In November 2017, SRI-CONNECT and Extel Surveys ran the IRRI 2017 Survey.

We are currently assessing the data from this and are due to release the results at the end of February 2018.

Implementation of the MIFID II Directive in Europe is likely to make 2018 a hugely disruptive year for the provision of SRI & corporate governance research and in the communications between companies and investors on sustainability and corporate governance issues.  As Europe is such a significant market for sustainable investment, it is likely that these developments will ripple through the global value chain.

(For context, see: Fuel or fig-leaf? The impact of EU’s MIFID II on responsible investment research | SRI engagement is a mess.  Could 2018 bring a solution?)

In the coming months, the SIMI network expects to help asset managers, research providers, listed companies and policy organisations enhance their market positioning by helping them answer the following questions of pressing market relevance:

For asset owners

  • How are our peers approaching sustainable investment and corporate governance? What strategies are they adopting?  How are expectations in this area developing?
  • What resources are available in the market for us? How can we access these most time- and cost-efficiently?

For investment consultants

  • How broad and deep is institutional investor demand for support on their SRI/corporate governance strategy?
  • What services are our peers offering? Is there a market opportunity for us?

For asset managers

  • How broad and deep is client demand for SRI/CG in our chosen markets? How competitive is supply?  What developments are expected?
  • How are our peers resourcing their approaches to research, investment and communications around SRI/CG? How does our approach benchmark against this?
  • What services are available in the market to us? Should we buy-in or build in-house capacity in research, engagement, communications etc?
  • How are clients’ expectations, peer group activity or services supply responding to emerging issues (e.g. TCFD recommendations, SDG priorities etc.)?

For independent research providers

  • How big is the market for SRI/CG research? How is it segmented?  How is it likely to grow?  How is competitiveness likely to develop?
  • How are the research and service needs of asset managers changing? How are their payment intentions adapting?
  • How do our current clients and potential clients perceive us and our service offer? How do we benchmark against our peers and competitors?

For ‘sell-side’ research providers

  • How (much) do asset managers pay the sell-side for sustainability / corporate governance research? How will MIFID II change this with European asset managers?
  • (How) can sell-side brokers monetise investors’ desire for ‘engagement’ on sustainability and corporate governance issues? Is there a viable business model / market opportunity in SRI/CG ‘corporate access’?
  • What issues are asset managers most interested in? What focus do they want on these?
  • In-depth, how does our approach compare to that of our competitors?

For think-tanks and advocacy organisations

  • How do investors perceive our issues of concern? How can we shape messages in a way that best engages them?
  • Which investors are likely to be most receptive to our research and messages? How can we target these most effectively?

For listed companies

  • How do SRI analysts and investors currently perceive our company’s approach to sustainability and corporate governance?
  • How are our peers communicating their sustainability exposures and performance to investors and analysts? How does our approach compare?  How are expectations changing?
  • Which investors are most interested in the sustainability performance of our company?
  • What issues are they most interested in? What angles do they expect to explore?

In recent years, network consultants have:

  • Developed research-based recommendations to help a global sustainability information provider commercialise its research products and services for the investment market
  • Modelled and forecast SRI/CG research market size for a major credit ratings agency
  • Undertaken investor perception studies with action recommendations for a global NGO and several listed companies
  • Conducted analyst mapping & investor targeting exercises for numerous listed companies from multiple sectors
  • Undertook an in-depth evaluation of the climate change policies and practices of a listed energy company's largest shareholders to explore divestment risk and engagement potential

IRRI

Since 2012, SIMI network partner, SRI-CONNECT has partnered with Extel Surveys, the market-leading analysts of investment research to produce the IRRI Survey.  IRRI = Independent Research in Responsible Investment.

The full results of these surveys can be viewed on SRI-CONNECT here: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016.

The results of the most recent survey can be viewed here: IRRI 2017 (pending)

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