Verisk Maplecroft collaborating with LGIM to power new Sovereign ESG Index funds offering

Verisk Maplecroft has today announced a new collaboration with Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of Europe's largest asset managers, to power a new slate of investment products. LGIM plans to utilise the depth, breadth and accuracy of Verisk Maplecroft’s portfolio of ESG risk analytics, which outperformed alternative data across a broad set of criteria, to develop Sovereign ESG Index funds.

Verisk Maplecroft’s sovereign ESG analytics draw on thousands of different geospatial, unstructured, structured and expert-scored subnational and national indicators, and a range of proprietary modelling techniques. These allow it to generate dynamic and robust assessments of the sovereign ESG issues that matter most.

According to Verisk Maplecroft, government debt is key for markets both in terms of sheer volume and in setting a baseline for risk premia in other asset classes. Governments, not companies, are either directly responsible for, or ultimately guarantee, almost all aspects of ESG. Research from the company shows that ESG factors are increasingly relevant to market pricing, whether as direct drivers or leading indicators of material risks and opportunities.

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“We are delighted to be working with LGIM on their new Sovereign ESG Index funds”, said James Lockhart Smith, VP of Markets & ESG at Verisk Maplecroft. “The scale of fast-evolving environmental risks, as well as persistent social and governance deficits, has increased the need for sovereign debt investment products that use ESG criteria in an impactful way. Verisk Maplecroft sees this relationship as critical to deepening ESG incorporation across government bond markets.”

This means that investors aspiring to help address the climate emergency, protect human rights and foster sustainable development have to be able to reflect their values, as well as drive change, via sovereign debt portfolios that are aligned with ESG.

Lee Collins, Head of Index Fixed Income at LGIM added: “We have exciting plans to develop new LGIM-designed Sovereign ESG Index funds, driven by Verisk Maplecroft’s data. There are an increasingly large set of clients who would like to see deeper ESG integration for sovereign debt. It is an opportunity to create indices consistent with clients’ values and this collaboration will help us achieve that.”

The integration of ESG into sovereign bond investments is evolving, as many investors begin to focus on how best to integrate ESG into this asset class. This collaboration will challenge the sovereign ESG paradigm by creating products that seek to materially diverge from conventional selections and issuance-weighted allocations.

About Verisk

Verisk Maplecroft, a Verisk business (Nasdaq: VRSK), is a leading geospatial risk analytics company specialising in global ESG and political risk intelligence for institutional investors and multinational corporations. The company combines the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of global risk data with expert analysis to deliver an integrated approach to risk, which enables clients to enhance the sustainability and resilience of their investments and operations. Among investment fund managers and asset owners, the company is a trusted, independent source of data, intelligence and advice for incorporating ESG, climate change, natural capital, human rights and political risk factors across multiple asset classes, notably sovereign debt.

About Legal & General Investment Management>

Legal & General Investment Management is one of Europe’s largest asset managers and a major global investor, with total assets under management of £1.2 trillion[1] ($1.4tn, €1.4tn, CHF 1.4tn). We work with a wide range of global clients, including pension schemes, sovereign wealth funds, fund distributors and retail investors.

For more than 50 years, we have built our business through understanding what matters most to our clients and transforming this insight into valuable, accessible investment products and solutions. We provide investment expertise across the full spectrum of asset classes including fixed income, equities, commercial property, and cash. Our capabilities range from index-tracking and active strategies to liquidity management and liability-based risk management solutions.

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