MSCI buys US governance research house GMI Ratings for $15m

Deal comes three months after sale of ISS.

MSCI, the index and environmental, social and governance (ESG) information provider, has agreed to acquire GMI Ratings, the US governance research firm, for $15m (€11m).
The deal comes three months after MSCI agreed to sell its Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) arm, the leading proxy research house, to Vestar Capital Partners, the private equity firm, for $364m.
The deal will be undertaken via MSCI’s subsidiary MSCI ESG Research and is expected to close in the third quarter.
“The acquisition of GMI enhances MSCI’s position as a leader in ESG research,” said Remy Briand, Head of ESG Research at MSCI.“The addition of GMI’s corporate governance research and ratings will enable MSCI to offer its clients a depth and quality of coverage across all three pillars of ESG research that will be unmatched in the marketplace.”
“We believe that becoming part of MSCI, with its global footprint and resources, will significantly enhance our ability to do just that,” added GMI Ratings’ Chairman John Higgins – saying it was a “natural fit”.
Corporate governance pioneer Bob Monks had a hand in the formation of both ISS and GMI, the latter via a role in co-founding predecessor firm The Corporate Library. The current iteration of GMI dates back to 2010, when predecessor firms Audit Integrity teamed up with GovernanceMetrics International and the Corporate Library.