Deutsche Börse finalizes acquisition of ISS

Deutsche Börse AG has completed the acquisition of 81% of  majority stake in the governance, ESG data and analytics provider Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS). The acquisition which was announced late in 2020, has received all necessary regulatory approvals.

With this deal, Deutsche Börse and ISS will be able to jointly serve the ever-growing demand for in-depth extra-financial data, research and analytics. Together two companies will support market participants in making well-informed investment decisions with a particular view on sustainability criteria. The announcement noted that with the acquisition Deutsche Börse further commits to one of the key megatrends in the industry that will fundamentally change the investment business over the coming years.


Stephan Leithner, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Börse AG, responsible for the Group’s Pre- & Post-Trading businesses, said:

Stephan Leithner

Stephan Leithner

The quality, precision and breadth of ISS’ data and research is unique in the market. Especially the company’s ESG expertise and data capabilities are highly complementary to Deutsche Börse’s businesses along the entire value chain. This acquisition, therefore, is a logical step in our ESG growth strategy, adding an important piece to the puzzle to become one of the world’s leading market infrastructure players on this critical development.

Deutsche Börse already offers ESG indices through its index and analytics provider Qontigo (with its brands STOXX, DAX, Axioma) and ESG derivatives via its derivatives exchange Eurex. Deutsche Börse also recently took a minority stake in ESG analytics provider Clarity AI. The acquisition of ISS further shows Deutsche Börse’s commitment to ESG.

Gary Retelny, President and CEO of ISS commented:

Gary Retelny, ISS

Gary Retelny

We are pleased to be joining the Deutsche Börse group of companies and look forward to working with our new colleagues in furtherance of our long-standing mission to empower investors and companies to build for long-term and sustainable growth. ISS will continue to deliver the same independent and high-quality research, ratings, and other offerings our clients have come to expect, and we will continue to invest and innovate to ensure they receive next-generation solutions.

After the acquisition, ISS will retain its editorial independence in its data and research organisation that is in place today. Deutsche Börse has expressed its desire to protect the independence and integrity of ISS’ research, recommendations, ratings and other analytical offerings. For that to happen a number of non-interference policies have been put in place. ISS has also put in place a policy that it will not provide proxy research or other analytical research on Deutsche Börse.

The acquisition deal was conducted in partnership with current ISS management and Genstar Capital, a growth equity investor, who will both continue to hold a stake in the company.

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