EIRIS & Vigeo announce merger

 

Press release

Paris, October 12, 2015

 

Embargo until Monday October 12 midnight

Vigeo and EIRIS announce merger

 

Vigeo and EIRIS, two established ESG research agencies from France and the United Kingdom, will merge to create a single European agency with a with a strong network of partners around the world.  

Through the complementary nature of their expertise, their combined geographical presence and the coverage of their research, this new group, with its expanded portfolio of clients, will profit from a unique strategic position in the SRI market.

 

The mobilisation around climate change, marked by COP21 and the energy transition challenges, make it more necessary than ever to shift economies and investment practices towards more sustainable and responsible models. In this respect, Vigeo and EIRIS, with their combined expertise and services, are perfectly positioned to meet the changing needs of both investors and issuers[1].

 

The Sustainable and Responsible Investment market has been characterised in recent years by profound changes. Double digit growth in the European and US markets, the developing maturity of financial actors and the growing level of activity in Emerging Market regions are just some of the factors which have made this market fiercely competitive. 

 

Companies and financial actors are now global in nature requiring access to diverse and detailed levels of information and analysis. This points to the need for an actor capable of developing a world class offer.

 

This merger marks the start of a new strategic phrase for both Vigeo and EIRIS. It will result in the consolidation of existing market shares, notably in Europe and the United States. It will also lead to the establishment of a truly global research partnership that will provide the new group with a critical mass and strong prospects for future growth.

 

Vigeo has raised 6.3 million Euros in new capital. This will be used in part for the financing of the EIRIS acquisition, but also to ensure that the new entity will have the funds necessary for future Vigeo-EIRIS investments. The shareholding structure of the entity will remain unchanged and be based around three colleges (companies, investors and civil society).

 

The EIRIS Foundation will be incorporated into the civil society college and hold 20% of the capital in the new entity. The headquarters will remain in Paris with Peter Webster and Stephen Hine serving on the Executive Committee alongside the President of Vigeo, Nicole Notat.

 

Marking this historic occasion, Nicole Notat stated that « This merger makes sense. It allows both agencies to undertake a meaningful shift in their size at the moment when the RI market is developing, diversifying and growing in maturity ». 

 

Peter Webster from EIRIS confirmed this, stating that “Both parties have proud histories and have achieved many things independently. But this merger creates many new opportunities for ourselves and our clients. By combining our strengths, Vigeo – EIRIS will contribute in a significant way to the development of responsible investment around the world.”

 

Both agencies are leaders in their markets with strong potential for further growth. The two agencies will build upon on their reputations and strong brand names, as well as on their skills that have produced innovative methodologies and technologies.  With a team of 180 employees, the new entity will analyse up to 10,000 issuers. 

 

The pooling of their resources and tools will further broaden the coverage of issuers rated on an annual basis to better serve the growing needs of their clients.

 

Based on methodologies that are synergetic and complementary, Vigeo – EIRIS will offer a wide product suite tailored to the needs of a range of global investors.

 

The reach of this new player, present from North America to Australia,  Europe to South Korea, will allow it to play a leading role in promoting relations between issuers and investors going forward.

 


[1]Issuers meaning any legal entity that develops, registers and sells securities (bonds or equities). This can include companies, local authorities or states.

 

 

> Vigeo is a leader in continental Europe (most notably France, Belgium and Italy), with a strong presence in Morocco. It is distinguished by the strength of its methodology and the quality of its research. Vigeo’s level of innovation is well recognized by market actors, companies and local authorities.> EIRIS has a strong presence in the United Kingdom, across Europe, Australasia and the United States. It operates both directly as well as through research and sales partnerships which produces a global presence coupled with a local perspective in the production of research and ratings.

 

About Vigeo

 

Founded in 2002 by Nicole Notat, Vigeo is a European expert in analysing the responsibility of organisations in terms of Environmental, Social and Governance factors. Vigeo’s evaluation framework is based around six pillars of analysis; business behaviour, human rights, community involvement, environment, corporate governance and human resources.

 

Vigeo offers two types of service through two business units:

  • Vigeo rating – the way to responsible investment – offers a large range of products and services designed for investors and asset managers engaged in sustainable and responsible investment practices. Vigeo rating analyses over 3000 issuers, companies, local authorities and states included.
  • Vigeo enterprise – the way to responsible management – works with organizations of all sizes, from all sectors, public and private to support teams in the integration of ESG criteria into their business functions and strategic operations.

 

Vigeo’s research corresponds to the strictest quality standards and has been

certified to the independent ARISTA® standard since 2009, the leading quality standard for research in responsible investment.

 

Vigeo is present in Paris, Casablanca, Brussels, Milan, London, Tokyo, Montreal and Santiago-Chile has over 120 employees.

 

For more information : www.vigeo.com

 

 

 

 

About EIRIS

 

Established by the EIRIS Foundation, EIRIS is one of the global leaders in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis of companies and states. With over 30 years of experience in the field of extra-financial research and the development of strategies for responsible investment, EIRIS today works with more than 200 asset managers and institutional investors worldwide.

 

EIRIS offers data that can be integrated into investor analysis processes in a simple and flexible manner offering real expertise on ESG issues that allows investors to understand and identify where the greatest risk lies and which companies are best responding to financially material sustainability challenges.

 

Based in London with offices in Paris and Washington DC, EIRIS offers a wide range of material environmental, social and governance criteria. Their analysis of over 3000 companies worldwide is available though a cutting edge online tool, the EIRIS Global Platform (or EGP) which allows customers to either utilize a default Sustainability Rating or to customize the analysis to meet their individual approach to responsible investment.

 

For more information : www.eiris.org

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