S&P acquires ESG ratings arm of RobecoSAM

As of November 21, 2019 S&P Global announced it will acquire the ESG Ratings Business from RobecoSAM which consists of two units: one dealing with SAM CSA which issues ESG ratings and a second providing in-depth reports to companies for comparing relative performance relative. SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) is the annual evaluation of companies’ sustainability practices with 20 years of experience.

The two divisions are currently led by Manjit Jus, who is head of ESG ratings, and Edoardo Gai, who is head of ESG benchmarking. S&P will be in charge of RobecoSAM’s annual survey of corporate sustainability practices, covering about 5,000 companies. Robeco will continue to have access to the data for use in its investment products.

The two companies have already had a long relationship, since S&P’s index arm used RobecoSAM data to create the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 1999. 

The other credit rating agency, Moody’s, this year bought a majority stake in Vigeo Eiris and acquired Four Twenty Seven, a climate research specialist.

According to estimates quoted by the FT of November 21, 2019, the global market for ESG ratings is worth about $200m in annual sales and it could grow to $500m within five years. 2018 revenue at MSCI’s ESG research division grew by 30 per cent to $71m, with a similar pace of growth this year.

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