Pension fund-owned Glass Lewis buys investor-corporate engagement platform

Proxy firm acquires Meetyl for undisclosed sum

Clarifies relationship between OTPP and SDX

Influential governance analysis and proxy firm Glass Lewis & Co., which is co-owned by Canadian pension funds the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and the Alberta Investment Management Corp, has acquired Meetyl, a privately-held technology company that enables direct engagement between investors and companies.

Meetyl offers investors a range of tools including a database of public companies broken down by sector, sub-sector and end market; and a platform to schedule face-to-face meetings with corporate management.

Katherine Rabin, CEO of San Francisco-based Glass Lewis, said: “Investment professional prefer to communicate with companies directly and privately, and the Meetyl platform allows them to do so efficiently. The power of the service is that it facilitates engagement in a way that is disruptive to the status quo and beneficial to the entire investment chain.” Glass Lewis did not disclose the acquisition price.

Meetyl was co-founded in 2012 by former Wall Street investor Jeffrey Tha and software developer Robert Ho, who created one of the first online dating websites, Reciprodate.In February 2013 Meetyl announced it had raised seed capital from “institutional investors who will double as early Meetyl users”. In July this year the firm launched its European arm, with offices in Limerick, Ireland. Companies that have used Meetyl include Intel, Legg Mason Global Asset Management and Marsh & McLennan, owner of consultants Mercer.

Glass Lewis was founded in 2003 and supports institutional investors collectively managing US$20trn.

Separately, Eileen Mercier, an independent director at OTPP, is part of a working group, that includes CalSTRS, Hermes Equity Ownership Services and the Florida State of Board Administration, which is helping develop the new Shareholder Director Exchange (SDX). SDX is a framework to facilitate meetings between board directors and institutional investors to discuss corporate governance, executive pay, management performance and deal activity. Most recently the working group wrote a letter to directors of every Russell 1000 company asking their boards to consider adopting a policy for shareholder-director engagement.