Global index provider MSCI has joined forces with technology giant Microsoft to gain access to the latter’s cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies with an aim to innovate the investment management space.

MSCI will initially move its existing products, data and services onto Azure as its preferred cloud platform.

The migration will be done in phases, starting with its Index and Analytics solutions.

This will be followed by its ESG products and ratings, real estate data and solutions, as well as MSCI’s risk analytics platform Beon.

The move is said to allow investors manage data more efficiently and understand risk and performance drivers.

Microsoft executive vice president, Cloud +AI, Scott Guthrie 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 optimise their clients’ performance capabilities.”

In line with their sustainability commitment, the two parties also intend to explore collaboration opportunities to drive climate risk and ESG solutions.

This will be done through using Microsoft’s Azure and Power Platform and MSCI’s ESG and climate solutions capabilities.

The aim is to enable investors to gain more insight on the risks and opportunities related to climate change.

MSCI chief technology officer and head of engineering Jigar Thakkar said: “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.”

Earlier this year, BlackRock partnered with Microsoft to host its risk management platform Aladdin on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.