Letter from the Chairman
S&P Global has been the name that treasurers and traders, lenders and borrowers, and risk managers and portfolio managers have turned to for the insights they need to make important decisions. This is what S&P Global calls “essential intelligence.”
Dear Fellow Shareholder:
Welcome to our first Annual Report as S&P Global. A year ago you approved changing the Company’s name to better reflect its core businesses in international capital and commodities markets and the rich heritage of Standard & Poor’s. Since then, S&P Global has been the name that treasurers and traders, lenders and borrowers, and risk managers and portfolio managers have turned to for the insights they need to make important decisions. This is what S&P Global calls “essential intelligence.”
In 2016, the independent data, benchmarks and analytics S&P Global offers were as essential as ever as investors, corporate professionals and market participants tried to manage through periods of global market turbulence.
As a result, S&P Global performed well last year. Management produced profitable growth. Employees across the Company displayed strong execution. And the Board and senior leadership team demonstrated a disciplined approach to allocating capital—the conviction to step away from an investment when it doesn’t make economic sense and to step forward when it does. Together, these factors have sustained the Company’s commitment to building shareholder value.
To underscore this commitment, in January 2017, the Board of Directors increased the regular quarterly cash dividend on the Company’s common stock by almost 14% to $0.41. The annualized rate of $1.64 per share represents a compounded annual growth rate of 9.6% since 1974. In total last year, the Company returned $1.5 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases.
Although share price is not the sole measure of our performance, it is worth acknowledging that over the past five years the total annualized return for our stock has been 19.05% as compared to 12.23% for the S&P 500.
Maximizing Shareholder Value
* As of 12/31/16
The Board has been working closely with management to maintain the steady growth of S&P Global. We have been actively engaged with them to set and provide oversight of long-term strategy goals, including putting a priority on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and we align executive compensation with performance in order to hold teams accountable and reward excellence.
Driving profitable growth and building long-term shareholder value are top priorities for the Board, but they are not the only ones. Maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance is also a focal point. As such, the Company is continually searching for talented leaders with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join our Board.
We appointed four new leaders to our Board since I wrote to you last year. Maria R. Morris, Monique F. Leroux, Stephanie C. Hill and Marco Alverà are accomplished executives with critical experience in finance, investing, technology and global business operations. Their appointments demonstrate the Company’s pledge to invite people with diverse points of view, skills and experience into the boardroom to guide S&P Global.
S&P Global accomplished a lot in 2016 and I look forward to what lies ahead.
In times like these, when markets are demanding and evolving, our oversight responsibilities, including making sure that management is executing on long-term priorities such as investments in technology and people never wavers.
On behalf of your Board of Directors, I thank you for your interest in S&P Global.
Charles E. “Ed” Haldeman, Jr.
Chairman of the Board