Global proxy-voting firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) is poised to buy-out Strategic Insight (SI), the New York-based investment data business, which has a link to the NZ market.
The Australian arm of SI, previously known as Plan for Life, supplies data on the NZ KiwiSaver and retail fund markets in addition to the fund, platform and insurance sectors in its home jurisdiction.
According to a release last week, ISS “entered into a definitive agreement” to purchase SI early in this quarter “subject to customary closing conditions”.
SI has 11 offices globally that offer a range of services “including investment flow data, advisor sales analysis, in-depth research, analytics, editorial content and events for investment managers, asset owners and custodians”, the release says.
ISS and SI share the same ultimate owner – the US private equity firm, Genstar Capital.
In the statement, Tony Salewski, Genstar managing director, said the deal would “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”.
“We are pleased to help facilitate this transaction of two Genstar portfolio companies to create a scale, market-leader within the financial services industry,” Salewski said.
Rael Solomon, head of SI Australia, said the ISS purchase would fast-track the group’s regional development plans with minimal disruption to existing services.
“There will be no material changes to your client experience or services, nor are any material changes to SI businesses planned or expected for the foreseeable future,” Solomon says. “… there are a number of elements of this that will help SI going forward, including helping expand globally (ISS has employees on the ground in many new territories, including Asia) and adding data operations capacity (including offshore resources) as the SI data platform expands.”
The release says the “active investment management” sector was due for an overhaul as new and traditional data analysis grew increasingly influential.
“… firms that don’t update investment processes to incorporate such data could face the strategic risk of falling behind peers,” the statement says.
ISS has 19 offices worldwide supplying about 2,000 institutional clients with proxy-voting and investment governance services.
Founded in 1988 by Simon Solomon, the Melbourne actuarial and consulting firm Plan for Life sold to Asset International in 2010. Asset International rebranded as SI in 2016, triggering a mass re-naming of its global subsidiaries.