MSCI Safety and Wellbeing Actions – COVID-19

MSCI Safety and Wellbeing Actions – COVID-19


Safety and wellbeings into

May 25, 2021

Client statement

MSCI closely monitors and manages the situation regarding COVID-19, including reviewing the recommended practices and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), other qualified medical experts, and the local governments of all our 35 offices globally.

Ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees is our utmost priority and MSCI is undertaking prudent steps to ensure a healthy and productive working environment. Many MSCI offices currently remain fully closed. Some MSCI offices are open, in compliance with local and government guidelines, typically with strict physical distancing requirements in place. Return to any opened MSCI office at this time remains a strictly voluntary decision for each MSCI employee.

In addition, we have in place well-defined location and business-specific continuity plans and processes which we are following to ensure the continued operation of critical products and services.

If you require any further information regarding COVID-19 and MSCI’s business operations, please do not hesitate to contact your key account manager.


FAQs

Client Q&A

Is MSCI’s ability to provide products and services currently impacted due to COVID-19?

At present, there is no material impact to MSCI’s ability to provide products and services to its clients due to COVID-19.

How is MSCI ensuring business continuity considering COVID-19?

Each of MSCI’s offices and business lines maintain location and business-specific continuity plans and processes. These are derived from detailed business impact analyses to determine levels of criticality, risks and operational requirements needed to protect critical products and services.

The plans identify response teams, roles and responsibilities, and operational considerations.

What is MSCI’s crisis management process?

MSCI has a Business Continuity Program (BCP) in place which is supported by a dedicated team. As part of the BCP, MSCI has a formal Crisis Management Structure that includes cross functional groups drawn from each of our offices and leadership from each of our product lines.

Ongoing coordination and communication is maintained through the plan via phone conference bridges, web sites, e-mail and phone messaging systems. Communication to our clients and the public is maintained through coordination between the Crisis Management Team Leadership and Technical Client Services. Clients will be kept informed throughout the pandemic via their account managers or the MSCI Technical Client Services desk or other communications including email and client alerts.

What plans does MSCI have in place to minimize business disruption?

In connection with MSCI’s business resiliency preparations, we maintain and routinely test a Pandemic Response Plan that would be invoked as necessary by our senior management in the event of a significant event impacting any MSCI locations.

Senior management regularly reviews the Pandemic Response Plan with the Business Continuity, HR and Corporate Services teams. The most recent update was performed in March 2021.

MSCI conducts business activities in its offices around the world, headquartered in New York City. In the event of an issue in any of these facilities, employees may continue their functional responsibilities remotely using our secure VPN or where necessary, relocate to an alternate MSCI facility.

What systems does MSCI have in place to ensure data center continuity?

MSCI operates multiple data centers globally which can operate independently of each other to ensure continuity of service for our clients.

All production services include redundant and highly available network components and servers within their architecture, with backup power/UPS and on-site power generators. Production data is backed up locally within the production data center using virtual tape library technology, and production data is replicated to the alternate data center in the pair.

MSCI hosts client applications and services in geographically distinct internet data centers. All data centers are highly secure with 24 x 7 manned/electronic security, video surveillance and biometrics access controls. All data centers have state of the art fire detection and suppression and HVAC power infrastructures. Each data center is served by redundant, scalable internet connections.

Each data center employs redundant UPS systems that receive power from a commercial utility service and are backed up with diesel generators on site. During an extended commercial power outage, fuel providers are on standby to provide additional service with contracts that guarantee diesel delivery.

MSCI client-facing hosted services have high availability built into the design and architecture of the applications. All network equipment including firewalls, routers and switches are redundant with automatic failover in the event of a hardware failure. Client-facing applications employ redundant servers within their architecture including the web, application and database tiers. Most critical servers employ automatic failover mechanisms while warm standby servers require manual failover.

How are MSCI employees able to remain productive if their office is closed?

Where necessary, MSCI employees can continue their functional responsibilities remotely using our secure VPN system or other capabilities available to them.

Has MSCI put in place any travel restrictions in reaction to COVID-19?

MSCI requires internal pre-approval for any business travel to and from any region or country. Such travel must adhere to all relevant governmental regulations and requirements.

In addition to the business travel restrictions, any MSCI employees who have recently traveled to high-risk locations have been instructed to work remotely for at least 14 days prior to returning to any open MSCI offices.

MSCI currently utilizes virtual meetings whenever possible and appropriate.

How long are MSCI’s travel restrictions in place for?

MSCI is continually monitoring the recommendations from the CDC, WHO and all relevant governmental entities. Travel restrictions are in place until further notice.

What steps are being taken to effectively manage pandemic risks?

MSCI has introduced additional measures to mitigate risks to operations and employees from the COVID-19 virus. These include:

  • MSCI reviews its business continuity plans regularly; Business Continuity plans were reviewed recently in April 2021.
  • Multiple location resiliency has been reviewed with all global teams to support the orderly transfer of functions to other MSCI global offices. This process has been documented and tested and will be invoked if required.
  • All MSCI employees have the necessary technology and equipment to operate remotely; internet access remains adequate for most employees. The majority of our workforce is currently operating remotely using secure, industry best practice remote working technologies.
  • MSCI has been globally reviewing and providing additional benefits and support required by any employee who may be impacted directly by COVID - either themselves or members of their immediate families.
  • We are reviewing continuity arrangements with all our data and service providers to ensure our operations will not be impacted.
  • MSCI maintains a Virtual Office Recovery Environment that has been tested with every business function and remains ready for use.
  • Where mandated/recommended by local governments or landlords our offices have been closed and we are operating remotely exclusively.
  • A strict protocol in place ensures immediate closure and sanitizing of any office where:
    • An MSCI employee has an actual or presumptive case of COVID-19.
    • Any tenant or building employee or any visitor in a building in which MSCI is a tenant has an actual or presumptive case of COVID-19.
  • Regularly monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and other government agencies to ensure our actions are up to date.
  • We maintain intensified cleaning and sanitizing activities in our offices.
  • Updates and guidance on COVID-19 are being provided to all our staff.
  • Staff are being reminded to remain vigilant as phishing emails are exploiting concerns about the COVID-19 by offering fake advice etc. to deliver malicious content.
  • Senior management regularly reviews MSCI’s COVID-19 protocols with the Business Continuity, HR and Facilities teams.
  • MSCI functional teams’ Business Continuity Program strategy plans (including remote working and transfer of function) are updated and tested annually or more frequently as required by the external threat landscape.
  • Our existing Business Continuity Plans are being invoked as necessary to hand off operations to staff in other MSCI locations and/or to work remotely.

Has the recent rise in COVID-19 outbreaks in India impacted MSCI’s operations?

Given the recent significant outbreaks across India, we are continuously monitoring the situation, and implementing some elements of our plans to adapt to changes in the country. If further modifications to our plans are deemed necessary, we will adopt them as required.

What risks does COVID-19 pose to MSCI’s supply chain?

MSCI has conducted an analysis of our supply chain and ascertained there is no current impact.

MSCI operates multiple data centers globally which can operate independently of each other to ensure continuity of service. Outlined above are MSCI contingency plans regarding data continuity service provision for our clients.

Specifically, regarding third-party data service providers, MSCI reviews continuity arrangements with all our data and critical service providers to ensure our operations will not be impacted.


Communications to clients

Communication to clients / vendors in advance of visits to an MSCI office

MSCI is not permitting visitors to our offices at this time.

All permitted visitors to MSCI offices are requested to provide details about their recent travel activities and to disclose any flu-like symptoms. No visitors will be permitted entry without providing this information and securing the proper approvals to enter an MSCI office.

We would like to emphasize caution when greeting employees within our offices. Please avoid greeting with a handshake or other forms of close contact. Greeting others at a distance with a verbal acknowledgement can help keep us be safer during these scheduled meetings.

MSCI will continue to closely monitor the ongoing COVID-19 updates and provide updated guidelines as needed.

We believe these prudent steps will help ensure a healthy and productive environment for necessary in-person meetings within MSCI offices.


Events

Event Communications

MSCI has made the decision to cancel all in-person client events now until further notice.

For an event cancellation:

Due to COVID-19 and the resulting travel restrictions, MSCI has taken the decision to cancel some events. Please review an up to date list of events at: https://www.msci.com/events or contact the Events team at event_inquiry@msci.com. We appreciate your understanding of this decision as the health and well-being of our clients, partners and employees remains our utmost priority.

If you require additional information on upcoming MSCI events, please visit msci.com/events.

Should you have any specific questions about this event, please contact MSCI Events at event_inquiry@msci.com.

For an event reschedule:

Due to COVID-19 and the resulting travel restrictions, MSCI has made the decision to reschedule our client events until further notice. Please review an up to date list of events at: https://www.msci.com/events or contact the Events team at event_inquiry@msci.com. We hope to announce a new date for this event in due course. We appreciate your understanding of this decision as the health and well-being of our clients, partners and employees remains our utmost priority.


Additional info

If you require additional information on upcoming MSCI events, please visit msci.com/events.

Should you have any specific questions about this event, please contact MSCI Events at event_inquiry@msci.com.