Former Moody’s Corporate Governance Expert Joins Leaders Arena to Advise Companies

Leaders Arena, a UK and US-based ESG corporate advisor, further expands in the U.S. and Canada with the appointment of Chris Plath, former Vice President and Corporate Governance Specialist at Moody’s Investors Service. In a recent study, LA valued the ESG investor market opportunity for listed companies at USD 5.1tn.

Former Moody’s Corporate Governance Expert Joins Leaders Arena to Advise Companies
London, United Kingdom, September 13, 2018 --( Chris Plath, former Vice President and Corporate Governance Specialist at Moody’s Investors Service, joined Leaders Arena in September 2018. Plath is based in the U.S. while the firm seeks to expand its unique ESG tactical support services to U.S. and Canadian listed companies.

In its recently published ESG Equity Market Monitor study, Leaders Arena found that the equity assets under management by a core group of Responsible Investors passed the USD 5 trillion mark for the first time, more than doubling the 2016 level. The average equity ownership of these investors in global listed companies also reached an all-time high of 12.6%.

Plath’s arrival boosts Leaders Arena’s expertise on how institutional investors are integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects when evaluating companies and on corporate engagement best practice between companies and investors. Plath is an industry expert on how investors assess companies on material ESG issues and is a thought leader on corporate governance, engagement and proxy voting. In his previous role at Moody’s, he was responsible for leading the company’s corporate governance analysis and corporate engagement.

Many companies are finding it challenging to keep up with the diverse and evolving approaches to ESG integration within their investor base, increasingly requiring support from external specialists to communicate with Responsible Investors more effectively. The demand for these specialist services initiated in Europe and is now also growing rapidly in the U.S. and Canada.

Using a proprietary methodology, Leaders Arena’s most recent ESG Equity Market Monitor study, published in August 2018, showed that average global ESG equity ownership in listed companies by a core group of institutional investors that incorporate a full ESG integration process reached an all-time high of 12.6%. In addition, the same study quantified the total ESG-integration equity market opportunity for listed companies at just over USD 5 trillion, more than double the level at the end of 2016.

The continued growth in the amount of capital allocated to companies managed by Responsible Investors, as well as the increasing importance to asset owners and “mainstream” asset managers of a broad range ESG-related issues, highlights the growing importance of integrating these factors into a company’s performance and in its regular communication with institutional investors.

Companies are feeling the impacts of an ever-increasing number of requests to improve practices and communication around ESG and sustainability. As the pressure increases, so does confusion as to where to start and how to prioritize the various demands. Leaders Arena tracks 33 sustainability related indexes and rating agencies globally, all with different sets of criteria. There are also numerous reporting standards such as the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), or Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) in the U.S.

According to Miguel Santisteve, Leaders Arena Managing Director, “These are issues impacting every global company; we are delighted to have Chris on board and to expand our services in our growing client base into North America with a senior analyst in the region. Within Europe we have seen a continued demand in our services over the last decade. Companies in the US and Canada are also experiencing a similar increase in the demand for information from Responsible Investors and index providers and we are very excited to be able to meet their demand for our services in this region.”

Chris Plath, the newly appointed Senior ESG Analyst at Leaders Arena: “I am looking forward to partnering with companies as they work to assess the most material and relevant ESG issues for them and in improving communication with their investors. While there is not a one-size-fits-all approach for every company, there are certain standards evolving in the industry that need to be incorporated into disclosure and communication approaches.”

About Leaders Arena
Based in the UK and US, Leaders Arena provides unparalleled tactical support and strategic guidance to listed companies that want to optimise their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)-related communication with the markets.

Contact Information
Leaders Arena Limited
Miguel Santisteve

European enquiries: +44 20 3884 0310
US & Canadian enquiries: +1 517 325 2310
Leaders Arena Limited
Miguel Santisteve
+44 20 3884 0310
Heather Keough, Senior ESG Consultant: +1 517 325 2310