For-profit

International Shareholder Services (ISS)

Formation:

1985

Type:

Asset Management Advisory Firm

Founder:

Robert Monks

International Shareholder Services (ISS) is an advisory firm that assists clients with research in asset management, proxy voting, and corporate governance. It has gained a reputation in the business sector for supporting the appointment of board members with activist agendas.

Background

ISS was originally founded in 1985 by Robert Monks and the Investor Responsibility Research Center. [1] In 2017, ISS was acquired by Genstar Capital from Vestar Capital Partners. [2]

The smallest but most notable branch of ISS is the Special Situations Research Group, which conducts research and influences the outcomes of contested corporate boardroom seats. [3] This smaller branch typically recommends activists of various types to the aforementioned board seats. ISS is so well-known that firms such as CamberView and Strategic Governance Advisors were created to prepare corporate clients for having to battle against ISS for contested board seats. [4]

Funding

ISS is a private company, and as such receives revenue from its clients, with the largest being the investment management companies BlackRock and Vanguard Group, and financial services company State Street Corp. [5]

Leadership

Gary Retelny is the president and CEO of ISS, and previously worked at ISS’s former parent company MSCI Inc. as the head of strategy and business development. [6]

References

  1. Celarier, Michelle. “The Mysterious Private Company Controlling Corporate America.” Institutional Investor. February 01, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2019. https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b16pv90bf0zbj8/the-mysterious-private-company-controlling-corporate-america. ^
  2. Veloso-Beltran, Dada. “ISS History.” ISS. November 12, 2017. Accessed July 10, 2019. https://www.issgovernance.com/about/iss-history/. ^
  3. Celarier, Michelle. “The Mysterious Private Company Controlling Corporate America.” Institutional Investor. February 01, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2019. https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b16pv90bf0zbj8/the-mysterious-private-company-controlling-corporate-america. ^
  4. Celarier, Michelle. “The Mysterious Private Company Controlling Corporate America.” Institutional Investor. February 01, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2019. https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b16pv90bf0zbj8/the-mysterious-private-company-controlling-corporate-america. ^
  5. Celarier, Michelle. “The Mysterious Private Company Controlling Corporate America.” Institutional Investor. February 01, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2019. https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b16pv90bf0zbj8/the-mysterious-private-company-controlling-corporate-america. ^
  6. Veloso-Beltran, Dada. “Gary Retelny.” ISS. May 23, 2019. Accessed July 10, 2019. https://www.issgovernance.com/gary-retelny/. ^
  See an error? Let us know!