Global index provider MSCI has formed a strategic alliance with Microsoft to shift its products, data and services onto the cloud, in a move that the duo says will accelerate innovation among the global investment industry.
The partnership will enhance MSCI's client experience among the world's sophisticated investors, including asset managers and owners, hedge funds and banks by leveraging Microsoft's cloud and AI technologies.
The companies will initially focus on migrating its index and analytics solutions onto the Azure cloud platform, followed by its ESG products and ratings, real estate data and solutions and MSCI's risk analytics platform Beon.
"By modernising MSCI's data and analytics services and infrastructure, the companies will be able to deliver new capabilities which will help investors more swiftly and efficiently manage data and understand the drivers of risk and performance," MSCI and Microsoft said.
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The two companies will also explore opportunities to drive climate risk and ESG solutions by leveraging Microsoft's Azure and Power platform and MSCI's ESG and climate solution capabilities.
This will help investors better understand and interpret the risks and opportunities that climate change brings, they said.
MSCI chair and chief executive Henry Fernandez said the alliance would help meet investors rapidly evolving needs.
"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," he said.
"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."
Microsoft Cloud and AI executive vice president Scott Guthrie agreed, arguing the partnership would help accelerate the development of new innovative solutions for better investor outcomes.
"Investors rely on cutting-edge technologies to deliver intelligent insights, manage risk and detect anomalies so they can help customers achieve their investment goals," he said.
"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."