EUROPE – US-based corporate governance and proxy voting firm Institutional Shareholder Services is to launch a European operation following the purchase of rival Deminor’s governance arm.

Maryland-based ISS said it has bought Deminor International’s Deminor Rating. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ISS Europe will be headed by Deminor co-founder Jean-Nicolas Caprasse as managing director. It will be based in Brussels with offices in Paris and Amsterdam. ISS put the European proxy voting services at almost $100m, with growth expected in France and the Netherlands.

“Merging with ISS gives us the global scope and capabilities to offer corporate governance and proxy voting services to clients worldwide, meeting the high quality standards required by Deminor Rating clients,” said Caprasse.

“By integrating Europe’s leading corporate governance firm into ISS’ global operation, we’ll be able to deliver a deeper level of European market expertise and on the ground service to our clients,” said ISS chief executive John Connolly.

ISS Europe’s research will cover approximately 3,700 companies across 17 countries.

“Jean-Nicolas is an outstanding business leader and well respected corporate governance professional,” Connolly said.

“This transaction will allow Deminor International to focus on its core business in Europe, while providing the corporate governance unit a better opportunity to grow,” said Deminor partner Pierre Nothomb.