The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) was developed by MSCI, a premier independent provider of global indexes and benchmark-related products and services, and Standard & Poor's (S&P), an independent international financial data and investment services company and a leading provider of global equity indexes.

The GICS classifications aim to enhance the investment research and asset management process for financial professionals worldwide. It is the result of numerous discussions with asset owners, portfolio managers and investment analysts around the world and is designed to respond to the global financial community's need for an accurate, complete and standard industry definition.

The GICS structure consists of 10 sectors, 24 industry groups, 67 industries and 156 sub-industries.

The GICS structure is:

  • Universal: The classification applies to companies globally.
  • Accurate: The structure accurately reflects the state of industries in the equity investment universe.
  • Flexible: The structure offers four levels of analysis, ranging from the most general sector to the most specialized sub-industry.
  • Evolving: Annual reviews are conducted by MSCI and Standard & Poor's to ensure that the structure remains fully representative of the universe. 

The GICS methodology has been widely accepted as an industry analysis framework for investment research, portfolio management and asset allocation. Its universal approach to industries worldwide has contributed to transparency and efficiency in the investment process. In addition, the current trend towards sector-based investing has also greatly benefited from the GICS methodology. 

GICS Products and Services

GICS Direct, a joint product of MSCI and Standard & Poor's is a database of more than 43,000 issuers (and over 51,000 securities) classified in accordance with the GICS methodology. GICS Direct is available via file transfer protocol (FTP) and major data vendors.

Global Sector Indexes. For information on MSCI Global Sector Indexes, click here

Sector Fund Creation. MSCI sector indexes are fully consistent across geographical markets and industries making them ideal for use in both exchange traded funds and index funds aiming to represent a range of investment alternatives. For more information, visit the licensed products area.