Our corporate values are part of everything we do and our commitment to clients, shareholders and employees is paramount.
What underpins everything we do is our commitment to the future sustainability and transparency of the financial markets. We create innovative products and services that allow our clients to make more informed investment decisions. We provide institutional investors with critical performance measurement and risk management data and analytics. Through our environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and applications we deliver insights, analysis and tools to support investment processes that incorporate sustainability considerations. The market for sustainable investments is increasing, and we continue to see compelling opportunities to offer products and services related to ESG investment. MSCI is a proud signatory to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.
Our ESG research team has developed a methodology to analyze more than 6,500 companies on the environmental, social and governance risks they face. A key principle of our approach is to focus on a small number of ESG issues that are most relevant to a company based on its industry and core activities, as well as where it operates. In other words, our approach focuses on those issues that might that have the biggest potential impact on a company’s stakeholders and therefore its business. MSCI ESG Research was awarded first place in 13 out of 17 categories of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 IRRI Surveys including Best firm for Socially Responsible Investing Research and Corporate Governance Research. We were also awarded the Gold Standard from the Deep Data Delivery Standards in 2016 – one of only 3 firms to receive this designation. In June 2018, Linda-Eling Lee, MSCI’s Global Head of ESG Research, was named by Barron’s as one of the 20 most influential people in the ESG investing space, and Veronique Menou in our ESG Research Team was added to the European Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.
In November 2018, Diana Tidd (Head of our Index product line) was appointed Chief Responsibility Officer, a new position with the purpose of coordinating and enhancing our internal ESG strategy and activities.
Based on this approach, and in order to support MSCI’s commitments, we focus on the following key areas: our clients, our people, our corporate governance, our communities, our suppliers, and our environment.
Diversity and Inclusion
We are a global organization with offices in over 20 countries and we work as one team. Diversity and inclusion are core to our values and our business. We recognize and value the variety of backgrounds and unique skill sets of all of us, and MSCI is committed to developing a diverse workforce and maintaining an inclusive environment for every individual. For example, with respect to gender diversity, the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) was launched in late 2013 with the support of the Executive Committee to create awareness and provide tools and skills geared towards leadership development for women. The WLF has 23 chapters in 15 countries across the globe. In 2016, MSCI became a member of Catalyst, “a leading non-profit organization with the mission to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion”. MSCI’s Board of Directors includes 4 women, which represents 33% of directors (as of May 2018).
In addition, MSCI Pride was launched in 2018 and is a global employee resource group for MSCI’s LGBTQ employees and allies. To coincide with the 2018 Pride celebrations, numerous MSCI offices across the globe including New York, Chicago, London, Monterrey and Manila, held internal and external Pride events, consisting of celebrations for employees as well as presentations on LGBTQ history and related workplace topics such as workplace equality and the championing of diversity. MSCI's Executive Diversity Council was launched in 2018. Comprised of 22 employees from all regions of the world, the Executive Diversity Council is an advisory group of visible promoters and sponsors championing a diverse and inclusive MSCI culture.
Employee Skills and Engagement
Successful implementation of our company’s growth strategy requires a high level of performance from all of us at MSCI – both in the contributions we make as individuals and in the way we collaborate with each other. We believe that our employees’ success is MSCI's success. We are committed to creating a highly engaged work environment which enables all colleagues to develop their careers at MSCI. We recognize that what truly sets us apart and drives our success year after year are our people. To remain competitive, develop innovative products and execute against aggressive targets, we must have a diverse workforce that thrives in a high performance culture.
This is why we introduced Success@MSCI, a comprehensive approach to performance and career development. Success@MSCI is designed to help our employees understand how their work aligns with the company’s overall strategy, make it easier for them to give and receive real-time and transparent feedback and coaching, help them successfully deliver on their goals, and more effectively plan and develop their careers. Success@MSCI is employee driven and manager guided. Employees own their careers and their performance and MSCI provides the tools they need to succeed.
MSCI conducts an extensive annual employee engagement survey as an important measure of whether our approaches to performance and career development are effective at driving employee engagement. These engagement results are designed to be used by each manager to improve and enhance the working environment and by senior management to enhance the overall MSCI culture. This “voice of the employee” information is a critical component to evaluating and making improvements in employee policies and practices.
In October 2017, MSCI received a Chief Learning Officer Technology Award for their deployment of Skyline Group’s “Coaching for Leadership” platform into MSCI’s Accelerated Leadership Development (ALD) program. The purpose of the ALD program is to accelerate leadership development of key individuals across the firm and enhance performance through one-on-one coaching, leadership skills development, networking and applied learning.
Performance is discussed year-round through Success@MSCI. Goal-setting, feedback, and frequent check-ins around 4Cs (Contributions, Capabilities, Connections, Career) help employees have a better understanding of how they are performing against their real-time goals and how they are assessed on their contributions.
Integrated Talent Management(ITM)
MSCI utilizes an integrated talent management system that aligns organization structure and talent to MSCI’s strategy. This approach aims to ensure that senior leadership is effective and a strong leadership bench and talent pipeline are being developed to meet the needs and demands of our business. The key objectives of ITM are to align structure and talent to deliver strategic and operational imperatives; determine whether our senior leaders are the right ones to deliver and drive the strategy; identify and develop management successors; differentiate talent and facilitate appropriate development actions with a focus of getting the right talent in the right roles; identify and develop a strong pipeline of future leaders and talent who are capable of developing and driving strategy; develop action plans to support talent decisions and discussions; and monitor the effectiveness of ITM through the use of data and measurement systems.
Success@MSCI will help our employees develop their careers. MSCI recognizes that it is our people who truly set us apart and drive our success. For MSCI to grow, our people must be able to grow. MSCI is committed to supporting employee career growth and development.
Our employees’ careers at MSCI are a shared partnership between the employee, the employee’s manager, and the employee’s HR partner. At MSCI, we expect our employees to own their career development. Our employees are MSCI’s preferred choice for internal roles, so employees can expect full support and guidance from the organization.
Finding the right learning opportunities is an important part of our employees’ career development. The Success@MSCI platform is our online e-learning system where all MSCI employees can register for live, virtual, and classroom training programs, access e-learning content, browse helpful documents and resources, and create a personal development plan.
With the growing importance of information in our business and personal lives, MSCI conducts mandatory web-based training annually with a series on Cyber Safety. This training is applicable to all staff of MSCI Inc. and its subsidiaries, and staff actively engage with the training. The series is intended to provide staff with an understanding of current and emerging information security and cyber threats, and to equip them with best practices for detecting, avoiding and defending against these threats. This helps MSCI to avoid real incidents and prevent any potential misuse of information.
Wellness and Health and Safety
MSCI offers a broad range of benefits to its employees. MSCI also supports a global wellness initiative focused around challenges that can help foster a sense of togetherness and provide friendly competition to help employees improve their health and wellness. Employees earn rewards for taking care of themselves. The program allows us to offer one well-being platform with support, rewards and programs for all our employees globally.
MSCI is committed to providing a safe, healthy and comfortable working environment for all of its employees. For example, we carry out desk assessments for employees including suitability of the desk and associated desk equipment, as well as the temperature of the working environment.
Commitments to International Standards
MSCI respects the standards embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Labor Organization conventions (ILO).
OUR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
The Board of Directors of MSCI sets high standards for employees, officers and directors. Implicit in this philosophy is the importance of sound corporate governance. It is the duty of the Board of Directors to serve as a prudent fiduciary for shareholders and to oversee the management of the Company's business. More information can be found on our Corporate Governance page.
Our employees are bound by a Code of Conduct (which is based on the Code of Ethics and Business Conduct found on our Corporate Governance page as well as other compliance policies. Our compliance polices are designed to ensure that our employees act with the utmost integrity, including preventing corruption (including anti-bribery and gift giving and receiving policies, political donations), preventing or managing potential conflicts of interest (including policies governing outside business interests), and properly managing, protecting and respecting personal data, confidential information and intellectual property. All new joiners are trained on our policies and are required to certify to them. Every year, our CEO requests that all employees complete the annual training on our policies and certify that they have read and will adhere to them. Our audit committee reviews and approves our compliance policies annually.
As a financial services firm that delivers data and services, our environmental impact is by nature relatively small, and comes mostly from the buildings that our employees work in as well as our data centers. MSCI is committed to protecting the environment and we are proud that 77% of our global headcount are in offices which have achieved LEED and BREEAM Certifications. Our offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Norman, Boston, Gaithersburg, Budapest, Frankfurt, Dubai, Seoul, Manila and Mumbai are all LEED-certified, and our London and Paris offices are BREEAM-certified. Our offices in Tokyo and Singapore have received local awards for their environmental design and green building technology. We have motion sensors and automated controls for lighting in offices across the globe which represent 85% of our global headcount.
Our U.S. based data centers follow best in class power usage effectiveness (PUE) practices, resulting in PUE that exceeds the industry average by nearly 34%.
MSCI takes various environmental factors (including existence of landlord-driven or local recycling initiatives, use of sustainable and energy-efficient materials and control systems enabling the efficient use of power, and availability of public transport for employees) into consideration as part of our approach to acquiring new office space. In addition, we purchase energy-efficient products for our offices and data centers and encourage use of sustainable products including recycled and low environmental impact materials.
Each year hundreds of millions of tons of plastic is produced, a substantial percentage of which is single-use, meaning the item is only used once before being thrown away. Millions of tons of plastic enters the world's seas each year. As a leader in ESG research and applications, MSCI is committed to do its part to promote sustainability and to reduce plastic consumption. MSCI has implemented processes across all of our offices to eliminate single-use plastic items, including water bottles, cutlery, straws, coffee stirrers and other disposable items. Where practical, we are replacing disposable water bottles with pitchers and glassware in offices where we have frequent client meetings and other visitor events. We are also in the process of eliminating under-desk waste-paper baskets so as to focus efforts on recycling items where possible rather than sending them to landfill.
MSCI’s business travel policies encourage employees to plan trips well in advance, to bundle short duration trips into fewer longer term trips and to take fewer physical trips overall by holding virtual meetings supported by audio and video conferencing technologies. As a firm, MSCI averages over 5,000 virtual meetings monthly. By taking these steps, MSCI’s environmental impact linked to physical travel is significantly reduced. In addition, we have implemented practices to reduce paper usage, for example the use of electronic documents rather than paper copies.
We encourage our employees to engage in charitable and community efforts globally. Employees actively participate in volunteer activities for a number of charities, promoting team building and lending to enhanced cross-functional collaboration.
MSCI believes we have a responsibility to the communities in which we live and work. Through our U.S. Charitable Matching Program, we hope to encourage employees to give to charitable organizations that are important to them and their communities. We also proudly sponsor our employees’ participation in charitable walks and events, such as the American Heart Association Wall Street Run & Heart Walk, and various galas that support the important work of non-profit organizations.
MSCI’s dedication to serving our communities around the world is exemplified not only by our corporate-level sponsorship programs, but also by our employee-driven philanthropy efforts. Several of our larger offices have a local philanthropy committee dedicated to organizing charitable contribution drives and employee volunteer events. Past volunteer events include activities with children of incarcerated parents organized by our New York-based employees, serving food to London’s homeless population by our London employees at a homeless community center, a school renovation by our employees in Manila and a Joy of Giving Week organized by our Mumbai office to collect clothes, books and toys for local community children and employees at our Cape Town office donating and creating literacy and mathematics resources for 30 local early childhood development centers in honor of Nelson Mandela Day. Our employees in other cities also organize similar charitable drives collecting donations for under-served communities.
As demonstrated by these sponsorships, volunteer events and charitable drives, we take our corporate social responsibility seriously and will continue to support the philanthropic work of our employees within their local communities.
2018 Volunteer Month
In 2018, July was designated as Volunteer Month for all of MSCI’s offices in North and Latin America. MSCI employees engaged in numerous volunteer activities, including preparing food for homeless people in the local neighborhood (São Paulo), collecting and providing donations to purchase children’s clothing and school supplies (Conshohocken) and environmental initiatives including rehabilitation of urban land (San Francisco).