RiskMetrics: Big Educational Change

by TK Kerstetter, for The Board Blog at Borardmember, February 2, 2010.

Many of you saw in the paper that RiskMetrics was rumored to be for sale, which might well have some extended ramifications for corporate directors but actually wasn’t the most significant news to impact today’s boardrooms. That news is RiskMetrics’ announcement (formerly known as ISS) that it will stop accrediting board education programs as of March 1, 2010.

This is pretty significant, since RiskMetrics has been accrediting director programs since 2001 making the accreditation a part of its Corporate Governance Quotient (CGQ) rating system. The fact that it had the power to recommend board or director withhold votes to the 1,500-plus institutional investor client organizations it advises when voting shareholder proxy ballots made most boards and directors aware that there was a “premium” that they attend board educational events accredited by RiskMetrics. When ISS (Institutional Shareholder Services) launched the accreditation program, it felt that education that met its guidelines offered exposure to broader debate around corporate governance best practices. As most of you know, Corporate Board Member is a significant provider of boardroom and governance education and welcomed the review of our boardroom programs. We were always happy to report that RiskMetrics and its predecessor, ISS, viewed the quality of our programs in a very favorable light…(continue reading)

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