GLOBAL - US corporate governance experts The Corporate Library and GovernanceMetrics International (GMI) have announced a merger, effective immediately.

The deal will see both groups retain their names, as well as their home offices in New York and Portland, Maine, but will examine possible integrated services over the coming months.

Richard Bennett, chief executive at The Corporate Library as well as the new combined entity, said the merger filled a void for global corporate governance research and ratings in the investment and insurance markets.

Editor and co-founder of The Corporate Library, Nell Minow, added: "The financial crisis has catapulted ESG information on public companies into the spotlight."

Howard Sherman, former chief executive of GMI, has become executive director and head of global business development, while the chairman of GMI, Gavin Anderson, will join The Corporate Library's board, along with Sherman.

Additionally, former GMI research director John Jarrett will take on the additional role of chief operating officer in the new GMI unit.

The Corporate Library, founded in 1999, conducts corporate governance research and portfolio risk assessment.

Earlier this year, it published a paper advising investors to think carefully about how to vote on labour standard resolution, as it believed poor standards resulted in greater investment risk.