Published on 07 June 2019


ESG focus: Beyond Ratings moves to the London stock exchange!

On June 3rd, the London Stock Exchange announced the acquisition of Beyond Ratings, signifying the rise of sustainable finance in the London Stock Exchange. This French rating agency, created in 2014, specializes in the integration of ESG (environmental, social and governance) criteria into credit risk ratings. This acquisition opens the doors to a level of international development that France did not offer, all without having to relocate.

London Stock Exchange Manakin
The London Stock Exchange acquired the French agency Beyond Ratings.

"Our initial mission was to contribute to a large number of institutional investors’ understanding of ESG weight and credit risks, especially climate-related ones, and thus the obligations they critically hold," says Rodolphe Bocquet, founding director of Beyond Ratings. "The London Stock Exchange allows us to internationalize this ambition," affirmed Bocquet.

History is repeating itself, creating a sad situation for the Paris Stock Exchange after losing a major pillar in its ecosystem. After American credit rating agency Moody's took control of Vigeo, the recent acquisition of Beyond Ratings is more modest in size but not in ambition, adding to London's strengths and determination to become the global leader in sustainable finance.

Beyond Ratings has been accredited as a financial rating agency since March 2019. The team of approximately 20 people remains based in Paris and has already updated its website, which allows it to view a global range of 229 ESG criteria for more than 175 countries and 10,000 issuers linked to this brand-new partnership.

Low-Carbon sovereign index

In July, the website will also launch the first low-carbon sovereign index, which is the result of a combination between Beyond Ratings' ESG rating skills and the firepower of FTSE Russel, a member of the London Stock Exchange galaxy, in terms of stock market indices.

"They have a recognized leadership in this area, and I am happy that the London Stock Exchange is investing in France, and to be bought by a European player who is still present as Brexit has not yet taken place" exclaimed Bocquet. This analysis will probably be difficult to share! Before its acquisition, Beyond Ratings appeared to be one of the major players in the French dynamic towards sustainable finance. The rating agency was even a co-producer of the "Roadmap to sustainable finance for France", published by the Principles for Responsible Investment at the end of 2018, along with the Paris-based initiative, Finance for Tomorrow.

Among the more than dozen recommendations included the idea that "financial service providers do not invest to meet the needs of methodological innovations to integrate the ESG dimensions and the impact analysis that goes with them in their models". Beyond Ratings chose to not wait for the French to put the necessary means in place to serve their ambitions and opted for the "stimulating projects" that London offered them.

Anne-Catherine Husson-Traore,  @AC_HT, CEO of Novethic

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