RiskMetrics has announced that it will be launching a new governance rating service known as “Governance Risk Indicators” (GRId) that will succeed its current governance rating product known as “Corporate Governance Quotients” (CGQ). GRId will assess companies along the areas of board, compensation/remuneration, shareholder rights and audit; it will be focused on the level of concern (low, medium, high) across the four areas rather than ranking a company relative to industry or index peers. GRId will also factor into its analysis local market nuances to assess best practices and will tie to RiskMetrics’ proxy voting policy. Additionally, RiskMetrics will no longer evaluate director education programs and GRId will not include director education as a variable for consideration. RiskMetrics plans on disclosing to the issuer community the GRId criteria and scoring methodology in mid-February 2010 and plans on having a data verification site freely available to corporate issuers in early March 2010.
GRId is expected to be launched in early March 2010. CGQ scores will be frozen in early March 2010 and retired completely at the end of June 2010.