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Barclays to launch new ESG fixed income indices with MSCI

Barclays and MSCI, a provider of investment decision support software and tools, are partnering to create a family of co-branded Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) fixed income indices. The aim is to try to help institutional investors apply ESG investment strategies to their global bond portfolios.

The new ESG fixed income indices will be co-branded and independently marketed by both firms. The indices will be launched this summer after consultations with assets owners and managers to define the methodologies and which ESG strategies are most relevant to investors end.

The target audience is those with ESG commitments, such as signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI), who have exposure to fixed income investments that require a benchmark that integrates ESG factors. Institutional clients will be able to use the ESG fixed income indices to create index-linked investment products, such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), separately managed accounts, and structured products.

"As an existing provider of indices and analytics, Barclays is excited to work with MSCI, a clear leader in ESG research, to develop and offer a new market standard,” said Waqas Samad, head of index, portfolio and risk solutions at Barclays Bank. “This agreement brings our respective expertise in fixed income and ESG together to develop one product family.”

According to Baer Pettit, managing director and head of the MSCI index business, the objective of MSCI’s ESG business is to provide investors with tools to integrate ESG factors across a broad range of asset classes. “Working together with Barclays, we expect these new benchmarks to fill a gap in the market and facilitate the growth of ESG investment.”