Anthea Stratigos – February 16, 2016
S&P Capital IQ and SNL have become S&P Global Market Intelligence while last week parent company McGraw-Hill Financial’s Board of Directors voted to change their name change to S&P Global, Inc. later this year. Goodbye to a venerable brand, one deemed too close to ‘publishing’ and no longer what the company stands for. Been tracking brands in general, and in information, media and technology for years and am sorry to see this change. Yes, when McGraw-Hill split into two companies it became confusing to have McGraw-Hill Financial and McGraw-Hill Education in two different firms. But the firm was long known and respected in two very different markets – education and finance. Yes, we understand that what’s left of the firm after all its spin-outs is largely these three companies. As we said in very recent Insight, a name change doesn’t change what’s underneath the tent. It doesn’t change culture, it often doesn’t change perception.
We know S&P (Standard & Poors) and Capital IQ and SNL are independently very strong brands and they did a good clean up by taking a string of names and merging them into S&P Global Market Intelligence. And doing that inside a soon to be newly polished name – S&P Global, Inc., is a step in the right direction. But one can’t help but wonder why a name so untarnished and respected for 128 years gets tossed out when S&P’s brand played so heavily in the great recession. Go see The Big Short. It’s a big ouch when it comes to the scene where S&P’s spokeswoman shows up as complicit in an unraveling of the global economy. Wall Street has limited memory we guess. It’s too bad the long memory of a 128 years is going by the wayside. To us McGraw-Hill is diminished under the S&P name. We respect their decision and understand why. We just wish it wasn’t so.