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July 24, 2010
The Corporate Library and GovernanceMetrics International Announce Merger
    by Robert Kropp

The combination of corporate governance research firms is the most recent of many mergers and acquisitions in the environmental, social, and governance research sector.


The years-long trend of consolidation in the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) research sector continues. On Thursday, The Corporate Library and GovernanceMetrics International (GMI) announced the merger of two US-based leaders in corporate governance research.

Based in Portland, Maine, The Corporate Library rates North American companies according to governance risk factors. The firm also provides shareowner proposal and engagement advisory services to institutional investors. The New York City-based GMI provides corporate governance research and ratings for global corporations in 24 developed and 21 emerging markets.

Both firms are signatories to the United Nations'
Principles for Responsible Investment.

According to a press release, "The combination of The Corporate Library and GMI provides in-depth coverage of a universe of more than 5,400 companies, including the largest North American public companies; the MSCI World and MSCI EAFE Indices; and industrialized Asia-Pacific, industrialized European and emerging markets."

While consolidation in the ESG research field has been occurring for several years, in the last year it has accelerated. During 2009 alone,
RiskMetrics Group acquired KLD Research & Analytics and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, Thomson Reuters acquired ASSET4, and Jantzi Research merged with Sustainalytics.

Then, in June of this year, RiskMetrics was itself acquired by
MSCI.

Unlike some of the earlier mergers and acquisitions—when MSCI purchased RiskMetrics, the company announced it would realize some $50 million in "cost synergies" by reducing overlapping positions—the merger of The Corporate Library and GMI is not expected to lead to staff reductions at either company, at least in the short term. Indeed, the companies announced that they "are committed to maintaining existing staff levels within the two organizations."

In addition, "the combined company will continue to operate principally from both New York City and Portland, Maine," the announcement stated.

Richard Bennett, the CEO and President of The Corporate Library, will retain both positions in the combined company, while Howard Sherman, CEO of GMI, will become Executive Director and Head of Global Business Development.

 

 
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