London, England; May 12, 2003: Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the
leading provider of proxy voting and corporate governance data services, today announced the third release of its Corporate Governance Quotient (CGQ), which will now include ratings for 2800 non-U.S. companies, in addition to the 5400 U.S. companies already rated by ISS. Initially launched in June 2002, investment management firms have incorporated CGQ data and scores into various aspects of their operations, leveraging the objective and independent nature of the ratings to enhance their equity research.
CGQ is a ranking system designed to assist institutional investors in evaluating the quality of corporate boards and the impact its governance
practices may have on performance. Scores are weighted across 61 variables
and calculated on the basis of eight core categories: 1) board of directors, 2) audit, 3) charter and bylaw provisions, 4) takeover practices, 5) executive and director compensation, 6) qualitative factors, 7) ownership, and 8) director education.
"By expanding our ratings universe to include the 2800 that make up the EAFE
and TSX indices and applying the same variables, ISS not only provides global analysts a critical measurement tool for their work outside of the U.S. market, we also provide all investment professionals a quantitative tool for comparing corporate governance across world markets," said Jill Lyons, ISS's executive vice president. "With our new global CGQ ratings in addition to scores and profiles for 5400 U.S. companies, including all of the Russell 3000, there aren't too many investable securities not in our database."
Using source data derived from public disclosure documents and other information collected through ISS research, each U.S. company is scored
individually and is ranked relative to its index and its industry peer group. Non-U.S. companies are scored individually and ranked relative to their country index, their market index, their industry and against the S&P 500 index for comparative purposes.
ISS has over 200 clients utilizing CGQ. Since its inception, analysts, portfolio managers and bankers at financial institutions are using CGQ as a
tool to perform risk analysis, re-balance portfolios, enhance research reports, support buy/sell decisions and occasionally, to target poor performing companies for other services the institution can offer.
"In light of the recent Wall Street settlement, firms are also looking at CGQ ratings as one option in satisfying their independent research requirement," Lyons noted. ISS intends to preview its Global CGQ scores and database at the Association of Investment Management Research (AIMR) conference today.
For media enquires on behalf of ISS, contact:
Becky Richardson/ Geoff Bilbrough
+44 (0) 20 7959 5529/5531
Vice President, Communications, ISS