RiskMetrics Group, the New York-based provider of financial risk management services, has acquired Institutional Shareholder Services, which provides proxy voting and corporate-governance solutions to institutional investors.

ôThe idea is to put together leading examples of every kind of major service for investors,ö says Alvin Lee, managing director at RiskMetrics in Singapore. ôThe two businesses are different but the clients overlap. So what else can we do for them?ö

Ron Papanek, director of strategy at RiskMetrics in New York, says clients, including hedge funds, asset management companies and banks, require a growing range of services as areas such as risk management and corporate governance grow more complex.

He would not reveal other ideas that the firm hopes to pin onto an integrated suite. Although the delivery platforms may vary, RiskMetrics wants to grow services that provide analysis, data and processing for institutional investors. For example, Papanek says RiskMetrics will be able to use ISS data within its own risk-management analytical framework.

ôThis merger isnÆt about cost savings,ö Papanek says. ôItÆs about growth. We will pull together these two businesses so that we can deliver services that donÆt even exist yet. Investors donÆt just need processing but they also need guidance about best practices, and we can apply this to other areas.ö

RiskMetrics was spun out of JPMorgan in 1998. It covers the region from offices in Singapore and Tokyo. ISS has a large operation in Manila, as well as offices in Tokyo and Sydney. Lee says no decisions have yet been made regarding how these offices will be managed, noting that the deal wonÆt close until December or January.