Northern Trust Enhances ESG Screening in Compliance Monitoring

March 18, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Northern Trust announced today that it has enhanced its investment compliance monitoring capabilities for institutional asset servicing and wealth management clients globally by expanding the range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors monitored by Northern Trust Compliance Analyst.

According to a Northern Trust press release, Compliance Analyst is a customizable, Web-based tool that alerts investors when portfolios are nearing or have breached established limits in a client’s investment policy. In addition to corporate governance rankings and the 10 socially responsible investment restrictions currently available on Compliance Analyst, Northern Trust has extended its agreement with RiskMetrics Group to offer additional screening capabilities that cover the following issues:

  • Prohibited Nations – Companies with business or other ties to nations identified by U.S. legislation or government authorities as supporting terrorism or human rights violations. Sanctioned nations include Iran, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), Cuba, North Korea and Syria.
  • Shari’ah Law – Companies with connections to activities that violate Islamic law, including prohibitions on predatory lending, pig farming or pork production, alcohol, adult entertainment, gambling, tobacco and weapons.
  • Landmines and Cluster Bombs – Companies that have an industry tie to landmines/cluster bombs or are investors in those industries, including whole system and component manufacturers.
  • Animal Testing/Welfare – Expansion of current data to identify U.S. and non-U.S. companies that are involved in a range of activities including pharmaceutical and other testing of animals, and breeding or dealing lab animals.

“These enhancements greatly increase the number of companies covered by Northern Trust’s ESG screening capabilities across a significant number of concerns,” said Sandra Landrum, senior product developer for Northern Trust Investment Risk and Analytical Services, in the release.  

Compliance Analyst enables users to set tolerance levels for ESG guidelines to exclude or limit investments in companies or industries according to an investment policy.

More information is at http://www.northerntrust.com .

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