As the ESG wave impacts the global asset management industry, French fintech firms are taking action. Paul Bezault, class of 2004, co-founder and president of AssetSagacity, is one of the entrepreneurs leading the digitization of extra-financial data to make asset management more sustainable.
Paul, who graduated from ESILV in 2004, is the head of the startup “AssetSagacity“, a collaborative cloud platform for data management aimed at asset management industry professionals. A specialist in asset management, data and digital technologies, Paul was invited as a guest on a BFM Business talk show on integrating ESG into investments.
AssetSagacity: a pillar for the digitalization in asset management
In an interview on BFM Business, Paul explained the competitive advantage of his startup, “AssetSagacity”. “It’s a platform that allows you to tie in all of your vendors and tools to a unique feature which will manage the transport and security of that data.
We come from the world of asset management. We only work for asset managers and the investment departments of private health insurance (mutuelle) and insurance companies – sectors with very similar businesses to asset management – to provide tools that are only suitable for them.
The benefit of this is that we provide the pillar for implementing AI and RPA (robot process automation) technologies. If you don’t manage your data, there’s no point in launching yourself into AI. So we come up with a springboard, and then you can buy the rockets.”
Integrating ESG criteria into asset management
“Today, you cannot ask an analyst, in addition to the financial data he or she already compiles, to add a thousand data points on each criterion, whether it be ecological, social, governance or “in-house” criteria.
ESG is a field under construction, and companies are looking for new ways of integrating these aspects into their investments. Therefore, responsible criteria must be applied throughout the chain, from investment to regulatory reporting.
The strength of data management platforms such as AssetSagacity is that they allow us to collect all the data, but with no loss or destruction, and make it coherent, clean and qualitative, to help us make informed decisions.
The health crisis has made ESG mentality mainstream
For Paul Bezault, the health crisis has been “ a good thing “. “From a very technical point of view, asset management companies have gone from thinking a little skeptically about the cloud to an attitude of `there’s no choice, we’re going to go for it.
SaaS platforms like ours have gained a much more receptive audience to the idea that you can work from anywhere securely with well-crafted platforms.
From a broader perspective, this crisis has highlighted the social and environmental tensions surrounding the pandemic issue. All industry players have come to realize that, beyond regulations, ESG criteria impact the long-term performance of assets. This crisis has brought us to stop being interested only in green; we’ve also learned to be interested in environmental, social and governance.”
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