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UBS walks on the sell side

May 2005

One of the world’s biggest investment banks has taken the unusual step of creating a sell-side research team on socially responsible investment.

UBS says it has set up the two-person unit in London due to ‘client demand’. This follows the creation of the Enhanced Analytics Initiative, a mainstream investors’ network that seeks to encourage sell-side SRI research (EP6, issue 7, p5).

The EAI recently chose UBS as one of seven brokerage houses to receive a financial incentive for providing research on companies’ social and environmental performance. Few sell-side brokers have yet embraced SRI research, but the World Economic Forum recently blamed a lack of interest among investment managers and pension fund trustees rather than brokers.

Julie Hudson, who has led development of the UBS unit, told EP: ‘It's not a good idea to play the blame game. All we can say is that while not many sell-side houses have SRI teams, we’ve found that SRI has become increasingly important to our institutional clients and that CSR has become an integral part of assessing company risks.’


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