MSCI Analyst Highlights Broad Spectrum of ESG Issues in Property Sector

Mario Lopez-Alcala, vice president and senior analyst at MSCI Inc., joined Nareit for a video interview at Nareit’s 2018 ESG Forum in Seattle.

MSCI is a financial services company that provides research-based indexes and analytics to investors. MSCI ESG Research covers about 6,500 companies across the world, including approximately 550 property companies.

Lopez-Alcala noted that some of MSCI ESG Research’s more compelling research findings show that ESG matters in the property industry go “well beyond purely environmental issues.” For example, MSCI ESG Research found that companies with potential conflicts of interest on their boards could be acquiring companies of lesser quality. This trend is more prevalent in externally managed funds, according to Lopez-Alcala.

Other research shows that companies that are “laggards” in terms of human capital development experience lower profitability and lower productivity per employee, according to Lopez-Alcala. He also pointed to research indicating that companies with strong urban site criteria in their property portfolios get stronger results.