GES Newsletter
May 20, 2011

In order to meet the rising investor interest for emerging markets, GES Investment Services has extended its partnership with Australia-based group SIRIS to provide local expertise for analysis of and engagement with Asian companies on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. A task that poses special challenges and requirements, in particular when seeking to apply values and perspectives derived from western cultures.

GES’ and SIRIS’ collaboration dates back to the early days when SIRIS was established in Melbourne in 2000. They have now extended their partnership due to increasing interest for Responsible Investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This opens new doors for investors. GES will gain access to SIRIS’ local expertise and resources for analysis of and engagement with Asian companies on ESG issues while providing SIRIS with access to GES’ global analysis and engagement services,” explains Magnus Furugård, President and Managing Director of GES investment Services.

Mark Bytheway, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SIRIS, also sees the strengthened collaboration as very timely:

“We have witnessed a move from ESG research ostensibly requested by and produced for niche SRI funds to that sought for inclusion in mainstream investment process. This development is partly a consequence of the increasing profile of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and its widening adoption among investors, but also by the rise of emerging markets and particularly China. Their rapid economic development and extensive government ownership of listed companies bring specific challenges, especially with respect to disclosure to foreign investors, who often have a different perspective and expectations of higher levels of disclosure.”

In order to meet these challenges, SIRIS focuses entirely on Asia-Pacific regional analysis and employs Asian language speaking analysts who bring experiences gained from working in the region. Many of SIRIS’ analysts are nationals of countries for which they provide analytical coverage.

In addition to enabling GES to source Asian information for its global services, SIRIS’ Asian specific data is also being made available in GES’ database. This has further benefits for GES’ engagement based services, where SIRIS’ regional presence and local expertise enhance GES’ company dialogue and engagement process, both through easier access to companies but also through provision of a local context to the issues.

For more information, please contact:
Magnus Furugård, President and Managing Director, GES International