Investment Product and Service Launches

ISS ESG releases new ESG fund rating and EPIC Retirement releases managed account feature to service providers.

ISS ESG Releases New ESG Fund Rating

ISS ESG, the responsible investment arm of Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) has launched a fund ratings solution assessing the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of more than 20,000 investment funds globally.

ISS ESG Fund Ratings and Screening provides clients with the ability to quickly and effectively evaluate and illuminate fund and peer performance across major ESG themes, supported by 1,000+ data factors per fund, generating and supporting critical research, screening and analytics.

The new ratings solution will draw on ISS ESG’s best-in-class ESG ratings, governance data, norm-based research, energy and extractives screens, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) impact ratings, carbon emissions analysis, shareholder meeting voting outcomes and more, to form a composite and holistic picture of a fund’s ESG performance. Fund Screening packages go beyond core ESG Fund Ratings to include Sector Based Screen-aligned thematic data sets and SDG Solutions.

“ISS ESG continues to innovate and deliver to market cutting-edge solutions that draw on the industry’s deepest well of ESG data and a deliberate approach to product development,” says Marija Kramer, head of ISS ESG. “In keeping with our commitment to clients, this new solution will provide them a significant advantage over other offerings alongside unrivaled support from our client success teams.”

Funds will be rated on a relative scale of one (bottom) to five (top) stars with additional signals including an absolute score and the fund’s Prime status. Relative scoring will be based on the fund’s standing within the Lipper Global Benchmark class. Fund rating coverage requires that a minimum of 65% of a fund’s holdings by weight be covered by ISS ESG’s Corporate Ratings.

EPIC Retirement Releases Managed Account Feature to Service Providers

EPIC Retirement Plan Services has expanded its managed account options available to retirement plan service providers on its recordkeeping platform.

ProNvest Inc. will now provide its full suite of managed account services to defined contribution (DC) plans and will partner with EPIC to enhance participant retirement education and investment assistance.

“Participants in retirement plans clearly need help managing their accounts. Through our partnership with ProNvest, we are excited to be able to deliver that advice in a very scalable, low cost manner. Providing all participants access to guidance and investment management is a valuable extension of the hands-on service that our adviser partners bring to the table,” says Brian Lenz, senior director of National Sales at EPIC Retirement Plan Services.

“We are excited about our partnership with EPIC to deliver a comprehensive managed account solution,” says Stephen Johnson, senior vice president of ProNvest. “Our straightforward retirement planning technology, high touch participant services and professional investment management will help retirement providers enhance their retirement plans for their participants, plan sponsors and advisers.”

*Editor’s note: PLANSPONSOR Magazine is owned by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS).