France and UK based ESG research agencies, Vigeo and Eiris, have announced they will merge to create a single European agency with a strong network of partners around the world.
The new entity is set to lead the research market on the SRI segement. The two firms explained the mobilisation around climate change, highlighted by COP21 and the energy transition challenges, makes it “more necessary than ever to shift economies and investment practices towards more sustainable and responsible models.”
With over 180 employees, the entity resulting from the merger will analyse up to 10,000 issuers. It will be present from North America to Australia, Europe to South Korea.
“This merger marks the start of a new strategic phrase for both Vigeo and Eiris. It will result in the consolidation of existing market shares, notably in Europe and the United States. It will also lead to the establishment of a truly global research partnership that will provide the new group with a critical mass and strong prospects for future growth,” both firms stated in a joint press release.
In detail, Vigeo has raised €6.3m in new capital, that will be partly used for the financing of Eiris’ acquisition but also to ensure that the new entity will have enough funds for the future entity’s investments.
The shareholding structure of the entity will not change, relying on three colleges (companies, investors and civil society). The Eiris Foundation will be integrated to the civil society college and hold 20% of the capital in the new entity.
The headquarters will remain in Paris with Peter Webster and Stephen Hine serving on the Executive Committee alongside the President of Vigeo, Nicole Notat.
Notat said : “This merger makes sense. It allows both agencies to undertake a meaningful shift in their size at the moment when the RI market is developing, diversifying and growing in maturity.”
Webster added : “Both parties have proud histories and have achieved many things independently. But this merger creates many new opportunities for ourselves and our clients. By combining our strengths, Vigeo – Eiris will contribute in a significant way to the development of responsible investment around the world.”