Sustainalytics Takes Over GES

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – Just as the new year started, on January 2, ESG-data and research firm Sustainalytics signed a deal to buy the Stockholm-headquartered corporate engagement, screening and proxy-voting specialist GES International. NordSIP reached out to GES CEO Hanna Roberts, who shared her enthusiasm about the deal.

    Thanks to this acquisition, Sustainalytics, which is part-owned by global financial data company Morningstar, is looking to reinforce its geographical presence as well as expand its capabilities. Founded 25 years ago by Magnus Furugård, GES is currently one of the market leaders in corporate engagement services with a strong expertise in the areas of norms-based screening, global standards engagement, stewardship and fiduciary voting services.

    “Our strong position in both Sweden and Denmark were clearly key arguments in favour the deal,” says Roberts. “With GES, Sustainalytics can strengthen its presence in the Nordics, while we can continue to expand thanks to the firm’s complementary product offering.”

    For Roberts, the deal also represents a tremendous opportunity to expand its services globally at a faster pace. “Sustainalytics has already got a strong presence in Australia and in Asia, for example, which represent fast growing markets in corporate engagement. Together, our two firms are better equipped to serve the growing needs of the investment community worldwide,” she explains.

    “I have never gone through a merger so far in my career, but many people have warned me that such a process if often geared towards cost savings to achieve synergies. This deal, however, is more about combining people and skills. We are not focused on cutting costs, but rather on growing stronger together. The early discussions we have had with our new colleagues have also given me the feeling that there is a genuine cultural fit. It sounds like a natural continuation of the dialogues we have already had internally. I am really excited to be part of this journey and can’t wait to become part of a one-stop shop that will help investors make more sustainable investments, globally,” Roberts adds.

    Sustainalytics’ CEO, Michael Jantzi echoes Roberts words: “We believe GES’ proven approach to constructive issuer engagement will significantly enhance our clients’ abilities to manage ESG risk, alongside improving companies’ ESG performance,” he says in a press release.  “The strengths and capabilities that our two firms bring to the global investment community comes at a critical time with engagement on ESG issues becoming a more important tool for investors in executing their ESG strategies.”

    While the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, nearly all of GES’s 65 employees, including its senior management, will join Sustainalytics to form a team of 500 members. Sustainalytics, together with the new addition of GES’s Swedish, Swiss, UK and Polish offices will count 17 offices across the globe.

    Image from Pixabay


    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA
    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA
    Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, CFA is Editor-in-Chief for NordSIP and Managing Director for Big Green Tree Media. She has 18 years of experience in the asset management industry in Stockholm, London and Geneva, including as a long/short equity hedge fund portfolio manager, and buy-side analyst, but also as CFO and COO in several asset management firms. Aline holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a License in Economic Sciences from the University of Geneva.

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