MSCI acquires Burgiss to strengthen its multi-asset class offering and to expand its private assets leadership

Henry Fernandez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at MSCI
Henry Fernandez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at MSCI

MSCI Inc., a global provider of mission-critical decision support tools and services for the global investment community, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining 66% of The Burgiss Group, LLC (Burgiss) for $697 million in cash.

What does Burgiss bring to MSCI’s portfolio?

Burgiss is a Hoboken, New Jersey-based market-leading provider of data, analytics, and technology solutions for investors in private assets. Since its initial investment in January 2020, MSCI will have invested an aggregate of $913 million to acquire all of Burgiss.

With more than 35 years of expertise in alternative investments, Burgiss offers private asset data, analytics, and software applications, including leading research-quality performance data that dates back to 1978. The Burgiss dataset covers more than 13,000 private asset funds around the world, representing $15 trillion in cumulative investments across private equity, private real estate, private debt, infrastructure, and natural resources across 195 countries.

Burgiss serves about 1,000 clients – limited partners, financial intermediaries, and general partners – in 40 countries with 650+ employees across the U.S., Europe, APAC, and South Africa. Burgiss’ leadership across private asset classes complements MSCI’s leading position in private real estate, which includes Real Capital Analytics, acquired in September 2021.

MSCI offers private real estate data and analytics covering over one million properties representing more than $45 trillion in transactions and portfolio assets in over 170 countries. The acquisition of Burgiss will provide MSCI with comprehensive data and deep expertise in all private assets, enabling investors to evaluate fundamental information, measure and compare performance, understand exposures, manage risk, and conduct robust analytics.

MSCI will also enable investors to compare performance and risk across private and public asset classes, which will facilitate more efficient asset allocations. This acquisition will also expand MSCI’s suite of multi-asset class tech solutions with the industry leading Burgiss Caissa Platform, developed for institutional investors and providing a comprehensive view of the drivers of performance and risk in both public and private investments in total portfolios.

What are MSCI’s thoughts on the acquisition?

Henry Fernandez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MSCI, said: “The acquisition of Burgiss marks a transformational milestone for MSCI and reinforces our commitment to driving innovation and transparency across the global private asset investment landscape.”

“By combining Burgiss’ comprehensive private asset data and analytics with MSCI’s expertise in research, analytics, data and technology for investments across public asset classes, we are aiming to redefine total portfolio investing and build solutions that can help investors manage their complex portfolios and make better informed decisions,” Henry Fernandez said.

“Burgiss will help us expand one of our key strategic growth opportunities and generate substantial value for our shareholders over time. I am confident that our pre-existing partnership with Burgiss will support our successful integration of this new business.”

What does the acquisition mean for Burgiss?

Commenting on the acquisition, Jim Kocis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Burgiss, said: “The combination with MSCI marks a significant landmark event in Burgiss’ journey.”

Jim Kocis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Burgiss
Jim Kocis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Burgiss

“In this next phase, our combined capabilities are poised to create even more powerful solutions that can help better navigate and drive innovation across private assets.”

MSCI anticipates funding the purchase consideration from existing liquidity sources. Burgiss is expected to generate over $90m of revenue in 2023 with an EBITDA margin and operating income margin in the mid-teens. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Burgiss’ financial results will be presented as part of MSCI’s All Other – Private Assets reportable segment.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as legal adviser to MSCI on the transaction.