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Sep 14, 2015

ISS acquires Scandinavia-based SRI adviser Ethix

Ethix head will lead ISS responsible investment business initiatives

Proxy adviser ISS has acquired Scandinavia-based Ethix SRI Advisors, which offers sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) research and solutions to help make investment decisions, as it seeks to expand its presence in Europe.

ISS, which did not announce the terms of the deal, says Ethix will maintain its offices in Stockholm and Copenhagen and will continue to be headed by partner-founder and CEO Ulrika Hasselgren, a 15-year veteran of the SRI sector. The company, which will be renamed ISS-Ethix, has about $330 bn in assets under management.

ISS says Hasselgren, who spent 12 years with McKinsey & Company, will also lead ISS’ overall SRI initiatives from her current base in Scandinavia.

‘This acquisition is in keeping with our long-standing commitment to expand our product offerings, provide innovative solutions and deliver the highest levels of service to our clients across the globe,’ says ISS CEO Gary Retelny in a press release. ‘The addition of Ethix will help our clients navigate the complex and rapidly evolving SRI landscape through cutting-edge technology that is underpinned by world-class ESG data, analytics and research.’

The staff at Ethix, which represents 13 countries and covers 15 languages, will continue to be based in Scandinavia, ISS adds. According to the Ethix website, the firm’s clients include BlackRock, JPMorgan, State Street Global Advisors, UBS, Nordea and Aviva, among others.

Besides SRI advice, Ethix, a signatory to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, works with clients on corporate engagement, screening, monitoring and assessing companies’ performance and strategic communication.

‘With the combination of ISS’ comprehensive governance offerings and Ethix’s deep expertise in environmental and social research and analysis, we are poised to offer our clients a truly integrated solution to meet both the depth and breadth of their ESG needs,’ says Hasselgren in the same press release.