Index provider Solactive has announced the completion of a strategic investment in European governance and proxy voting firm Minerva Analytics.
Following completion of the deal, Minerva Analytics will be able to develop its research and client service through Solactive’s Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Toronto offices. Crucially, the deal will also allow Minerva to provide clients with 24-hour, global coverage.
Minerva Analytics offers a full-service voting platform with data and research covering voting results, governance, remuneration and sustainability. It was launched in March 2019 by Manifest’s founders Sarah Wilson and Tim Clarke. Manifest was the UK’s first electronic proxy voting service when it was founded in 1995.
The specific terms of the deal remain undisclosed, but the agreement will allow Minerva to leverage Solactive’s “technological capabilities in the fields of natural language processing” in order to broaden its range of products.
Solactive confirmed it will also use Minerva’s data to continue to develop its own offerings.
“This is an important step for us in ensuring that we stay relevant to the entire asset management ecosystem,” said Steffen Scheuble, chief executive officer of Solactive.
“Quality governance and sustainability data, research and analytics, as well as voting technology and services solutions, are areas of increasing importance to all asset owners and asset managers.”
The founders said their shared philosophy of developing their businesses “to empower clients and offer them value for money” would be of particular importance, as regulatory changes boost demand for customised sustainable stewardship strategies, and with the Shareholders Rights Directive 2 (SRDII) coming into effect next month.
Scheuble added: “Minerva has built over the years a strong reputation, and we look forward to working with them to accelerate their growth.”
Wilson, chief executive officer of Minerva, said stewardship, environmental, social and governance factors, and shareholder voting tools are growing in importance “as investors seek to meet new and extended fiduciary responsibilities”.