Institutional Shareholder Services agreed to acquire Investor Responsibility Research Center for more than $10 million, according to Linda Crompton, IRRC president and CEO. ISS plans to integrate IRRC's services, including corporate research, proxy voting and screening, into ISS' existing operations.
IRRC decided to sell because of the technology and high levels of customer service the marketplace demands. "The company is operating in a different environment than when it started more than 30 years ago," she said. "IRRC was the only one doing independent research. The marketplace has gotten more crowded."
All the proceeds of the sale will go to create the IRRC Institute for Corporate Responsibility, which will be an independent entity. ISS agreed to provide the institute with financial and in-kind support for several years, Ms. Crompton said. The institute will be started with existing IRRC board members, who will search for an executive director. ISS asked for one board seat, but no decision has been made on the size of the board, she said.
Institutional investors and members of the corporate governance community will be invited to participate in the institute through additional funding, in-kind contributions and their ideas for research, she said.
IRRC provides impartial research on corporate governance and social responsibility, as well as proxy voting services, which include assisting clients in developing proxy-voting guidelines. ISS provides corporate governance research and proxy-voting services. Unlike IRRC, ISS provides proxy-voting recommendations.
IRRC used Chessiecap as a financial adviser for the transaction, Ms. Crompton said.