Corporate Library CEO sees further expansion after GMI merger

Growth will be both “organic and strategic” as ESG market matures

The recent merger between US corporate governance houses The Corporate Library and GovernanceMetrics International (GMI) is just “the first step in growth”, says the Chief Executive of the combined firm, Richard Bennett.
Bennett said the merger was “bringing the pieces together” and that “some growth will be organic, some strategic” – but he stressed there were no specific plans at the moment.
The pair announced their merger last month, creating a combined company with global research coverage of more than 5,400 companies and around 90 staff between them – comprising full-time staff, consultants and temporary workers.
The deal came amid a rapid consolidation in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) research sector and the arrival of major media players such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters. “ESG is growing up,” Bennett told Responsible Investor in an interview.
He added that The Corporate Library and GMI, which were both founded at around the same time, haddeveloped their businesses in parallel in a non-competitive way. The Corporate Library has a US focus, while GMI is more global, he said – pointing out that there are only six institutions who take both services. The reaction from clients to the deal was “uniformly positive”.
Bennett reiterated that there are no plans to reduce head count. Indeed, asked whether he’d be interested in hiring some of the up to 80 staff laid off by MSCI as it absorbs RiskMetrics, he said: “It’s possible, we’re always interested in new talent.” The combined companies will have separate brands for the time being, although this is something “we’ll look at over time”.
He was speaking to RI ahead of a forward strategy meeting to be held in Portland, Maine today (Tuesday, August 10).
Shareholders in GMI include New York-based private equity firm Inter-Atlantic, UBS Americas and State Street Global Alliance, according to filings. The Corporate Library’s shareholders include founder Bob Monks’ RAM Equity Partners.