Why the Frankfurt Stock Exchange acquires the shareholder advisory agency ISS

Posted on Nov 18, 2020 at 5:39 PMUpdated Nov 18, 2020, 6:07 PM

The announcement of the takeover of the American ISS (Institutional Shareholder Services) by Deutsche Börse, the German stock exchange operator, on Tuesday evening, had the effect of a bomb in the small world of advice to investors. Voting advisory agencies or “proxy advisors” in English, these specialists who support shareholders at general meetings and have the ear of investors, have in a few years become the bête noire of listed companies and are no more ten in the world. The takeover of the leading player in this market is therefore not trivial. Especially since only ISS and its American competitor, Glass Lewis, offer investors a global offer covering almost all the general meetings of the main listed groups around the world. The few competitors are small local players, such as the French company Proxinvest, founded by Pierre Henri Leroy in 1995 and sold in June to the former banker Alain Demarolle, Frontis in Italy, DWS in Germany, or Corporance in Spain.

First “proxy advisor” to no longer be independent

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