Interesting to see the ESG data class come to the fore. We're seeing more and more licensing of 'alternative' data, and new commercial uses being put to existing data sets.
This has been driving more and more business in licensing, controlling and asserting ownership over these new types of data.
We're expecting to see more and more to-ing and fro-ing around IP rights in this data - what 'facts' and observations about the world people seek to protect through copyright and through careful licensing and contracting.
Jason Mitchell, a fund manager at Man Group, is also on the lookout for the ESG factor. But he admits there are perhaps only between five and seven years’ worth of relevant data to analyse. That is very little for quantitative researchers who normally look at multiple decades or even centuries of data, to use as a basis for an algorithm. In addition, data that appear to show ESG stocks doing well can turn out to be driven by other themes, such as US stocks beating European stocks, or market value, with mid-caps outperforming large-caps. “When you start looking at it, most ‘ESG factors’ are two-thirds, or more, something else,” said Mr Mitchell. “The data is problematic.