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In 2020, our people showed tremendous resilience.

Douglas L. Peterson
President and CEO


The way we work may have changed because of COVID-19. But we never stopped serving customers, markets and all of our stakeholders.

Dear Fellow Shareholder:

The last year tested everyone. Families struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic and personal loss. People and businesses grappled with a steep decline in global economic activity as lockdowns depressed sales and employment. The killing of George Floyd and rising inequality renewed difficult conversations in the U.S. and around the world about race, diversity and inclusion. A deadly mob attacked the U.S. Capitol. And the physical assets of many large corporations are at risk because of severe weather and climate change.

All these events have increased uncertainty about the future, and they raise important questions about the role of business in society. How does the business community demonstrate responsible leadership? How can large multinational companies like ours deliver on our commitments to provide value to all stakeholders? What are the opportunities to rebuild trust in market-based systems with a purpose to serve everyone with whom we do business?

To be sure, the story of how companies are responding to this moment is still being written. But insights are emerging that tell us something about the most resilient companies. They’re the ones that focus on the environment and on societal issues, and that have good governance practices. They’re the ones with crisis response plans and that engage with all their stakeholders.

In 2020, our people showed tremendous resilience, responsibility and resolve to support one another, our customers, our communities, our suppliers, and in doing so, have served our shareholders. I’m incredibly proud of them.


Connecting the Past with the Present

Eighty years ago, Paul Babson, the president of Poor’s Publishing, and Clayton Penhale of Standard Statistics decided to merge their two companies. The principles on which Standard & Poor’s was formed—integrity, independence and insights—are just as relevant to investors and corporate leaders now as they were then. And it is those qualities that are bringing another two great companies together.

Last year, we announced our agreement to merge with IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO). We have enormous respect for IHS Markit and everything its Chairman and CEO Lance Uggla and his team have built. As we look to the future, the combination of our companies will enable us to leverage data and technology so our customers can make even better decisions.

We have a proud tradition of evolution, innovation and resilience that gives me a lot of confidence about the way we will deal with future events. For more than 160 years, we’ve navigated challenges in a wide range of economic cycles, market conditions and global dynamics.

When Henry Varnum Poor was just getting started with Poor’s Publishing in 1860 by writing journals about the emerging railroad industry, America was on the cusp of a secession crisis and the Civil War. When our predecessors who were leading McGraw-Hill Cos. decided to take our company public by listing shares on the New York Stock Exchange in 1929, the country was on the verge of the Great Depression. And when Paul and Clayton merged their companies in 1941, the U.S. was just nine months from entering World War II.

Through it all, our people have displayed integrity, determination and the spirit of innovation.

This year marks our fifth anniversary as S&P Global. This milestone offers a vivid reminder that for generations, the S&P brand has represented trusted financial information. As we go forward, we’ll never stop working to earn the trust of markets and all our stakeholders.



Standard & Poor’s products are showcased in the McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1966 Annual Report, the year in which McGraw-Hill acquired S&P. McGraw Hill Financial was rebranded S&P Global five years ago.


A Resilient Business

2020 Financial Review

We delivered exceptional financial performance in 2020. While the pandemic has crippled many industries and companies, our unique collection of businesses has continued to thrive by providing the essential intelligence needed by our clients to navigate this period of heightened uncertainty.

Last year, revenue increased 11% to $7.44 billion and our adjusted diluted earnings per share rose 23% to $11.69, which compares with the top end of our guidance of $11.45.

These results are testimony to our resilient business model. We generate about 70% of revenue from subscriptions, non-transaction and asset-linked fees. Upon closing our merger with IHS Markit, the portion of our new company’s recurring revenue is projected to increase to 76%.

Another strength of S&P Global is the wide range of sectors that we serve. In addition to financial institutions, we serve numerous industries, including utilities, technology, integrated oil and gas as well as governments. And because of this diversity of revenue, no one industry and certainly no one customer represents a majority of our business. In fact, nonfinancial corporates in industrial categories represent almost 60% of our revenue.

We continue to maintain our strong balance sheet and healthy credit profile for future capital deployment, including steady returns to shareholders.


Powering the Markets of the Future

Having a strategy is one thing. Being able to execute it, especially in times of great unpredictability, is something else. I’m pleased that our long-term strategy, what we call Powering the Markets of the Future, continues to be an effective framework to hold ourselves accountable, allocate capital and chart our path forward. In 2020, we produced meaningful progress in each of the six components of our strategy.


Our 2020 Impact Report will be available on our website in the first half of 2021.

Resilience in 2020 and Beyond: A Focus on ESG

Despite our resilience, we are not immune from risks. Early last year, there were concerns the pandemic could cause a drop in bond issuance, weakness in new sales or subscription renewals, and reduce assets under management connected with our indices. The financial markets finished 2020 strong and we had an excellent year.

But that doesn’t mean we stop evaluating emerging risks, as well as opportunities. If anything, the events of the past year have only sharpened our focus on evolving events that could impact our company. This is where putting a priority on ESG factors is critical to maintaining the sustainability of our business.

We need to keep our own house in order if we are to be a true leader in providing the markets with ESG data, benchmarks and analytics. Here’s what we’re doing.


S&P Global is in an excellent position to power the markets of the future.

Our Way Forward Together

The past year has been difficult as each of us has had to wrestle with big changes in our world. I thank the people on the frontlines for all they’ve done—from the doctors, nurses and scientists, to the police officers and firefighters who keep us safe, to the truck drivers, factory and grocery store workers who do their best to keep supply lines connected, to the community members and nongovernmental organizations pushing for greater equity in society. As business leaders, we need to do our part to create positive change.

As challenging as last year was, it also offered glimpses of inspiration—how we can come together to do great things. In our company, we proved that our long-term strategy, our business portfolio and our people are resilient and act responsibly in everything they do.

As COVID vaccines get administered to more and more people around the globe, we’ll gradually see businesses in sectors hit hardest by the pandemic pick up. It may take a year or more to get back to pre-COVID levels for those businesses. With a rebound in the global economy expected this year, normalization across sectors and with a great team, S&P Global is in an excellent position to Power the Markets of the Future. Thanks for reading and for your interest in our company.



Douglas L. Peterson
President and CEO