Stockholm (NordSIP) – Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), launched two new services at the start of August. On August 5th, ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of ISS, unveiled the ISS ESG Fund Ratings and Screening – a new, best-in-class fund ratings solution that assesses the ESG performance of more than 20,000 investment funds, globally. On August 10th, ISS launched the Global Proxy Distribution (GPD) Shareholder Identification Service designed to assist custodians and intermediaries in meeting requirements under the EU Shareholder Rights Directive II (SRD II), due to come into force on September 3rd.
ISS ESG Fund Ratings and Screening will exploit a wide range of data from ISS ESG. The service uses company ESG ratings, governance data, norm-based research, energy and extractives screens, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) impact ratings, carbon emissions analysis, shareholder meeting voting outcomes, among other sources, to form an aggregate assessment of a fund’s ESG performance.
“ISS ESG continues to innovate and deliver to market cutting-edge solutions that draw on the industry’s deepest well of ESG data and a deliberate approach to product development,” said Marija Kramer, Head of ISS ESG. “In keeping with our commitment to clients, this new solution will provide them a significant advantage over other offerings alongside unrivalled support from our client success teams.”
Funds will be rated on a relative scale of one (bottom) to five (top) stars with additional signals including an absolute score and the fund’s Prime status. Fund rating coverage requires that a minimum of 65% of a fund’s holdings by weight be covered by ISS ESG’s Corporate Ratings and relative scoring will be based on the fund’s standing within the Lipper Global Benchmark class.
Global Proxy Distribution and SRD II
The Global Proxy Distribution (GPD) Shareholder Identification Service allows EU companies to identify shareholders on record with each intermediary, in line with SRD II requirements.
“ISS brings its market-leading understanding of the complex practicalities of EU regulatory requirements and specialist local market governance knowledge to its suite of solutions for custodians and intermediaries,” said Rudi Kuntz, Head of Global Proxy Distribution at ISS. “Intermediaries can outsource to ISS with confidence that our expertise and commitment will deliver high-quality offerings and service to the market.”
The new service provides an outsourced solution to respond to any request on behalf of intermediary clients. Automated responses are sent to the issuer or their agent in a compliant message format, and intermediary clients are provided with reporting of response messages distributed by ISS on their behalf.
“ISS continues to innovate and invest in solutions and services throughout the value chain for the benefit of custodians and intermediaries, as well as our institutional investor clients broadly,” said Lorraine Kelly, Head of ISS Governance Solutions. “With more than 30 years of history and industry leadership, ISS is the most experienced, pioneering, and trusted governance and voting provider in the market.”