Who put the ‘CI’ in MSCI? | Capital Group
Capital Group


Nilly Sikorsky (left), who was a portfolio manager at Capital for more than 40 years, compiling data for the Capital International World Indices in 1973.

Who put the ‘CI’ in MSCI?

The MSCI indices, provided by MSCI Inc., are among the most recognisable names in the investment world. What many people may not realise is that Capital Group – one of the world’s oldest and largest investment management organisations – was responsible for their creation.


Capital established a presence in Europe in the early 1960s, opening an office in Geneva under the name Capital International. It was there that we created what would become the Morgan Stanley Capital International indices – initially as an internal tool to support our pioneering global investing approach.


MSCI indices are now maintained by MSCI, Inc.

“We had a vision that our clients would benefit on a long-term basis from comparing companies to their global, rather than simply national, competitors.”

Nilly Sikorsky
A retired Capital portfolio manager

An investing pioneer ...

Founded in Los Angeles during the Great Depression, Capital Group has more than 85 years of experience managing portfolios for individuals and institutions.

Since making our first investment outside the United States in 1953, our innovative, global approach to investing has distinguished us among our peers. Capital Group now has more than US$2.1 trillion in assets under management.

... with a vision for our clients

In the early 1960s, our approach led to a pioneering idea: the creation of worldwide sector indices.

“Back then, the global integration of economies was a relatively new phenomenon,” says Nilly Sikorsky, a portfolio manager at Capital for more than 40 years, who was involved in the creation of the Capital International World, and Europe, Australia and the Far East (EAFE) indices, the predecessors of the MSCI World and EAFE indices. “We had a vision, however, that our clients would benefit on a long-term basis from comparing companies to their global, rather than simply national, competitors.” To prove this thesis, and to measure where such an approach could add value, the Capital International World indices were created. These would later be sold to Morgan Stanley in 1998, becoming the Morgan Stanley Capital International indices, which are now the MSCI indices.

Investing with a global perspective

The philosophy of looking at companies in a global context is even more relevant today, and it remains one of the cornerstones of Capital’s investment philosophy. “Our investment professionals make thousands of research visits around the world each year so they can get as complete a picture as they possibly can,” explains Nilly. “They focus on bottomup stock-picking in an attempt to find the best opportunities, not just the nearest. It is with that spirit that we created the world indices, and it’s how we manage all of our portfolios today.”

Before it was delivered electronically, the data for the indices was contained in the catalogue Capital International Perspective

Want to learn more?

Capital Group is one of the oldest and largest asset management companies in the world, managing a range of multi-asset, equity and fixed income investment strategies. For over 85 years our goal has remained the same: to improve people’s lives through successful investing.

A history of global investing
  • 1931

    Founded during the US Great Depression.

  • 1953

    Began investing globally


    Began managing assets using the The Capital SystemSM

  • 1962

    Opened our first European office in Geneva.


    Developed international indices that become the MSCI Indices.

  • 1979

    Opened our London office.

  • 1982

    Opened our Tokyo office, followed by Hong Kong (1983) and Singapore (1989).


    Began managing the world’s first emerging markets equity fund

  • 2008-2009

    Opened our Beijing and Mumbai research offices.

  • 2011-2015

    Expansion in Europe and Asia with 7 new offices opened.


    Began introducing our longstanding and proven mutual funds from the American Funds1 family for European and Asian investors .


    Total AUM US$2.1 trillion


    1American Funds are not registered for sale outside the United States.

We are aligned with long-term investors.

Our investment philosophy is based on doing what we believe is right for investors. To help protect the value of investments, we pay close attention to risk. We base our decisions on a long-term perspective because we believe it is the best way to achieve superior long-term investment results.


Experienced investment professionals, committed to our approach


Built to last — Experience over cycles defines our stability

26% of our portfolio managers experienced the October 1987 crash
58% of our fixed income portfolio managers experienced the difficult 1994 bond market
100% of our portfolio managers have more than 10 years of investment experience

Integrated global research is the backbone of our organisation

A blend of global and local insights

Meeting investor needs with focused strategies


All data as at 31 December 2019. Source: Capital Group
The Capital Group companies manage equity assets through three investment groups that make investment and proxy voting decisions independently. Fixed income investment professionals provide fixed income research and investment management across the Capital organisation; however, for securities with equity characteristics, they act solely on behalf of one of the three equity investment groups. Assets under management totals may not reconcile due to rounding. Fixed income assets managed by Capital Fixed Income Investors.