ESG Provider ISS Acquires Strategic Insight, Owner of CIO

Companies merge as a consolidation move under their joint owner, Genstar Capital.

Corporate governance and responsible investment solutions provider Institutional Shareholder Services has acquired investment data firm and publisher Strategic Insight, which owns Chief Investment Officer.

Both companies are owned by Genstar Capital, a private equity company.

Strategic Insight hosts several research platforms such as Brightscope and Canadian industry research business Investor Economics. In addition to CIO, the company also owns publications PLANSPONSOR and PLANADVISOR.

“ISS’s acquisition of Strategic Insight will greatly benefit institutional and retail investors who increasingly rely on proprietary data and analytical tools to identify investment opportunities and to compete effectively in a rapidly changing marketplace,” said Tony Salewski, Genstar Capital’s managing director.

Prior to flying the Strategic Insight flag, the company was known as Asset International, which was acquired by Genstar in 2014, then got a rebranding in 2016. The PE firm bought ISS in 2017.

The firm will be under ISS Analytics, the businesses data intelligence arm.

“The acquisition of Strategic Insight is timely and will enable our firm to accelerate new product offerings,” said Strategic Insight  President and CEO Joel Mandelbaum. “Our clients and staff will benefit from ISS’ tradition of innovation, scale, and global brand recognition.”

The deal is expected to close during the first quarter.

“This acquisition underscores our continued commitment to assist investment professionals not only through a rapidly growing suite of solutions and services, but also through a deep repository of data and analytics,” said Gary Retelny, ISS’s president and CEO. “As we have done for more than three decades, ISS will continue to expand our core governance, analytics, and ESG solutions for investment management and front-office professionals.”

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