Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2013 (Revised January 2014)

S&P Indices and the Indexing Business in 2012

by Luis Viceira and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld


In June 2012, Standard & Poor's Indices is finalizing a deal with the CME Group, the largest global exchange for futures and options and majority owner of Dow Jones Indexes, to combine their respective indices business into a new joint venture called S&P Dow Jones Indices. This case discusses the index provider business model through the lenses of this transaction: sources of revenue and profitability, business valuation, uses of indexes in the money management industry, types of indexes, intellectual property protection issues, and competition, marketing, and growth opportunities. The case makes special emphasis on the strategic drivers for business consolidation and combination in an environment of increased competition, trends toward self-indexation, and growth of indexing at a global scale.

Keywords: indexing; Business Model; Joint Ventures; Financial Markets; Standards; Financial Services Industry;


Viceira, Luis, and Alison Berkley Wagonfeld. "S&P Indices and the Indexing Business in 2012." Harvard Business School Case 213-049, June 2013. (Revised January 2014.)