Proxy advisory firm ISS receives SEC Wells notice

Oct 2 (Reuters) - Investment analysis and market index company MSCI Inc said its proxy advisory unit, Institutional Shareholder Services, received a Wells Notice on Sept. 14 related to a whistleblower complaint made against an employee of the unit.

The employee in question was found to have leaked client voting data to a proxy solicitor in return for meals and tickets to various events and was subsequently sacked in March.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may recommend a public administrative proceeding against ISS for violations under the Investment Advisers Act, MSCI said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

In the Wells Notice, the SEC said ISS's systems allowed client account managers access to view voting information pertaining to any of the proxy firm's clients as opposed to only those assigned to them.

A Wells Notice indicates the SEC plans to recommend that the commission take legal action, and gives a recipient a chance to mount a defense.

MSCI said ISS is cooperating with the SEC and does not expect the outcome of this matter to have an adverse affect on its business.

Shares of MSCI closed at $35.82 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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