Barclays expands research franchise with ESG division

Barclays Fundamental ESG Research will provide insights into company ESG credentials with new indicators and assessments.

UK investment bank Barclays is expanding its research franchise with the launch of an expanded environmental, social, governance (ESG) division.

Known as Barclays Fundamental ESG Research, the service will offer clients multi-dimensional analysis on company ESG performance to assess how ESG factors affect financial risks and valuations.

Barclays will launch fundamental research reports from next month, incorporating new ESG assessment and indicators for each company that the institution provides coverage. The indicators will be derived from aggregated indicators of ESG providers, and aim to deepen understanding of each company’s ESG credentials.

Similarly, the ESG research division will evaluate perceived ESG risk, and produce stand-alone reports on key topics that apply its new ESG framework to various sectors, which could be impacted as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic unfolds.

Jeff Meli, global head of research at Barclays, commented that the launch of the ESG research division will also allow the bank to explore whether the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will accelerate ESG trends and iniatiatives.

“Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, finance was already at a tipping point, where the integration of sustainability concerns was becoming the norm,” Meli said. “Today’s launch of Barclays’ Fundamental ESG Research is an opportunity to reflect on whether Covid-19 will accelerate this trend even further – creating a greater sense of urgency and responsibility toward everything from consumer behaviour to climate change, supply-chain practices and the future of work and mobility – and potentially alter the nature of the investment process as a result.”

Barclays added the launch will complement its sustainable and thematic team, which already produces reports that track consumer and regulatory attitudes to ESG, as well as its quantitative portfolio strategy team that also provides reports on how ESG factors impact asset performance.