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MSCI to Acquire GMI Ratings

Combination Brings Together Two Leading Providers of Environmental, Social and Governance Research, Data and Analytics

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GMI Ratings, a leading provider of research, data and analytics on environmental, social, governance (ESG) and accounting-related risks affecting the performance of public companies, today announced that the firm has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, MSCI ESG Research Inc. The combination brings together two recognized market leaders, integrating GMI’s corporate governance and forensic accounting expertise into MSCI’s comprehensive ESG solutions.

“As our clients worldwide increasingly factor non-financial metrics into their investment process, they will be well-served by the expanded suite of products and services resulting from this transaction.”

“MSCI’s acquisition of GMI speaks volumes about the depth and quality of our corporate governance research and data, and acknowledges the governance and accounting expertise of our team,” said Dan Concannon, President and Chief Executive Officer of GMI Ratings. “As our clients worldwide increasingly factor non-financial metrics into their investment process, they will be well-served by the expanded suite of products and services resulting from this transaction.”

With offices all around the world, MSCI is a leading provider of investment decision support tools to investors globally, including asset managers, banks, hedge funds and pension funds. Through its MSCI ESG Research unit, MSCI delivers products and services designed to provide in-depth research, ratings and analysis of environmental, social and governance-related business practices of companies worldwide.

“The acquisition of GMI enhances MSCI’s position as a leader in ESG research and analytics,” said Remy Briand, Managing Director and Head of ESG Research. “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. These tools are growing in importance as investors seek to understand more fully the risks in their portfolios.”

GMI serves the ESG and accounting research and data needs of approximately 400 clients across the global institutional investment community. For more than a decade, the firm has been helping asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds and other institutional investors incorporate these factors into the investment decision-making process, with a particular emphasis on materiality and risk management. For two consecutive years, GMI has been named Best Independent Corporate Governance Research Provider by Thomson Reuters Extel.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. Berkery Noyes acted as financial adviser to GMI Ratings.

About GMI Ratings

GMI Ratings is an independent provider of research and ratings on environmental, social, governance and accounting-related risks affecting the performance of public companies. The firm’s ESG ratings for more than 6,000 companies worldwide incorporate 150 ESG KeyMetrics™ to help investors assess the sustainable investment value of corporations. The firm also provides Accounting and Governance Ratings (AGR®) for approximately 20,000 public companies worldwide. AGR metrics reflect the accuracy and reliability of a company’s financial reporting. Clients of GMI Ratings include leading institutional investors, banks, insurers, auditors, regulators and corporations seeking to incorporate accounting and ESG factors into risk assessment and decision-making. The firm’s Forensic Alpha Model (FAM) helps investors predict stock returns using forensic accounting and governance-related measures of issuer risk. In the 2012 and 2013 Independent Research in Responsible Investment (IRRI) Survey conducted by Thomson Reuters Extel and SRI-CONNECT.com, GMI Ratings was named “The Best Independent Corporate Governance Research Provider”. For more information please visit www.gmiratings.com.

About MSCI

MSCI Inc. is a leading provider of investment decision support tools to investors globally, including asset managers, banks, hedge funds and pension funds. MSCI products and services include indexes, portfolio risk and performance analytics, and ESG data and research.

The company’s flagship product offerings are: the MSCI indexes with approximately USD 8 trillion estimated to be benchmarked to them on a worldwide basis1; Barra multi-asset class factor models, portfolio risk and performance analytics; RiskMetrics multi-asset class market and credit risk analytics; IPD real estate information, indexes and analytics; MSCI ESG (environmental, social and governance) Research screening, analysis and ratings; and FEA valuation models and risk management software for the energy and commodities markets. MSCI is headquartered in New York, with research and commercial offices around the world. MSCI#IR

1 As of September 30, 2013, as reported on January 31, 2014 by eVestment, Lipper and Bloomberg

About MSCI ESG Research

MSCI ESG Research products and services are designed to provide in-depth research, ratings and analysis of environmental, social and governance-related business practices to companies worldwide. Ratings and data from MSCI ESG Research are also used in the construction of the MSCI ESG Indexes. MSCI ESG Research Inc. is a Registered Investment Adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. MSCI is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Contacts

GMI Ratings
Cheryl Gustitus
O) +1 212-949-1313 ext. 316
M) +1 240-507-0823
Chief Marketing Officer
cgustitus@gmiratings.com
or
Sarah Cohn
O) +1 212-949-1313 ext. 339
M) +1 646/234-7287
Director of Marketing and Communications
scohn@gmiratings.com