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Forum reference:

Proposed market-defined alternative to advisor-defined scoring of corporate governance practices


Note: The project reported below was organized by the Shareholder Forum with the support of its corporate and investor participants. Shortly after the announcement, however, the new management of IRRC abandoned the project in favor of a contemplated staff-defined variation of the ISS scoring system to which the project was intended to provide an alternative. IRRC never developed either type of scoring system and was eventually sold to ISS.


Source: Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), as published by PR Newswire: October 2, 2002 announcement

IRRC and TrueCourse Join Forces to Develop a Governance Index to Meet the Investment Community's Demand for Objectivity

     WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Investor Responsibility Research Center, Inc. (IRRC) announced today plans for a strategic partnership with TrueCourse, Inc.,  a New York based financial research  firm specializing in takeover defense intelligence, to provide a fact-based corporate governance scoring system and related products. Institutional investors and corporations alike have expressed a need for an objective corporate governance product that provides value-added analysis based on clearly identified factors which investor, corporate and professional decision-makers consider relevant to the "health" of a corporation, and consequently, true shareholder value in that corporation.

     IRRC's CEO, Linda Crompton said, "With the growing importance of corporate governance, our clients' needs will be met with the launch of a product based on IRRC's high quality, objective, and independent research and the product development and research skills of TrueCourse."

     The product will feature a scoring system developed interactively with key market constituents. Advisory panels consisting of representatives from a broad range of investor, corporate, and professional organizations will identify the quantitative factors to be covered by the scoring system. To ensure that the scores reflect market views, IRRC will survey their client base to determine how U.S. institutional investors actually weight the relative importance of factor categories.

     TrueCourse will develop a web product for analyzing and benchmarking the data used for the new scoring system. This searchable database will be based upon the technology of with additional features to reflect the unique needs of corporations and investment professionals.

     "In an era of governance ratings overload, the key isn't who has the most data, it's who has the most objective data," said Jim Sussmann, President, TrueCourse. "Our process will help establish industry standards based upon extensive market participation. Our products will provide insight and give members of the investment community what they need, when they need it."

     Carol Bowie, IRRC's Director of Corporate Governance Services and a leading speaker on executive compensation issues, noted, "Companies can be guaranteed no conflict of interest since we will not be negotiating input from a corporation. Our product will be developed with total transparency and all companies covered will have the opportunity to view their scores without any charges or other conditions."

     TrueCourse brings to the alliance an exceptional track record of researching and delivering complex data with a user-friendly interface and a high degree of functionality. IRRC's reputation for impeccable research, in-depth understanding of corporate governance issues, and unquestioned ethics will offer the marketplace new options to meet their pressing needs.

      About IRRC:  Founded in 1972, IRRC is the world leader in high quality, impartial research on corporate governance, proxy voting, and social responsibility issues affecting investors and corporations. IRRC's clients include institutional investors, labor unions, corporations, law firms, and socially responsible organizations. For additional information on IRRC products and services, visit

      About TrueCourse, Inc.: TrueCourse is the leader in takeover defense intelligence. Through its web product,, TrueCourse addresses the needs of investment banks, law firms, corporations and institutional investors. For additional information, visit

SOURCE  Investor Responsibility Research Center, Inc.


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