(Bloomberg) -- MSCI isn't usually a name that springs to mind when one thinks of the most powerful players in the global equity market.

The New York-based index compiler doesn't have BlackRock's trillions under management, Morgan Stanley's army of financial advisers or UBS Group AG's storied history. At $7.7 billion, MSCI's market value is too small to crack the top 300 of global financial firms, and its payroll of about 2,700 pales in comparison to that of Franklin Resources, one of America's biggest fund managers.

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