of their investors."
The new ESG service, provided to asset owners and investment managers under a license based on the specific reports and frequency required, is designed to help ensure managers invest assets in-line with fund policies to:
  • Validate manager ESG representations
  • Track portfolio ESG trends over time
  • Flag ESG outliers
  • Understand the key drivers of each manager’s ESG rankings
  • Quantify ESG trade-offs (e.g., What if E conflicts with S or G?)
  • Better compliance with client policies and/or regulatory requirements
Features reportedly include:
  • Multi-asset global coverage of over 32,000 companies and securities
  • Unique insights and transparency into each portfolio’s ESG construct
  • Monthly as opposed to annual rating updates
According to the company, users can have their own or other portfolios or stocks analyzed and drill down not only based on the industries or areas of ESG interest, but also on the source of specific ratings for further analysis.
For More Information
Brian J. Greene
Senior Vice President
Zeno AN Solutions

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