Index fees fatigue: Regulators, startups move in on the big 3 providers’ $5 billion business

Users of index data often complain about the fees they have to fork out, particularly to the likes of S&P, FTSE Russell, and MSCI. WatersTechnology examines the state of the industry and what will disrupt the status quo.

The index industry has long been dominated by three providers: S&P Dow Jones Indices, MSCI, and FTSE Russell.

In 2020, these companies made up 70% of global index industry revenues valued at $4.1 billion. In 2021, revenues increased to $5 billion, according to Burton-Taylor International Consulting. The big three make, on average, profit margins of 70% to 80%, a figure that has caught the eye of regulators, particularly the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

In March 2020, the FCA began

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