The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan bought Glass, Lewis & Co., the prominent investment-research and proxy-services provider, from Xinhua Finance Ltd. of Shanghai for $46 million on Friday.
The pension plan, which had $106 billion in net assets as of December 31, 2006, administers the pensions of 271,000 active and retired Ontario teachers. Glass, Lewis, which was founded in 2003, currently provides services to institutions that manage more than $15 trillion.
While Ontario plan officials will take part in strategy development by the Glass, Lewis board, they won’t tackle the company’s day-to-day management, according to Brian Gibson, the fund’s senior vice president for public equities, who notes that the San Francisco company’s operations will remain separate from the fund. He says Glass, Lewis will continue to market its research and proxy-voting services to money managers and institutional investors.
“Corporate governance has always been an important issue for institutional investors like Teachers’,” says Gibson. “The investment in Glass, Lewis ensures that investors will have an impartial, expert source of information on corporate governance, accounting, and legal issues at public companies for years to come.”