Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS)
The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) is a four-tiered, hierarchical industry and company taxonomy launched in 1999 by MSCI and S&P Dow Jones Indices with the goal of offering the global financial community an efficient and transparent investment tool to capture the breadth, depth and evolution of industry sectors. The GICS classifies companies quantitatively and qualitatively. Each company is assigned a single GICS classification at the sub-industry level depending on its principal business activity. Revenue breakdowns are a key factor in determining principal business activity, as are earnings and market perception. The GICS structure applies to companies globally. MSCI and S&P Dow Jones Indices conduct annual reviews to ensure the GICS structure remains representative.