MSCI, one of the leading information and service providers for investors, and Microsoft announced a strategic alliance aimed at accelerating innovation among the global investment industry. As part of the new alliance, the companies will explore collaboration opportunities to drive climate risk and ESG solutions for investors.

Through the combination of Microsoft’s cloud and AI technologies and MSCI’s portfolio of investment decision support tools, the companies expect to generate new innovations for the investment industry and enhance MSCI’s client experience among the world’s most sophisticated investors, including asset managers, asset owners, hedge funds and banks.

Henry Fernandez, Chairman and CEO of MSCI, said:

“Investors’ needs to rapidly innovate and adapt as strategies and business models evolve, build and manage big data, and improve operational efficiencies are growing at a critical speed around the world. Our strategic alliance with Microsoft underscores MSCI’s commitment to driving relentless innovation in the technology of our products and services to help investors achieve their desired investment outcomes.”

The collaboration will begin with a migration of MSCI’s existing products, data and services onto Azure as its preferred cloud platform in stages, starting with its Index and Analytics solutions followed by its ESG products and ratings; Real Estate data and solutions; and MSCI’s risk analytics platform Beon.

According to the companies, the modernization of MSCI’s data and analytics services and infrastructure will enable the delivery of new capabilities to help investors more swiftly and efficiently manage data and understand the drivers of risk and performance.

The companies announced that they will leverage Microsoft’s Azure and Power Platform and MSCI’s ESG and climate solutions capabilities to drive climate risk and ESG solutions as well. The companies stated that this future collaboration, in line with both organizations’ commitment to sustainability, is intended to help investors better understand and interpret the business risks and opportunities that climate change brings.

Jigar Thakkar, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Engineering at MSCI, said:

“Our strategic collaboration with Microsoft is the latest step in our long and established heritage of innovation and we are excited about the long-term potential of this relationship. MSCI is a future-focused business and Azure enables us not just to enhance our capabilities and client solutions of today, but also provide the platform to accelerate our journey in building world-class technology and tools to solve the investment industry’s challenges of tomorrow.”

Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Cloud +AI, Microsoft, said:

“Investors rely on cutting-edge technologies to deliver intelligent insights, manage risk and detect anomalies so they can help customers achieve their investment goals. By harnessing the power of Azure and its AI capabilities, together with MSCI’s expertise and position within the investment ecosystem, we will be able to accelerate new innovations that help investors better optimize their clients’ performance capabilities.”

Merrie Williamson, Microsoft VP of Azure Apps and Infrastructure, said:

“This alliance opens exciting frontiers for the global investment community. The combination of MSCI’s relentless pursuit of innovation with Microsoft’s deep data expertise, expansive partner ecosystem, and go-to-market capabilities forms an alliance with the potential to accelerate the investment industry.”