ESG | September 7, 2022

Dow Jones raises stakes in ESG data competition with news-driven ratings

David Bank
ImpactAlpha Editor

David Bank

ImpactAlpha, Sept. 7 – The opinion page of The Wall Street Journal has proudly championed the campaign to discredit environmental, social and governance, or ESG investing.

But Dow Jones, the paper’s parent company (and a division of News Corp.) is following its core audience of financial professionals toward the ESG opportunity.

The company surveyed 200 financial leaders to highlight the company’s new sustainability data set covering 6,000 public companies. Two-thirds of the financial services leaders called ESG the No. 1 driver of  growth in the industry. 

Sentiment analysis

Many ESG ratings are based on self-reported, and by extension, backward-looking, data on companies’ performance.

Dow Jones is adding scores for ‘sentiment,’ based on daily updates from thousands of global news sources to flag real-time developments, emerging risks, and more independent outside-in perspectives.

The combination “acts as an antidote to some of the inherent biases contained in company self-disclosed data alone,” said Dow Jones’ Joe Cappitelli. Dow Jones operates Factiva, which aggregates and analyzes more than 33,000 global news sources.

Gen Z

Move over, millennials.

Almost the same number of sustainable investing inquiries come from 18-25 year-olds as from 26-41 year-olds. But financial advisors are nearly four times more likely to target millennials.

“Our research shows that financial firms are missing an opportunity with Gen Z—and it is time for the financial industry to take them seriously,” Cappitelli said.

With the ongoing generational transfer of wealth, he said, “marketers and practitioners need to rethink their perceptions of this age group.”