Refinitiv increases corporate scrutiny with reputational risk data partnership

Partnering with organisation providing reputational risk data based on information from activist campaigns

Ratings agency Refinitiv has struck up a partnership with Sigwatch, a UK-based provider of global NGO and ESG issue tracking and reputational impact data, to expand the scope of its due diligence reporting.

Sigwatch carries out real-time tracking and analysis of activist campaigns to help companies manage activist risk, and understand how NGO actions are driving policy issues.

Refinitiv said the partnership will allow corporates and financial institutions to vet companies and investments against a “reliable and unique” source of alternative data on reputational and governance risk.

The data will be included in Refinitiv’s Enhanced Due Diligence reports, which provide a detailed background check on companies and investors that require a higher level of scrutiny.

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These reports are typically used by compliance teams to meet their regulatory obligations and protect their company’s reputation. Refinitiv said the new enhanced reporting will be particularly useful for companies assessing global supply chain risk and higher-risk transactions, such as IPOs and mergers and acquisitions.

Data from Sigwatch shows there have been nearly 11,000 ESG-related NGO actions since January 2019, and some 1,300 of these have been against the financial services sector.

The partnership will allow Refinitiv to offer insight into NGO campaigns affecting more than 19,000 companies, brands and projects, with up to 40 new campaigns reported daily and details on 80,000 campaign actions available.

Charles Minutella, head of Refinitiv’s Enhanced Due Diligence business, said: “Data is at the heart of what we do at Refinitiv and that’s why I’m very excited about our content partnership with Sigwatch.

“This alternative dataset will provide our customers with unique ‘on the ground’ insight, with a focus on critical ESG factors that have become increasingly significant in the decision to conduct business with a company.”

Robert Blood, managing director at Sigwatch, added: “Sigwatch offers businesses valuable insights into where NGOs are applying their campaigning resources and we are looking forward to offering this insight through Refinitiv’s extensive customer base.

“NGO groups are ‘early adopters’ of issues and knowing what they are worrying and talking about helps businesses understand the problems that might confront them or their sector today, and in the months and years ahead.”

Refinitiv will feature data from Sigwatch in all three categories of Enhanced Due Diligence reports it offers to customers, but the level of data included will depends on the type of report.

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Natalie Kenway

Natalie is global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity and has been an investment journalist for 16 years. She won Editor of the Year at the Aviva Investors Sustainability Media Awards 2021, and was Winner...