RISK is going away.
RiskMetrics Group Inc. changed its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol to RISK from RMG, effective Jan. 29, a move designed to reinforce its corporate identity and brand name. Now — with the announcement March 1 of MSCI Inc.'s agreement to acquire RiskMetrics for $1.55 billion in a combination of cash and stock — the symbol is set to disappear when the deal closes, expected in the third quarter.
M. Ethan Berman, RiskMetrics chairman and CEO, said in a statement Jan. 20 when the company revealed the distinctive RISK as its new ticker symbol: “RiskMetrics Group is the global standard in managing financial risks. The new symbol better reflects the company's identity, which is widely known and respected among financial market participants.”
But MSCI might consider changing its MXB ticker symbol to RISK.
“This is one of the areas that MSCI will look into as and when the transaction (to acquire RiskMetrics) is completed,” said an MSCI spokesman.
Henry A. Fernandez, MSCI chairman, CEO and president, said the acquisition was pursued in part to build on MSCI's effort to capitalize on the increasing critical need to understand, measure and manage portfolio risk.
The New York Stock Exchange, which approves symbols for its listed companies, also will have to decide whether to reserve the symbol for another NYSE-listed company, or release it for another exchange to assign to one of its listed companies.
Christiaan Brakman, NYSE director-media relations, said NYSE officials would not publicly comment on the issue.
In any case, RISK could return. — Barry B. Burr