As the appetite for Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) investing increases, leading dealmakers say the development of standard metrics with AI, the cloud, and new technology will be crucial to progress. At the ESG & Socially Responsible Investing panel of Mergers & Acquisitions’ The Best in M&A Speak virtual event, where we announced the winners of the 2021 Top 10 Middle-Market Deals of the Year, senior reporter, Brandon Zero moderated a video discussion with panelists including: Paul Kang, president, lta Companies Ltd; Salil Patel, managing partner, Virtuosity; and Sheryl Schwartz, adjunct professor private equity and finance, Fordham Gabelli School of Business.

“To get 120 quarterly reports and each fund has 20 to 40 companies — there has to be a way of aggregating that data and coming up with conclusions, but that process has not yet been fully developed,” Schwartz said. “Given the advances we’re making in AI and the cloud and technology, I have no doubt that that will be applied to this, but we’re still at the early innings of being able to track that.”

For the full discussion, watch the video above and for more analysis, read the column. Click here for 2021 Top 10 Middle-Market Deals of the Year.