March 12, 2014

ISS Sold? Private-Equity “Insight Venture” Is Likely Auction Winner

As noted in this WSJ article: “Investor adviser Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. is set to change hands for the third time in seven years, according to people familiar with the matter, amid debate about the firm’s sway over governance in corporate America.

Insight Venture Partners, a New York private-equity and venture-capital firm that was an early investor in Twitter Inc., is the likely winner of an auction of ISS run by current owner MSCI Inc., people familiar with the matter said Monday. Terms of the potential deal and its timing couldn’t be learned. People close to the sales process had said earlier that ISS could fetch around $300 million, which would be considerably less than it has sold for in the past.”

Yesterday, the SEC charged AgFeed Industries with accounting fraud – this is the company that I blogged about recently involving a director whistleblower…

The European Proxy Advisors: Best Practice Guidelines

Last week, a group of European proxy advisors published “Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research.” This was after the European Securities and Markets Authority conducted a consultation and its final report found “no clear evidence of market failure in relation to how proxy advisors interact with investors and issuers.” At the end of last year, I taped this podcast with Sarah Wilson of Manifest about the nature of the proxy advisor situation in Europe…

The SASB’s Sustainability Disclosure Standards

In this podcast, Dr. Jean Rogers – the SASB’s CEO – explains the SASB and the development and objectives of its sustainability standards, including:

– What is SASB, and why was SASB created?
– What are the issues and industries covered by SASB’s disclosure standards for the Financials sector?
– What do corporate governance & securities law professionals need to know about SASB standards for SEC disclosure purposes?
– How many more sets of industry disclosure standards are forthcoming? Are there any other projects going forward?

– Broc Romanek