Nasdaq Inc. (ticker: NDAQ) has acquired Center for Board Excellence (CBE), a privately-held provider of corporate governance and compliance software, a move reflecting a continued push to provide technology solutions to boardrooms.
Nasdaq intends to combine CBE with Nasdaq Governance Solutions, which operates the Nasdaq Boardvantage and Director’s Desk board portal and collaboration technology solutions. CBE, which has been a partner with Nasdaq since 2017, offers solutions including board and committee assessments; director peer assessments; CEO and management evaluations; directors’ & officers’ questionnaires; and other compliance questionnaires.
“We entered into a partnership with CBE a couple of years ago and realized there could be something bigger here,” Michael Bartels, President, Nasdaq Governance Solutions, told CorpGov in an interview. “We have novel software to meet the needs our clients have around corporate governance.”
Some of the software provided by CBE and Nasdaq’s existing suite of products replaces manual labor required for assessments and other tasks. In some cases, the software can take the place of actual phone calls which can be time consuming and prone to error.
Mr. Bartels pointed out that technology has had a role in the boardroom for quite some time and the trend should continue to save time and costs for clients who adopt it. “Our initial acquisition was back in 2007 and you saw some early adopters,” he said. “More and more companies have gotten comfortable embracing software.”
In June, Nasdaq Inc. launched the Nasdaq Center for Corporate Governance, an information and research platform dedicated to supporting boards, senior executives, and governance professionals at public, private, and nonprofit organizations. One function of the center is to produce research such as Where Board and Investor Priorities Intersect, which assessed governance practices from the S&P 100 companies based on public disclosures. The Center is headed by Martyn Chapman, who has written about how directors drive technology adoption in corporate boardrooms.
Nasdaq, services approximately 9,800 clients, including the 4,000 companies listed on its global exchanges such as technology heavyweights Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. The clients beyond its exchanges include other public and private companies along with nonprofit organizations.
“Our products are agnostic as to what exchange a client is listed on,” Mr. Bartels said.
John Jannarone, Editor-in-Chief