Investment Product and Service Launches

IHS Markit adds MSCI ESG ratings and HarbourVest offers private equity with Vanguard.

Art by Jackson Epstein

Art by Jackson Epstein

IHS Markit Adds MSCI ESG Rating

IHS Markit has collaborated with MSCI to enable MSCI’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings and research data to be applied in the broad range of fixed income and credit indices from IHS Markit.

“Investors have a growing appetite for exposure to ESG funds, creating a need for indices that integrate these principles while accurately representing the underlying market and continuing to deliver strong returns,” says Sophia Dancygier, head of indices at IHS Markit. “In recognizing the importance of sustainable investing and following the successful launch of our Global Carbon Index, we are excited to collaborate with MSCI as we expand our ESG coverage in iBoxx and iTraxx indices.”

“As investors continue to evaluate opportunities to incorporate ESG considerations into their portfolios, we are pleased to be working with IHS Markit to apply MSCI’s ESG ratings and research data to their suite of fixed income and credit indices,” says Eric Moen, head of ESG products for MSCI ESG Research. “MSCI ESG Research covers 650,000 equity and fixed income securities globally, which provides quality insights into ESG risks and opportunities within multi-asset class portfolios.”

As a first phase of the collaboration, IHS Markit has launched sustainability-focused iBoxx MSCI short maturity corporate bond indices in three currencies (EUR, USD, GBP). The new iBoxx MSCI ESG indices exclude issuers in business lines or activities defined by MSCI ESG business involvement screens. Inclusion in the indices is also restricted to issuers with MSCI ESG ratings of BBB and above, and those in compliance with the United Nations Global Compact principles, which demonstrates a quantified commitment to ESG standards in operations, products and services.

HarbourVest Offers Private Equity with Vanguard

Vanguard and HarbourVest have partnered to provide qualified investors with access to private equity.

“We are entering the private equity market the Vanguard way—partnering with a world-class adviser to provide a high-quality offer,” says Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley. “Private equity will complement our leading index and actively-managed funds, as we seek to broaden access to this asset class and improve client outcomes. While this strategy will be initially available to institutional advised clients, we aim to expand access to investors in additional channels over time. For individual investors in particular, this partnership will present an incredible opportunity—access and terms they could not get on their own.”

The new private equity strategy initially will be provided by Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services to pensions, endowments and foundations, as part of an ongoing effort to further expand the suite of products for those clients. In keeping with its enterprise-wide focus on advice, Vanguard has invested considerably in its advisory services for a broad range of investors, including outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) capabilities. 

“Many institutional clients seek alpha sources not readily available in the public markets,” says Chris Philips, head of Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services.  “While these organizations may want exposure to the opportunities available in the private markets, it can be challenging to access leading private equity managers and invest with discipline and skill. Through this partnership, Vanguard’s portfolio construction and investment committee governance capabilities will be complemented with HarbourVest’s private market expertise, to the ultimate benefit of our clients.”

Transamerica Launches Emerging Markets Opportunities Fund

Transamerica has launched the Transamerica Emerging Markets Opportunities fund, now available to retail and institutional investors.

Transamerica selected Wellington Management Company LLP to sub-advise the fund.

Transamerica Emerging Markets Opportunities (NASDAQ: TEOIX) fund offers investors a diversified approach to investing in a global emerging market portfolio of stocks with market capitalizations in excess of $3.5 billion. Portfolio allocations are generally expected to align closely with the sector weights of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Northern Trust Automates Processing for Bank Loan Trading

Northern Trust has automated processing of the full trade settlement lifecycle for syndicated bank loans through integration with IHS Markit’s ClearPar Custodian Services Messaging capability. Designed to deliver trade data in a standardized format via secured communications, this service increases scalability and efficiency while reducing the risks inherent in a manual trade settlement process.

The new solution enables Northern Trust to map critical trade and funding information seamlessly into its proprietary bank loan servicing platform, thereby providing digital access to all parties in a transaction. Key transaction data, including settlement date, settlement amounts and wire instructions is streamlined and communicated electronically, allowing Northern Trust to seamlessly accommodate the triple digit trade volume increase it has experienced in the last five years.

“Syndicated loans are an increasingly important asset class for our institutional investors and family offices seeking higher yields. Integration with trade platforms such as ClearPar removes the potential for latency in the process and demonstrates our commitment to delivering timely and accurate daily data to our clients across the globe,” says Pete Cherecwich, president of Corporate and Institutional Services, Northern Trust. “Our work with IHS Markit to automate trade and payment information not only drives efficiency but enhances risk management. This integration raises the bar in complex asset processing—it is a major advance for Northern Trust and the syndicated loans market and will deliver tangible benefits to our clients.”