London, February 25, 2003 - Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the
leading provider of proxy voting and corporate governance data services,
announced today that the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) will use
ISS's Corporate Governance Quotient (CGQ*) in its investment research and
"As the fiduciary for our plan beneficiaries, SWIB takes corporate
governance risk into consideration in investment decisions," said Keith
Johnson, SWIB's Chief Legal Counsel. "We have always managed our proxy
voting rights as a trust fund asset. ISS's Corporate Governance Quotient
now gives us a quantitative governance metric we can incorporate into our
CGQ is also being used by state pension funds and institutional investors as
a governance tool to satisfy the Investor Protection Principles adopted by
the pension plan members of the Council of Institutional Investors who
endorsed a resolution last year calling on investors and regulators to adopt
reforms to eliminate conflicts of interest in the financial services
Initially launched in June 2002 with an expanded release in January 2003, CGQ provides institutional investors a much-needed measurement of the corporate governance performance of more than 5000 U.S. companies. CGQ ratings are calculated on the basis of eight core categories: 1) board of directors, 2) audit, 3) charter and bylaw provisions, 4) laws of the state of incorporation, 5) executive and director compensation, 6) qualitative factors, 7) ownership, and 8) director education. Each company is scored individually, based on 61 variables and is ranked relative to its index and industry peer group.
Source data is derived from public disclosure documents, press releases, and
corporate websites. Additionally, ISS designed a special web portal for issuers to submit any material changes related to their corporate governance structure, policies and/or procedures. All data is verified by ISS's corporate governance analysts and input to the CGQ database in real-time so investors can be sure that the CGQ rating is based on absolutely the latest information.
"More than 50 financial institutions and 110 corporate issuers are using CGQ to provide an added layer of analysis to their research, said Jill Lyons, Executive Vice President of Research and Development for ISS. "Incorporating corporate governance factors into research and analysis is consistent with SWIB's long outstanding record as an active institutional owner," continued Lyons.
The State of Wisconsin Investment Board has $57 billion under management and
invests the public pension funds of half a million teachers, fire fighters,
police officers and other government workers. The Wisconsin Retirement
System is the tenth largest public pension fund in the U.S.
For further press information:
Geoff Bilbrough/Becky Richardson
+44 (0) 207 959 5531/5529
Vice President, Communications