Glass Lewis moves into German corporate governance market via acquisition of IVOX

German proxy firm provides research on 2,500 companies.

US-based proxy giant Glass Lewis has acquired German peer IVOX marking its first major entrance into Germany’s corporate governance market. Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
Glass Lewis said IVOX would be run as a European subsidiary called IVOX Glass Lewis GmbH. IVOX Founder and Chief Executive Alexander Juschus and his team of nine analysts will become employees of the new company. “The IVOX team’s deep knowledge and experience analysing European companies will benefit Glass Lewis’ clients immediately, complementing the research being produced from our European headquarters in Limerick, Ireland,” said Glass Lewis CEO Katherine Rabin. Juschus said: “IVOX Glass Lewis clients will continue to receive all the services currently offered, including German language research reports, plus have new access to research on more than 20,000 meetings annually in over 100 global markets. We are very excited to be a part of the Glass Lewis team.”
Founded in 2005 by Juschus, Karlsuhe-based IVOX alone provides governance research on 2,500 companies worldwide and makes voting recommendations for institutional clients in Germany. One of its more prominent clients is Union Investment, the Frankfurt-based asset manager with €232bn under management.In terms of its financials, IVOX’s last public filing reflects that for 2013, it had a profit of €8,000 following a loss of almost €35,000 the year before. IVOX’s balance sheet is also worth around €130,000, the filing shows.
Industry sources said that due to IVOX’s leading position in the German market, Glass Lewis’ acquisition was a smart strategic move. “Unlike its competitor ISS (Institutional Shareholder Services), Glass Lewis has been virtually unknown in Germany,” said a source who asked not to be identified. An institutional client of IVOX’s, who also asked to remain anonymous, added: “We see the acquisition of IVOX as very positive, as it will provide stability to the company.”
Co-owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) and the Alberta Investment Management Corp., San Francisco-based Glass Lewis says it provides proxy services to institutional investors that collectively hold more than $20trn in assets. Beyond San Francisco and Limerick, Glass Lewis has offices in New York, Washington D.C. and Sydney, Australia.