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Institutional Shareholder Services

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Institutional Shareholder Services

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) is a proxy advisory firm. The company advises hedge funds, mutual funds, and similar organizations that are the shareholders in various companies. The advice can be related to the shareholders’ votes and in return the company charges fees. The majority of the company is owned by Deutsche Bourse Group and Genstar Capital. It is the largest firm in the field of investment management with over 61% of the business.

Institutional Shareholder Services

ISS was established on 17 March 1999 with its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, USA. The current CEO and president of the company is Gary Retelny. The official website of the ISS is www.issgovernance.com. Its Indian branch is located in Goregaon East, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Institutional Shareholder Services


  • ISS got highlighted when Disney announced combining the positions of CEO and chairman on October 6, 2011. The effect of it was seen in ISS’ annual meeting of 2012 when the company called for no vote against the four nominating and Governance Committee board members.
  • In 2013, ISS paid a fine of $300,000 to the SEC and retain a compliance consultant to deal with the charges that it failed to safeguard the client’s confidential proxy voting information.
  • In September 2015, ISS bought Ethix SRI Advisors so that the company can expand its business in Europe. After the acquisition, Ethix was renamed as ISS-Ethix and it lead the sustainable and responsible investment activities of the company.
  • In 2017, the company’s ownership switched to Genstar Capital.
  • In March 2018, the company acquired the Germany-based ESG rating agency named Oekom Research AG.
  • In November 2020, ISS received huge investment in its shares for about 1.5 billion Euro by Deutsche Borse.

Business Comprised by ISS

1. Governance

These offerings include objective governance research and recommendations and end-to-end solutions for proxy voting. ISS is supplying the services of proxy research and vote recommendations to around 48,000 shareholder meetings in 115 markets with 1500 institutional clients.

2. ESG

ESG solutions provide various services to investors, financial market participants, corporate, and countries. It can be understood as follows:

  • To Investors
    • Introducing responsible investing policies and practices.
    • Deal with important investment issues.
    • Monitoring the practices of the company which is part of the investor’s portfolio.
  • To Financial Market Participants
    • Climate data
    • Analytics
    • Advisory services
  • To Corporate and Country
    • Determining material social and environmental risks and opportunities.

3. Market Intelligence (MI)

Global asset managers, distributors, and insurance companies are covered under the services provided by MI. It offers critical data and insight to its clients so that they can make informed and strategic decisions to manage and grow their business. ISS MI also provides the solutions to market sizing, product strategy, competitor benchmarking, and opportunity identification by using the combination of proprietary and integrated datasets. To provide all these solutions, MI uses different industry-leading data platforms.

4. Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA)

TCA supplies various offerings such as execution quality, market abuse, and pre-trade analysis services across all public orders and trade executed on Europe locations. For this purpose, TCA uses its LiquidMetrix unit. Its clients are sellers, buyers, exchanges, and regulators. These clients enjoy actionable analysis, global coverage, reports, and compliance tools from TCA.

5. Fund Services (FWW)

These services are comprised of FWW which is a leading German company in the field of fund data dissemination and distribution. FWW provides support to investment fund advisors and investors in making effective decisions by the provisions of transparent, up-to-date, and correct fund information. For this purpose, FWW uses the operation and licensing of data from the investment fund database of the company.

6. Securities Class Action Services (SCAS)

SCAS, LLC provides access to the management of the turnkey securities class-action claims to the clients. SCAS has an experience of more than three decades and is providing end-to-end global offerings with its worldwide reach and is engaged in offering research and claims filling coverage to the countries which are supporting securities class actions and antitrust cases.

7. Media

ISS Media includes a set of publications, digital assets, and research which are well known for their editorial integrity, leadership, and objective within the industry and the conference business in the segment of retirement.

8. Economic Value Added (EVA)

ISS ESG is engaged in the field of providing established standards in measuring, analyzing, projecting, valuing, and discounting the underlying profits of a firm via the provision of Economic Value Added (EVA).

9. ISS Corporate Solutions (ICS)

These solutions are beneficial for the companies in designing and managing their corporate governance, executive compensation, and sustainability programs which further helps the company is aligning with their goals, reduce risk, and manage the requirements of a diverse shareholder base by delivering the best data, tools and advisory services. The market-leading expertise of the ISS empowers companies to fulfill the increasing demands of incorporating governance and sustainability principles. The official website of ICS is www.isscorporatesolutions.com.

Responsibilities Performed by ISS

Towards the People

ISS responsibly provides the people with the means and opportunities to create value for the business, communities, and society which is part of the company’s core culture. ISS has more than 2400 employees belonging to different cultures at 29 locations in 15 countries. In the company, all they get equal opportunities and inclusion that help the company as well as its employees by the way of collaboration, integrity, and flexibility. The workplace of the company is completely safe, healthy, respectful, non-discriminatory, and work-friendly. In ISS, there is 48% female workforce out of which 33% are working in the management sector.

Towards the Environment

Another core responsibility of the ISS’ principles is towards the environment. The company works in a manner to promote and increase sustainability beyond its products and services so that there will be a minimum effect of the company’s operations on the environment.

ISS follows all the applicable environmental laws and regulations. Some of the key goals of the company to protect the environment are:

  • Reducing single-use plastics and other items.
  • Reducing the footprints of carbon by 70% until the end of 2022.
  • Switching the business operations to 100% renewable energy until the end of 2022.
  • Promoting the sustainability criteria in procurement guidelines.

Towards the Business

As we know, ISS is a successful company in its business sector. The core of the company’s ESG business is to promote the clients to systematically unite ESG and corporate responsibility in their ability to decision making and bring a positive contribution to the achievement of global sustainability goals.

The company does its business practices under the guidelines of the Code of Conduct and Corporate Responsibility Policy to make sure that the company complies with the highest standards of integrity. There are more than 500 dedicated ESG professionals contributing to ISS with their skills and knowledge. Some of the ESG solutions by the company are as follows:

Screening and Controversies

These solutions figure out the involvement of corporations in a range of controversial products, business practices, and sectors with high risk and also allow the clients to screen, monitor, and analyze the performance of responsible investment.

Ratings and Rankings

These solutions offer comparative analyses of companies, countries, and green bonds, which provide an in-depth insight to investors to incorporate sustainability in their investment decision productively. The scientific rating concept of ISS ESG gives a clear, sector-specific focus on the non-fictional information’s materiality.

Climate Solutions

ISS ESG has a dedicated team of climate experts which provides a range of data, analytics, and advisory services to measure the climate risk across all asset classes. The company provides expertise on carbon footprint data along with climate scenario analysis, potential avoided emission, and transitional and physical risk.

Impact and UN SDGs

ESG of the company also provides the solutions to assess the impact of the company on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals positively or negatively.

ESG Index Solutions

The index solutions allow investors to figure out benchmark and track portfolio companies with an attractive performance related to environment, society, and governance to successfully realize their indexing strategies.

Why to Choose ISS?

  • Data and Analytics
    The data and analytics provided by the institution are diversified that form a more wide-ranging and comprehensive story related to the risk and performance of governance, society, and the environment.
  • Insights
    The institution provides very impactful and actionable content to the clients that respond to environmental, governance, and social issues related to the impacts of the real world.
  • Client Service
    The ISS has a large network of global support experts who provides amazing services to clients. These experts are highly committed to the success of their clients and support them every step of the way.
  • Technology and Infrastructure
    The institution has very advanced technology and wonderful infrastructure with industry-leading platforms, scalable to promote integration, and regular improvement and development.

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