Data science and machine-learning help clients develop sustainability insights
BlackRock announced minority investment in Clarity AI
BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced a minority investment in Clarity AI, a sustainability analytics and data science platform, as the firm continues to invest in delivering sustainable investing analytics and software for clients. BlackRock will integrate Clarity AI’s capabilities with Aladdin®, BlackRock’s end-to-end operating system for investment professionals.
Clarity AI uses big data and machine learning to create actionable sustainability and impact insights and expand these to a uniquely broad universe of companies, countries and local governments. Its proprietary technology and data science capabilities across environmental and social impact analyze more than 30,000 companies, spanning almost 200 countries. Clarity AI also supports regulatory and client reporting to help investors meet new sustainability disclosure obligations.
“Investors are galvanized around sustainability as a critical consideration in managing immediate and future risks, and better data is foundational to this,” said Mary-Catherine Lader, Head of Aladdin Sustainability at BlackRock. “As BlackRock makes sustainability its standard for investing, we are committed to raising the standards for ESG data and technology. We’re investing in new analytics and software in Aladdin and are also integrating capabilities from strategic partners like Clarity AI so clients can understand their investments’ social and environmental impact and risks. Clarity AI’s capabilities use machine learning to help Aladdin clients analyze a broader universe of companies, address their disclosure obligations and build more sustainable portfolios.”
“BlackRock’s investment in Clarity AI and the integration of our capabilities and comprehensive ESG, sustainability and impact data into BlackRock’s Aladdin platform will be transformative, bringing Clarity AI data and analytics to more of the world’s largest and most significant investors,” said Rebeca Minguela, Founder and CEO of Clarity AI. “This strategic partnership with BlackRock reflects the growing demand for our innovative approach in helping investors assess the impact of companies on our society and planet.”
Demand for sustainable investing accelerated rapidly in 2020. Global investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $326billion in sustainable assets in the 12 months to November 2020, a 97% increase over the same period in the prior year1. In addition, a recent survey2 of global investors shows that their allocations to ESG strategies are expected to double by 2025. Within the survey2, 53% of respondents cited concerns about “poor quality or availability of ESG data and analytics” as their biggest barrier to adopting sustainable investing. As more investors look for ways to evaluate the social and environmental impact of their investments, the need for improved ESG data and analytics in individual investments and across whole portfolios will continue to grow.
Clarity AI builds on the existing sustainability dataset in the Aladdin platform with additional forward-looking sustainability analytics and models, generated from data about companies. These insights complement traditional corporate ESG disclosures.
This investment is the latest step from BlackRock’s Aladdin platform as it continues to invest in its sustainability capabilities, which last year added 1,200 sustainability metrics and established data partnerships to help investors understand ESG and physical climate risks and opportunities.
BlackRock also recently unveiled Aladdin Climate, which helps investors understand and act on climate risk. It is the first software application to offer investors measures of both the physical risk of climate change and the transition risk to a low-carbon economy on portfolios.
BlackRock will join existing investors including Deutsche Börse, Kibo Ventures, Mundi Ventures, Seaya Ventures and Founders Fund.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable. For additional information on BlackRock, please visit www.blackrock.com/corporate
Aladdin® is BlackRock’s end-to-end investment management and operations platform used by institutional investors including asset managers, pension funds, insurers and corporate treasurers. It combines sophisticated risk analytics with comprehensive portfolio management, trading and operations tools on a single, unified platform. Also customized for wealth managers, the Aladdin platform provides a common language across the investment lifecycle and enables a culture of risk transparency among users.
About Clarity AI
Clarity AI is a global data science and technology platform that uses machine learning and big data to deliver environmental and social data that empowers investors to measure the impact of their portfolios. Clarity AI’s platform analyzes more than 30,000 companies, 200,000 funds and 400 countries and local governments, delivering data, analytics and software applications for investment and corporate research and reporting. Founded in 2017, Clarity AI has offices in the US, UK and Spain and a client network with over $10 trillion assets under management. Clarity AI’s team is specialized in technology, sustainability and research, with collective experience from leading organizations, businesses and research institutions including NASA, the World Bank, Google, McKinsey & Company, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Harvard, M.I.T and more. For additional information on Clarity AI, please visit www.clarity.ai
1 Simfund, Broadridge, GBI. Data as of Nov 2020. Closed-end funds, FoFs excluded; Money Market funds included.
2 BlackRock 2020 Global Sustainable Investing Survey, which includes responses from 425 clients in 27 countries representing an estimated $25 trillion in assets under management: https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/literature/publication/blackrock-sustainability-survey.pdf
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