Following up on our series of shareholder engagement blogs, when engaging with ISS, there’s one thing that is at the top of the “Never Do” list. That is mentioning that your company subscribes to the services of ISS Corporate Solutions.
The research arm of ISS – the policy side – is the one that develops and applies the voting policies that ISS has. The clients for this research arm are institutional investors. ISS Corporate Solutions is a separate branch that sells services to companies, to help companies understand the policies that the research arm applies. There’s a wall between these two ISS entities, which ISS takes very seriously.
If you do mention you subscribe to ISS Corporate Solutions during a call with ISS’ research arm, that call will be immediately ended by ISS. They will then be forced to run that occurrence up the ladder within ISS – and it might wind up in you not being successful persuading ISS on an issue where you might have otherwise won the day.
So again, do NOT try to curry favor by ISS by mentioning – by even hinting – that ISS Corporate Solutions advised or otherwise helped your company do anything. Nary a word.