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Index regulation

Various regulatory bodies and other organizations have turned their attention to the provision and use of benchmarks. MSCI has been actively monitoring these developments and engaging in dialogue with the relevant parties.

Index Governance, Policies and Procedures

MSCI Oversight and Governance Committees

MSCI provides overall oversight and governance for its indexes through a committee structure. Each of these committees has a Terms of Reference:


MSCI indexes

MSCI Index - Oversight Committee

MSCI Index - Risk and Regulatory Committee

MSCI Equity Index Committee


MSCI real estate indexes

MSCI Real Estate Index - Oversight Committee

MSCI Real Estate Index - Risk and Regulatory Committee

MSCI Real Estate Index Committee


MSCI indexes and MSCI real estate indexes

MSCI – Index Policy Committee


How MSCI Manages Conflicts of Interest                                                           

Please see our statement here.


MSCI has been committed to high standards in benchmark administration long before the EU benchmark regulation, as evidenced through our adoption of the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks (described below) and our long history as a respected benchmark provider. We fully support the aims of the EU benchmark regulation and have been an active contributor to its development from the outset.

Below you can find updates about our applications for authorization to become a regulated benchmark administrator in the EU.

Equity indexes: On 5 March 2018, MSCI Limited (located and registered at Ten Bishops Square, 9th Floor, London E1 6EG, UK) was granted authorization by the UK FCA as a UK administrator for all of our MSCI equity indexes. MSCI Limited is listed on the FCA’s register and on the ESMA register for administrators. Additional information about the indexes covered by our authorization can be found here and the benchmark statements can be found here and here respectively.

Real estate indexes:

Under IOSCO, Investment Property Databank Limited (located and registered at Ten Bishops Square, 9th Floor, London E1 6EG, UK) is currently the administrator for all of our fund-based and asset-based real estate indexes (including PAS benchmarks).

Further to the recent consultation on the EU benchmark regulation (“BMR”) and its impact on transparency in the real estate investment market, MSCI has decided to apply in the EU as the benchmark administrator for the following MSCI asset-based and fund-based real estate indexes only*:

  • the AREF/IPD UK Quarterly Property Fund Index,
  • the IPD UK Annual Property Index,
  • the IPD UK Quarterly Property Index,
  • indexes and benchmarks created from the same index universes as the indexes above that a licensed client requests for a BMR regulated use (such use subject to MSCI’s approval in each instance). This includes those used for financial instruments.

MSCI will not allow BMR regulated use of any other MSCI real estate indexes.

MSCI will be establishing a new and separate approval process whereby all BMR regulated uses will need to be registered with MSCI and separately authorized and approved in each instance by MSCI in its discretion, in writing. Usage of any indexes for BMR regulated uses outside this approval process will be strictly prohibited.

MSCI will be providing information in due course about this new process as well as details on the MSCI administrator for these indexes, the anticipated regulatory application timetable, and any changes required as it prepares its application as an EU administrator.

The announcement of the conclusion to MSCI’s consultation on EU benchmark regulation in relation to the MSCI asset-based and fund-based real estate indexes can be found here

* For the period from January 1, 2018 until we are authorized, we intend to use the transitional period afforded to EU administrators under Article 51(1) (and Article 51(5) in the event of a hard Brexit) of the EU benchmark regulation, which permits the use of our existing and new indexes in the EU (as clarified by ESMA’s guidance from July 5, 2017 (and November 8, 2017)) for up to two years.

Should you have any questions, please contact MSCI Client Service.

ESMA Guidelines on ETFs and Other UCITS Issues
For a copy of the MSCI Equity Index policy document on the ESMA Guidelines on ETFs and Other UCITS Issues, please contact MSCI Client Service.

Index constituents information as per ESMA Guidelines can be found here.
IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks

MSCI has a long history of defining and adopting best practice with respect to its index policies and procedures, and we support the aims of the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is an association of organisations that regulate the world’s securities and futures markets. In order to promote transparency, IOSCO published some principles for financial benchmarks in July 2013, calling upon benchmark administrators to disclose their compliance within 12 months of that date.

MSCI has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to undertake an independent reasonable assurance review of MSCI's implementation of the IOSCO Principles for Financial Benchmarks. Reasonable assurance is a higher level of assurance than limited assurance, and copies of the assurance reports can be viewed below:

IOSCO Compliance Statement and Assurance Report - MSCI Equity Indexes
IOSCO Compliance Statement and Assurance Report - MSCI's IPD Indexes and Benchmarks


Data submitters to IPD indexes

We ask data submitters to adhere to our Data Submitter Code of Conduct so that the data submission processes for assets included in the IPD indexes and benchmarks are in line with the IOSCO Principles and best practices.

For further information and if you provide data to us, please read the documents below:

United States IRS 871(M) Regulations Relating to the Definition of a “Qualified Index”
In response to feedback from numerous market participants, MSCI has decided to provide information regarding select indexes to help facilitate MSCI’s clients’ determination whether an index qualifies as a “Qualified Index” under Section 871(m) of the Internal Revenue Code.

MSCI Equity Index Policy regarding United States Irs 871(M) regulations relating to the definition of a “Qualified Index”
MSCI’s Responses to regulatory consultations

ASIC Consultation on Implementing the Financial Benchmark Regulatory Regime – Issued on July 17, 2017
>> MSCI Response

SEBI Discussion Paper on Draft Code of Conduct for Index Providers - Issued on May 31, 2017

>>MSCI responses

ESMA Consultation Paper on draft implementing measures for Benchmarks Regulation (BR)- ESMA /2016/ 723, Issued on May 27, 2016
>> MSCI responses

CFR Consultation Paper on  Financial Benchmarks Regulatory Reform –Issued on March 31, 2016
>> MSCI responses

ESMA Discussion Paper on Benchmark Regulation – ESMA /2016/288, Issued on February 15, 2016
>> MSCI response

SEC Proposed Rule – Investment Company Reporting Modernization (Release No.33-9776) - File No.: S7- 08- 1, issued on May 20, 2015 >> MSCI response

FCA Consultation Paper – CP15/18 on Fair, Reasonable and Non-discriminatory access to regulated benchmarks, issued on June 3, 2015 >>MSCI Responses

ESMA Consultation Paper on draft Regulatory & Implementing Technical Standards (RTS/ITS) for  implementation of MiFID II/MiFIR,  issued on December  19, 2014 >> MSCI Response

ESMA Consultation Paper on draft Implementing Technical Standards on main indices and recognised exchanges under the Capital Requirements Regulation, issued on September 29, 2014 >> MSCI Response

MAS Consultation Paper on Amendments to SFA on Regulation of Financial Benchmarks, issued on July 29, 2014 >> MSCI Response
ESMA Consultation Paper on MiFID/MiFIR, issued on May 22, 2014  >> MSCI Annex to Response 2
ESMA Consultation Paper on Principles for Benchmark-Setting Processes in the EU, issued January 11, 2013 >>MSCI response >>IPD response
IOSCO Financial Benchmarks Consultation Report, issued January 11, 2013 >> MSCI and IPD Response to IOSCO Principles Financial Benchmarks. IPD Consultation Response OICU-IOSCO
EU Commission Consultation Document on the Regulation of Indices, issued September 5, 2012 >> MSCI response
Formal Index Complaints

While we strive to provide quality products and services, if you have a formal index complaint regarding our index products, please follow the procedure as outlined below. Formal index complaints include complaints regarding whether a specific index appropriately represents the market, segment or strategy it seeks to measure, complaints regarding a proposed change to the index determination process, complaints regarding an application of the methodology in relation to a specific index determination, and complaints regarding other decisions in relation to the index determination process.

Formal index complaints relating to our equity indexes or real estate indexes must be submitted through the web form found here.

MSCI’s formal index complaints policy can be found here. For the avoidance of doubt, this process covers formal index complaints only. For general questions about our equity indexes, please contact MSCI Client Service. For general questions about our real estate indexes, please contact the IPD Client Services team via

Contact us

If you have further questions, contact a MSCI representative.

MSCI Index Methodologies

MSCI Real Estate Index Methodology

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