What is a GICS Code?
Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) codes were developed by MSCI, a leading provider of research-based, investment decision support tools for investors globally and Standard & Poor’s, an American financial services company. The aim of GICS is to enhance investment research and asset management processes for financial professionals worldwide. The methodology used is now widely accepted in the financial and investment community and has led to efficiencies and transparencies throughout investment processes.
The GICS structure consists of 10 sectors, 24 industry groups, 67 industries and 156 sub-industries.
Key Points to the GICS Structure:
The structure applies to companies globally
The structure precisely reflects the state of industries in equity investment areas
The structure provides 4 levels of analysis from broad to most specific
The structure is reviewed annually by MSCI and Standard & Poor's
Investment research, portfolio management, asset allocation
Provides a global structure for benchmarking sectors
Serves as a performance measurement tool and basis of structures products
Gives investors the ability to analyze and back test asset allocation and performance trends
Source and more info: http://www.msci.com/products/indices/sector/gics/