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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K  
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
 OR  
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 Commission file number: 1-14443
GARTNER, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)  
Delaware04-3099750
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
P.O. Box 10212
56 Top Gallant Road
Stamford,
Connecticut06902-7700
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (203) 316-1111
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading SymbolName of each exchange
on which registered
Common Stock, $0.0005 par value per shareITNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  No 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes  No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes No
As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $10.5 billion, based on the closing price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.
As of February 12, 2021, there were 88,721,548 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
The definitive Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on June 3, 2021 is incorporated by reference into Part III to the extent described therein.















































GARTNER, INC.
2020 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS

  
   
  
   
  
   
  








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PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS.

GENERAL

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow. We believe our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

Gartner delivers its products and services globally through three business segments – Research, Conferences and Consulting, as described below.

Research provides trusted, objective insights and advice on the mission-critical priorities of leaders across all functional areas of an enterprise through reports, briefings, proprietary tools, access to our research experts, peer networking services and membership programs that enable our clients to drive organizational performance.

Conferences provides business professionals across an organization the opportunity to learn, share and network. From our Gartner Symposium/Xpo series, to industry-leading conferences focused on specific business roles and topics, to peer-driven sessions, our offerings enable attendees to experience the best of Gartner insight and advice.

Consulting combines the power of Gartner market-leading research with custom analysis and on-the-ground support to help chief information officers and other senior executives driving technology-related strategic initiatives move confidently from insight to action.

The fiscal year of Gartner is the twelve-month period from January 1 through December 31. All references to 2020, 2019 and 2018 herein refer to the fiscal year unless otherwise indicated. When used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the terms “Gartner,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” refer to Gartner, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

MARKET OVERVIEW
Enterprise leaders face enormous pressure to stay ahead and grow profitably amidst constant changes. Whether it is a digital transformation, a global health crisis, or large-scale regulatory changes, business leaders today are facing significant disruptive changes. We believe that enterprises cannot be operationally effective unless they incorporate the right strategy, management and technology decisions into every part of their business. This requirement affects all business levels, functions and roles. Chief financial officers, heads of human resources, chief marketing officers, chief information officers, heads of supply chain and other executives and leaders turn to Gartner for decision-making guidance and execution support to achieve their mission-critical priorities.

OUR SOLUTION
We believe our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions and actions on the issues that matter most. We employ a diversified business model that utilizes and leverages the breadth and depth of our intellectual capital. The foundation of our business model is our ability to create and distribute our proprietary research content as broadly as possible via published reports, interactive tools, facilitated peer networking and briefings; our conferences, including the Gartner Symposium/Xpo series; and consulting and advisory services.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Our diversified business model provides multiple entry points and sources of value for our clients that lead to increased client spending on our research and advisory services, conferences and consulting services. A critical part of our long-term strategy is to increase business volume and penetration with our most valuable clients, identifying relationships with the greatest sales potential and expanding those relationships by offering strategically relevant research and advice. We also seek to extend the Gartner brand name to develop new client relationships, augment our sales capacity and expand into new markets around the world. These initiatives have created additional revenue streams through more effective packaging, campaigning and cross-selling of our products and services. In addition, we seek to increase our revenue and operating cash flow through more effective pricing of our products and services.
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Our principal products and services are delivered through our three business segments, as described below.

RESEARCH. Gartner delivers independent, objective advice to leaders across an enterprise through subscription services that include on-demand access to published research content, data and benchmarks, and direct access to a network of approximately 2,150 research experts located around the globe. Gartner research is the fundamental building block for all Gartner products and services. We combine our proprietary research methodologies with extensive industry and academic relationships to create Gartner products and services that address each role across an enterprise. Within the Research segment, Global Technology Sales (“GTS”) sells products and services to users and providers of technology, while Global Business Sales (“GBS”) sells products and services to all other functional leaders, such as human resources, supply chain, marketing, and finance.

Our research agenda is defined by clients’ needs, focusing on the critical issues, opportunities and challenges they face every day. We are in steady contact with more than 14,000 distinct client enterprises worldwide. We publish tens of thousands of pages of original research annually, and our research experts had more than 490,000 direct client interactions in 2020. Our size and scale enable us to commit vast resources toward broader and deeper research coverage and to deliver insight to our clients based on what they need and where they are. The ongoing interaction of our research experts with our clients enables us to identify the most pertinent topics to them and develop relevant product and service enhancements to meet the evolving needs of users of our research. Our proprietary research content, presented in the form of reports, briefings, updates and related tools, is delivered directly to the client’s desktop via our website and/or product-specific portals.

Clients normally sign subscription contracts that provide access to our research content and advisory services for individual users over a defined period. We typically have a minimum contract period of twelve months for our research and advisory subscription contracts and, at December 31, 2020, a significant portion of our contracts were multi-year.

CONFERENCES. Gartner conferences are designed for IT and business executives as well as decision makers looking to adapt and evolve their organizations through disruption and uncertainty, navigate risks and prioritize investments. Attendees experience sessions led by Gartner research experts, and the sessions include cutting-edge technology solutions, peer exchange workshops, one-on-one analyst and advisor meetings, consulting diagnostic workshops, keynotes and more. Our conferences also provide attendees with an opportunity to interact with business executives from the world’s leading companies. In addition to role-specific summits and workshop-style seminars, Gartner hosts the Gartner Symposium/Xpo series, including its unique, flagship IT Symposium/Xpo®, which is usually held at nine locations worldwide annually. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gartner attracted more than 85,000 business and technology professionals to its 70+ destination conferences worldwide in 2019. We also hosted 700+ live meetings each year for peer collaboration and networking, and 240+ exclusive C-level meetings through the Evanta brand. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we pivoted to producing virtual conferences with a focus on maximizing the value we deliver for our clients. During the second half of 2020, Gartner successfully held 15 virtual conferences with nearly 39,000 attendees, including eight Symposiums/Xpos. In addition, during 2020 we hosted 400+ virtual peer networking meetings, and through the Evanta brand we hosted 450+ exclusive C-level virtual meetings.

CONSULTING. Through its experienced consultants, Gartner Consulting serves chief information officers and other senior executives who are driving technology-related strategic initiatives to optimize technology investments and drive business impact. Gartner Consulting combines the power of Gartner’s market-leading research with custom analysis and on-the-ground support to help clients to turn insights and advice into action and impact.

Consulting solutions capitalize on Gartner assets that are invaluable to information technology (“IT”) decision-making, including: (1) our extensive research, which ensures that our consulting analyses and advice are based on a deep understanding of the IT environment and the business of IT; (2) our market independence, which keeps our consultants focused on our clients’ success; and (3) our market-leading benchmarking capabilities, which provide relevant comparisons and best practices to assess and improve performance. Additionally, we provide actionable solutions for a range of IT-related priorities, including IT cost optimization, digital transformation and IT sourcing optimization.

COMPETITION

We believe that the principal factors that differentiate us from our competitors are as follows:

Superior research content - We believe that we create the broadest, highest-quality and most relevant research coverage across all major functional roles in an enterprise. Our independent operating model and research analysis generates
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unbiased insight that we believe is timely, thought-provoking and comprehensive, and that is known for its high quality, independence and objectivity.

Our leading brand name - We have provided critical, trusted insight under the Gartner name for more than 40 years.

Our global footprint and established customer base - We have a global presence with clients in more than 100 countries on six continents. A substantial portion of our revenue is derived from sales outside of the United States.

Experienced management team - Our management team is comprised of research veterans and experienced industry executives with long tenure at Gartner.

Substantial operating leverage in our business model - We can distribute our intellectual property and expertise across multiple platforms, including research and advisory subscription and membership programs, conferences and consulting engagements, to derive incremental revenue and profitability.

Vast network of research experts and consultants - As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 2,150 research experts and 730 experienced consultants located around the world. Our research experts are located in more than 30 countries, enabling us to cover vast aspects of business and technology on a global basis.

Notwithstanding these differentiating factors, we face competition from a significant number of independent providers of information products and services. We compete indirectly with consulting firms and other data and information providers, including electronic and print media companies. These indirect competitors could choose to compete directly with us in the future. In addition, we face competition from free sources of information that are available to our clients through the internet. Limited barriers to entry exist in the markets in which we do business. As a result, new competitors may emerge and existing competitors may start to provide additional or complementary services. While we believe the breadth and depth of our research positions us well versus our competition, increased competition could result in loss of market share, diminished value in our products and services, reduced pricing, and increased sales and marketing expenditures.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Our success has resulted in part from proprietary methodologies, software, reusable knowledge capital and other intellectual property rights. We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, confidentiality, non-compete and other contractual provisions to protect our intellectual property rights. We have policies related to confidentiality, ownership, and the use and protection of Gartner’s intellectual property. We also enter into agreements with our employees and third parties as appropriate that protect our intellectual property, and we enforce these agreements if necessary. We recognize the value of our intellectual property in the marketplace and vigorously identify, create and protect it. Additionally, we actively monitor and enforce contract compliance by our end users.

HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

We believe our people are our most valuable asset, enabling our long track record of global growth. From attracting diverse talent through our recruitment process to cultivating that talent with learning and development opportunities and rewards for strong performers to supporting overall wellness with meaningful benefits and engagement, we strive to put our people first. At December 31, 2020, we had approximately 15,600 employees in over 90 offices globally, and the overwhelming majority of our employees were full time.

Gartner is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees without regard to any legally protected status. This commitment is formalized in our global and U.S. equal employment opportunity policies. We continually renew this commitment by seeking to optimize our recruitment and professional development processes, create networking and educational opportunities, celebrate heritage and history, encourage community service and outreach, and create safe spaces for all employees.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We foster an environment of professional development to help our employees reach their full potential. This includes embracing diversity and actively removing barriers to support inclusion, engagement and growth at Gartner. Our Executive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council, composed of our CEO, Chief Human Resources Officer, CFO, General Counsel, head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, head of DEI Research within our Gartner HR research practice, and other selected
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leaders, drives diversity, equity and inclusion as an imperative at all levels of the organization. In addition, the newly formed DEI Center of Excellence, which reports directly to our Chief Human Resources Officer, is working to codify our strategy and to establish goals against key metrics to drive greater transparency and accountability. Our teams of employees are composed of individuals from different geographies, cultures, religions, ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and generations working together to solve problems. As of December 31, 2020, approximately 44% of our employees and 30% of our board of directors identified as female, and our employees were represented by more than 80 self-identified nationalities working in 38 different countries around the world.

We also focus on the role of unconscious bias and endeavor to build tools that help make various business processes more inclusive and accommodate a more diverse perspective. We emphasize the importance of inclusion to leaders and managers and how to foster a sense of belonging within their teams. In 2020, we introduced a new leadership forum called the Leadership Exchange (LeadEx) for all Vice Presidents and above. The forum provides sessions for leaders to share experiences, ask questions and gain perspective on effectively leading people within the context of current events and the rapidly changing environment.

The Company supports a number of employee-driven Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that bring employees together to foster a diverse, inclusive and supportive workplace. Gartner currently has formal ERGs supporting underrepresented racial, ethnic and multicultural backgrounds, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and veterans. Participation in ERGs is voluntary and open to all employees. In 2020, our ERGs had more than 4,900 associate memberships, and the groups delivered 100+ programs.

Health, Safety and Compensation

We seek to invest in meaningful, innovative and inclusive compensation and benefit programs that support physical, financial and emotional well-being of our employees. In addition to salaries, these programs (which vary by country/region) include annual bonuses, stock awards, an employee stock purchase plan, 401(k) matching, healthcare and insurance benefits, tax savings programs, such as health and dependent care flexible spending accounts, health savings account and pretax commuter benefits, generous paid time off, paid parental leave, life and disability insurance, business travel accident insurance, charity matching, employee assistance programs, tuition assistance and on-site services, such as health centers and fitness centers, among others. We believe that our equity grants facilitate retention as well as encourage performance of key personnel.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented significant changes to protect the health and safety of our employees, clients and the communities in which we operate. This includes the temporary closure of our offices (including our corporate headquarters) in the United States, United Kingdom, India, and several other impacted locations around the world, as well as the cancellation of in-person conferences. In general, even where offices have reopened, our employees have the option to work remotely and we have implemented additional safety guidelines to protect them. We also provide a number of free mental and behavioral health resources, including access to the Employee Assistance Program for employees and their dependents.

Talent Development and Training

Gartner aims to foster a culture of lifelong learning, getting feedback and evolving. In addition to helping employees unlock their full potential through mechanisms like continuous feedback and performance appraisals, we have dedicated programs designed to develop effective leaders, including our Gartner Manager Program and Tenured Manager Program. We also offer rotational programs and an online learning experience platform for employees called GartnerYou. In 2020, GartnerYou offered close to 35,000 learning resources, with more than 343,000 completions globally. Since our Sales and Research & Advisory teams make up more than 50% of total employees worldwide, we also have formal, dedicated programs to help train and onboard new hires as well as more experienced managers and leaders within Sales and Research & Advisory. In 2020, we had eight dedicated programs for new hires across our sales teams, which were attended by approximately 900 employees. Through these programs, we believe our teams develop role-specific knowledge and skills, increase productivity and improve performance.

We encourage you to review the “Our Associates” section of our Corporate Responsibility Report located on our website at gartner.com, under the “Corporate Responsibilities” link in the “About” tab for more detailed information regarding our Human Capital programs and initiatives. Nothing on our website, including our Corporate Responsibility Report or sections thereof, shall be deemed incorporated by reference into this Annual Report,or any other filing we make with the SEC.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

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Our U.S. government contracts are subject to the approval of appropriations by the U.S. Congress to fund the agencies contracting for our products and services. Additionally, our contracts at the state and local levels, as well as foreign government contracts, are subject to various governmental authorizations and funding approvals and mechanisms. Certain of these contracts may be terminated at any time by the government entity without cause or penalty.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

Our internet address is gartner.com and the Investor Relations section of our website is at investor.gartner.com. We make available free of charge, on or through the Investor Relations section of our website, printable copies of our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Unless expressly noted, the information on our website or any other website is not incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K and should not be considered part of this Form 10-K or any other filing we make with the SEC.

Also available at investor.gartner.com, under the “Governance” link, are printable and current copies of our: (i) CEO and CFO Code of Ethics, which applies to our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Controller and other financial managers; (ii) Global Code of Conduct, which applies to all Gartner officers, directors and employees, wherever located; (iii) Principles and Practices of the Board of Directors of Gartner, Inc., the corporate governance principles that have been adopted by our Board; and (iv) charters for each of the Board’s standing committees: Audit, Compensation and Governance/Nominating. We will disclose any waiver we grant to an executive officer or director under our Code of Ethics, or certain amendments to the Code of Ethics, on our website at investor.gartner.com, under the “Governance” link.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.

We operate in a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment that involves numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control. In addition, we and our clients are affected by global economic conditions and trends. The following sections address significant factors, events and uncertainties that make an investment in our securities risky. We urge you to consider carefully the factors described below and the risks that they present for our operations, as well as the risks addressed in other reports and materials that we file with the SEC and the other information, included or incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K. When the factors, events and contingencies described below or elsewhere in this Form 10-K materialize there could be a material adverse impact on our business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows, and could therefore have a negative effect on the trading price of our common stock. Additional risks not currently known to us or that we now deem immaterial may also harm us and negatively affect your investment. In addition to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting global disruptions on our business and operations discussed in Item 7 of this Form 10-K and in the risk factors below, additional or unforeseen effects from the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic climate may give rise to or amplify many of these risks discussed below.

Risks Related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a material adverse impact on our operations and financial performance, as well as on the operations and financial performance of many of our customers, and the duration and extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect our operations, financial performance, results of operations, achievement of strategic objectives, and/or stock price remains uncertain. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widespread health crisis that has adversely affected, and is expected to continue to adversely affect, our operations, financial performance and demand for our products and services. It has also adversely affected the operations and financial performance of many of our clients. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in, and is expected to continue to result in, a substantial curtailment of business activities (including the decrease in demand for a broad variety of products and services both regionally and globally), weakened economic conditions, significant economic uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets.

The COVID-19 pandemic has subjected our operations and financial performance to a number of risks that may have a material adverse impact on our operations and financial condition, including, but not limited to those discussed below:

Cost-saving measures by our clients have adversely affected, and could continue to adversely affect, their ability or willingness to attend our conferences, purchase our products or engage our consultants. Such measures also lengthened payment terms in some of our contracts and negatively impacted retention rates. Such measures could also reduce the duration of some of our subscription contracts and delay purchasing decisions of potential clients.

We have temporarily closed Gartner offices (including our corporate headquarters) in the United States, United Kingdom, India, and several other impacted locations around the world and implemented significant travel restrictions. Though many
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of our employees continue to work remotely, these changes impact the normal operation of our business. Although we have plans to reopen most offices in the fall of 2021, reopening is subject to many factors outside of our control. As a result, we cannot predict for certain when or how we will begin to lift the actions put in place as part of our business continuity plans, including work from home protocols and travel restrictions.

We have cancelled or postponed all in-person conferences through at least August 2021, pivoting to virtual conferences. We held 15 virtual conferences during the second half of 2020, and plan on holding approximately 20 virtual conferences from February 2021 through August 2021. These virtual conferences are expected to result in significantly less revenue and gross contribution, but we believe aid in client retention and engagement. For additional information about how COVID-19 affects our Conferences business, see the Risk Factor titled “The profitability and success of our conferences and other meetings are subject to external factors beyond our control.

Our management is focused on mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on our business, which has required and will continue to require, a substantial investment of time and may delay other value-added services.

Additionally, we face challenges from evolving factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not within our control, remain uncertain and to which we may not effectively respond. For example, our operations span numerous locations around the world, and many local governments and countries have imposed or may impose various restrictions on our employees, partners and customers’ physical movement to limit the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions are constantly changing, and we cannot predict how long and to what extent they will continue. Moreover, COVID-19 has adversely impacted, and may continue to adversely impact, our subscription-based business model (which accounts for a significant portion of our revenue) by causing clients to decrease new and renewals of subscription-based services and to request to cancel or renegotiate current subscription-based services. The effect of COVID-19 on our subscription-based model may not be fully reflected in our results of operations until future periods.

Further, the duration and extent of the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our operations and financial performance depend on future developments that cannot currently be accurately predicted, such as:

the severity and transmission rate of the virus;
the extent and effectiveness of containment actions;
the timing of the development and distribution of effective vaccines and/or treatments and their acceptance by the general public;
the health and well-being of our workforce;
the extent and duration of the effect on client spending and the impact of these and other factors on our employees, customers, partners and vendors;
the impact on our liquidity;
increased volatility and pricing in the capital markets;
the effect of the pandemic on the credit-worthiness of our customers;
global economic conditions and levels of economic growth; and
the pace of recovery when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

The occurrence or continuation of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our operations or financial performance.

The impact of COVID-19, and the volatile regional and global economic conditions stemming from the pandemic, may also precipitate or exacerbate other risks discussed in Item 1A. Risk Factors in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, any of which could have a material effect on us. This situation is changing rapidly and additional effects may arise that we are not presently aware of or that we currently do not consider to present significant risks to our operations. If we are not able to respond to and manage the impact of such events effectively, our business and financial condition will be negatively impacted.

Strategic and Operational Risks

We may not be able to maintain the quality of our existing products and services. We operate in a rapidly evolving market, and our success depends on our ability to deliver high quality and timely research and analysis to our clients. Any failure to continue to provide credible and reliable information and advice that is useful to our clients could have a material adverse effect
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on future business and operating results. Further, if our published data, opinions or viewpoints prove to be wrong, lack independence, or are not substantiated by appropriate research, our reputation will suffer and demand for our products and services may decline. In addition, we must continue to improve our methods for delivering our products and services in a cost-effective manner via the internet and mobile applications. Failure to maintain state of the art electronic delivery capabilities could materially adversely affect our future business and operating results.

We may not be able to enhance and develop our existing products and services or introduce the new products and services that are needed to remain competitive. The market for our products and services is characterized by rapidly changing needs for information and analysis. The development of new products is a complex and time-consuming process. Nonetheless, to maintain our competitive position, we must continue to anticipate the needs of our clients, develop, enhance and improve our existing products, as well as new products and services to address those needs, deliver all products and services in a timely, user-friendly and state of the art manner, and appropriately position and price new products and services relative to the marketplace and our costs of developing them. Any failure to achieve successful client acceptance of new products and services could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial position. Additionally, significant delays in new product or service releases or significant problems in creating new products or services could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial position.

Technology is rapidly evolving, and if we do not continue to develop new product and service offerings in response to these changes, our business could suffer. Disruptive technologies are rapidly changing the environment in which we, our clients, and our competitors operate. We will need to continue to respond to these changes by enhancing our product and service offerings to maintain our competitive position. However, we may not be successful in responding to these forces and enhancing our products on a timely basis, and any enhancements we develop may not adequately address the changing needs of our clients. Our future success will depend upon our ability to develop and introduce in a timely manner new or enhanced existing offerings that address the changing needs of this constantly evolving marketplace. Failure to develop products that meet the needs of our clients in a timely manner could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial position.

Our Research business depends on renewals of subscription-based services and sales of new subscription-based services for a significant portion of our revenue, and our failure to renew at historical rates or generate new sales of such services will lead to a decrease in our revenues. A large portion of our success depends on our ability to generate renewals of our subscription-based research products and services and new sales of such products and services, both to new clients and existing clients. These products and services constituted approximately 81% and 73% of total revenues from our on-going operations for 2020 and 2019, respectively. Generating new sales of our subscription-based products and services, both to new and existing clients, is a challenging, costly, and often time-consuming process. If we are unable to generate new sales, due to competition or other factors, our revenues will be adversely affected.

Our research subscription contracts are typically for twelve months or longer. Our ability to maintain contract renewals is subject to numerous factors, including the following:

delivering high-quality and timely analysis and advice to our clients;

understanding and anticipating market trends and the changing needs of our clients; and

providing products and services of the quality and timeliness necessary to withstand competition.

Additionally, as we continue to adjust our products and service offerings to meet our clients’ continuing needs, we may shift the type and pricing of our products which may impact client renewal rates. While our Research client retention rate was 83% and 82% at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, there can be no guarantee that we will continue to maintain this rate of client renewals.

The profitability and success of our conferences and other meetings are subject to external factors beyond our control. Our Conferences business constituted approximately 3% and 11% of total revenues from our on-going operations in 2020 and 2019, respectively. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cancelled or postponed all in-person conferences in March 2020 through the end of the calendar year, which had a material adverse effect on our 2020 Conferences business. We have also cancelled or postponed all in-person conferences through at least August 2021. We held 15 virtual conferences during the second half of 2020, and plan on holding approximately 20 virtual conferences through August 2021. These virtual conferences are expected to result in significantly less revenue and gross contribution, but we believe aid in client retention and engagement.

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We expect our Conferences revenues will continue to be negatively impacted until in-person conferences can be held. Moreover, our clients that typically attend these conferences may have pandemic-related travel restrictions in place that could affect attendance once these conferences resume. At this time, we also cannot predict what additional measures will be required to hold in-person conferences safely, such as providing masks, social distancing and increased sanitation. These safety requirements would likely cause us to incur additional costs and may limit the number of participants at our in-person conferences. In addition, perceived or actual spread of coronavirus at one of our conferences could cause reputational damage. The safety of our associates and clients remain our top priority so future in-person conferences will be held only if we determine the relevant impacts of COVID-19 have sufficiently receded in the jurisdictions where our conferences are to be held.

We also face risks related to insurance coverage for our cancelled conferences. Our event cancellation insurance provides up to $170 million in coverage for 2020 with the right to reinstate that amount one time if those limits are utilized. The insurer has contested our right to reinstate limits and to include in reinstated limits conferences cancelled due to COVID-19. We are in litigation with the insurer on these issues. It is unclear when we will receive the proceeds from these insurance claims and if we will have difficulty obtaining future event cancellation insurance at favorable rates, which could affect our financial results.

The market for desirable dates and locations for our activities has historically been highly competitive. Once we decide to resume in-person conferences, if we cannot secure desirable dates and suitable venues for our conferences the profitability for these conferences will suffer, and our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. In addition, because our conferences are scheduled in advance and held at specific locations, the success of these activities can be affected by circumstances outside of our control in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the occurrence of or concerns related to labor strikes, transportation shutdowns and travel restrictions, economic slowdowns, reductions in government spending, geopolitical crises, terrorist attacks, war, weather, natural disasters, communicable diseases, and other occurrences impacting the global, regional, or national economies, the occurrence of any of which could negatively impact the success of the conference or meeting. We also face the challenge of procuring venues that are sizeable enough at a reasonable cost to accommodate some of our major activities.

Our Consulting business depends on non-recurring engagements and our failure to secure new engagements could lead to a decrease in our revenues. Consulting segment revenues constituted approximately 9% of total revenues from our on-going operations in both 2020 and 2019. Consulting engagements typically are project-based and non-recurring. In addition, revenue from our contract optimization business can fluctuate significantly from period to period and is not predictable. Our ability to replace consulting engagements is subject to numerous factors, including the following:

delivering consistent, high-quality consulting services to our clients;

tailoring our consulting services to the changing needs of our clients; and

our ability to match the skills and competencies of our consulting staff to the skills required for the fulfillment of existing or potential consulting engagements.

A material decline in our ability to replace consulting engagements will have an adverse impact on our revenues and our financial condition.

We may not be able to attract and retain qualified personnel which could jeopardize the quality of our products and services and our future growth plans. Our success is based on attracting and retaining talented employees and we depend heavily upon the quality of our senior management, research analysts, consultants, sales and other key personnel. The market for highly skilled workers and leaders in our industry is extremely competitive. Maintaining our brand and reputation is important to our ability to recruit and retain employees. We face competition for qualified professionals from, among others, technology companies, market research firms, consulting firms, financial services companies and electronic and print media companies, some of which have a greater ability to attract and compensate these professionals. Additionally, some of the personnel that we attempt to hire are subject to non-compete agreements that could impede our short-term recruitment efforts. Our employee hiring and retention also depend on our ability to build and maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that enables our employees to thrive. We may also be limited in our ability to recruit internationally by restrictive domestic immigration laws, and changes to policies that restrain the flow of technical and professional talent could inhibit our ability to adequately staff our research and development and other efforts. An inability to retain key personnel or to hire and train additional qualified personnel could materially adversely affect the quality of our products and services, as well as our future business and operating results. In addition, effective succession planning is important to our long-term success, and failure to ensure effective transfer of knowledge and smooth transitions involving key employees could hinder our strategic planning and execution.

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If we are unable to enforce and protect our intellectual property rights, our competitive position may be harmed. We rely on a combination of copyright, trademark, trade secret, patent, confidentiality, non-compete and other contractual provisions to protect our intellectual property rights. Despite our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights, unauthorized third parties may obtain and use technology or other information that we regard as proprietary. Our intellectual property rights may not survive a legal challenge to their validity or provide significant protection for us. The laws of certain countries, particularly in emerging markets, do not protect our proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Accordingly, we may not be able to protect our intellectual property against unauthorized third-party copying or use, which could adversely affect our competitive position. Additionally, there can be no assurance that another party will not assert that we have infringed its intellectual property rights.

Our employees are subject to restrictive covenant agreements (which include restrictions on employees’ ability to compete and solicit customers and employees) and assignment of invention agreements, to the extent permitted under applicable law. When the period expires relating to their particular restrictions, former employees may compete against us. If a former employee violates the provisions of the restrictive covenant agreement, we seek to enforce the restrictions but there is no assurance that we will be successful in our efforts.

Privacy concerns could damage our reputation and deter current and potential clients from using our products and services or attending our conferences. Concerns relating to global data privacy have the potential to damage our reputation and deter current and prospective clients from using our products and services or attending our conferences. In the ordinary course of our business and in accordance with applicable laws, we collect personal information (i) from our employees, (ii) from the users of our products and services, including conference attendees, and (iii) from prospective clients. We collect only basic personal information from our clients and prospects. While we believe our overall data privacy procedures are adequate, the theft or loss of such data, or concerns about our practices, even if unfounded, with regard to the collection, use, disclosure, or security of this personal information or other data protection related matters could damage our reputation and materially adversely affect our operating results. Any systems failure or compromise of our security that results in the disclosure of our users’ personal data could seriously limit the consumption of our products and services and the attendance at our conferences, as well as harm our reputation and brand and, therefore, our business.

We are exposed to risks related to cybersecurity. A significant portion of our business is conducted over the internet and we rely on the secure processing, storage and transmission of confidential, sensitive, proprietary and other types of information relating to our business operations and confidential and sensitive information about its customers and employees in our computer systems and networks, and in those of our third-party vendors. Individuals, groups, and state-sponsored organizations may take steps that pose threats to our operations, our computer systems, our employees, and our customers. The cybersecurity risks we face range from cyber attacks common to most industries, such as the development and deployment of malicious software to gain access to our networks and attempt to steal confidential information, launch distributed denial of service attacks, or attempt other coordinated disruptions, to more advanced threats that target us because of our prominence in the global research and advisory field.

Like many multinational corporations, we, and some third parties upon which we rely, have experienced cyber attacks on our computer systems and networks in the past and may experience them in the future, likely with more frequency and sophistication, and involving a broader range of devices and modes of attack, all of which will increase the difficulty of detecting and successfully defending against them. To date, none have resulted in any material adverse impact to our business, operations, products, services or customers. We have implemented various security controls to both meet our security compliance obligations, while also defending against constantly evolving security threats. Our security controls help to secure our information systems, including our computer systems, intranet, proprietary websites, email and other telecommunications and data networks, and we scrutinize the security of outsourced website and service providers prior to retaining their services. However, the security measures implemented by us or by our outside service providers may not be effective and our systems (and those of our outside service providers) are vulnerable to theft, loss, damage and interruption from a number of potential sources and events, including unauthorized access or security breaches, cyber attacks, computer viruses, power loss, or other disruptive events. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place orders, most of our employees in affected areas are working remotely, which magnifies the importance of the integrity of our remote access security measures. Additionally, the security compliance landscape continues to evolve, requiring us to stay apprised of changes in cybersecurity laws, regulations, and security requirements required by our clients, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Brazilian General Data Protection Law (LGPD), the Chinese Cybersecurity and draft Data Security laws, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Recent well-publicized security breaches at other companies have led to enhanced government and regulatory scrutiny of the measures taken by companies to protect against cyber attacks, and may in the future result in heightened cybersecurity requirements, including additional regulatory expectations for oversight of vendors and service providers.
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A cyber attack, widespread internet failure or internet access limitations, or disruption of our critical information technology systems through denial of service, viruses, or other events could cause delays in initiating or completing sales, impede delivery of our products and services to our clients, disrupt other critical client-facing or business processes or dislocate our critical internal functions. Additionally, any material breaches of cybersecurity or other technology-related catastrophe, or media reports of perceived security vulnerabilities to our systems or those of our third parties, even if no breach has been attempted or occurred, could cause us to experience reputational harm, loss of customers and revenue, fines, regulatory actions and scrutiny, sanctions or other statutory penalties, litigation, liability for failure to safeguard our customers’ information, or financial losses that are either not insured against or not fully covered through any insurance maintained by us.

Any of the foregoing may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

We may experience outages and disruptions of our online services if we fail to maintain an adequate operations infrastructure. Our increasing user traffic and complexity of our products and services demand more computing power. We have spent and expect to continue to spend substantial amounts for access to data centers and equipment and to move more of our workload into cloud services, to upgrade our technology and network infrastructure to handle increased traffic on our websites, and to deliver our products and services through emerging channels, such as mobile applications. However, any inefficiencies or operational failures could diminish the quality of our products, services, and user experience, resulting in damage to our reputation and loss of current and potential users, subscribers, and advertisers, potentially harming our financial condition and operating results.

We have grown, and may continue to grow, through acquisitions and strategic investments, which could involve substantial risks. We have made and may continue to make acquisitions of, or significant investments in, businesses that offer complementary products and services or otherwise support our growth objectives. The risks involved in each acquisition or investment include the possibility of paying more than the value we derive from the acquisition, dilution of the interests of our current stockholders should we issue stock in the acquisition, decreased working capital, increased indebtedness, the assumption of undisclosed liabilities and unknown and unforeseen risks, the ability to retain key personnel of the acquired company, the inability to integrate the business of the acquired company, increase revenue or fully realize anticipated synergies, the time to train the sales force to market and sell the products of the acquired business, the potential disruption of our ongoing business and the distraction of management from our day to day business. The realization of any of these risks could adversely affect our business. Additionally, we face competition in identifying acquisition targets and consummating acquisitions.

We face risks related to leased office space. We assumed a significant amount of leased office space, in particular in Arlington, Virginia, in connection with the acquisition of CEB Inc. in 2017. In Arlington, we have consolidated all our businesses into a single building and have sublet substantially all of the excess space in our other properties. Through our real estate consolidations and other related activities, we have tried to secure quality sub-tenants with appropriate sub-lease terms. However, if subtenants default on their sublease obligations with us or otherwise terminate their subleases with us, we may experience a loss of planned sublease rental income, which could result in a material charge against our operating results. Additionally, the long-term impact of COVID-19 on leased office space availability and rental costs of leased office space is not yet known.

To accommodate our growth going forward, we have moved to a global hoteling option to better manage our footprint and operating expenses, and will secure new space when the opportunities and need arise. If the new spaces are not completed on schedule, or if the landlord defaults on its commitments and obligations pursuant to the new leases, we may incur additional expenses. In addition, unanticipated difficulties in initiating operations in a new space, including construction delays, IT system interruptions, or other infrastructure support problems, could result in a delay in moving into the new space, resulting in a loss of employee and operational productivity and a loss of revenue and/or additional expenses, which could also have an adverse, material impact on our operating results.

Our sales to governments are subject to appropriations and some may be terminated early. We derive significant revenues from research and consulting contracts with the United States government and its respective agencies, numerous state and local governments and their respective agencies, and foreign governments and their agencies. At December 31, 2020 and 2019, approximately $689 million and $639 million, respectively, of our outstanding revenue contracts were attributable to government entities. Our U.S. government contracts are subject to the approval of appropriations by the U.S. Congress to fund the agencies contracting for our services. Additionally, our contracts at the state and local levels, as well as foreign government contracts, are subject to various governmental authorizations and funding approvals and mechanisms. Certain of these contracts may be terminated at any time by the government entity without cause or penalty (“termination for convenience”). In addition, contracts with U.S. federal, state and local, and foreign governments and their respective agencies are subject to increasingly complex bidding procedures and compliance requirements, as well as intense competition. While terminations by governments
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have not been significant historically, should appropriations for the various governments and agencies that contract with us be curtailed, or should our government contracts be terminated for convenience, we may experience a significant loss of revenues.

We may not be able to maintain the equity in our brand name. We believe that our “Gartner” brand, in particular our independence, is critical to our efforts to attract and retain clients and top talent, and that the importance of brand recognition will increase as competition increases. We may also discover that our brand, though recognized, is not perceived to be relevant by new market segments we have targeted. We may expand our marketing activities to promote and strengthen the Gartner brand and may need to increase our marketing budget, hire additional marketing and public relations personnel, and expend additional sums to protect our brand and otherwise increase expenditures to create and maintain client brand loyalty. If we fail to effectively promote, maintain, and protect the Gartner brand, or incur excessive expenses in doing so, our future business and operating results could be materially adversely impacted.

Our outstanding debt obligations could negatively impact our financial condition and future operating results. As of December 31, 2020, the Company had outstanding debt of $400 million under its 2020 term loan and revolving credit facility (the “2020 Credit Agreement”), $800 million of Senior Notes due 2028 (the “2028 Notes”) and $800 million of Senior Notes due 2030 (the “2030 Notes”). Additional information regarding the 2020 Credit Agreement, the 2028 Notes and the 2030 Notes is included in Note 6 — Debt in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

The debt service requirements of these borrowings could impair our future financial condition and operating results. In addition, the affirmative, negative and financial covenants of the 2020 Credit Agreement, as well as the covenants related to the Senior Notes, could limit our future financial flexibility. A failure to comply with these covenants could result in acceleration of all amounts outstanding, which could materially impact our financial condition unless accommodations could be negotiated with our lenders and noteholders. No assurance can be given that we would be successful in doing so, or that any accommodations that we were able to negotiate would be on terms as favorable as those currently in place. The outstanding debt may limit the amount of cash or additional credit available to us, which could restrain our ability to expand or enhance products and services, respond to competitive pressures or pursue future business opportunities requiring substantial investments of additional capital.

In addition, variable-rate borrowings under our 2020 Credit Agreement typically use LIBOR as a benchmark based on market participant judgments for establishing the rate of interest. LIBOR is the subject of recent national and international regulatory scrutiny, which may result in changes that cause LIBOR to disappear entirely after June 2023 for rates applicable to the 2020 Credit Agreement and our existing derivatives contracts, and December 2021 for any new debt and derivatives contracts that we may enter into. The changes may also cause LIBOR to perform differently than in the past. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC), which was convened by the Federal Reserve Board and the New York Fed, has identified the Secured Oversight Financing Rate (SOFR) as the recommended risk-free alternative rate for USD LIBOR. The future consequences of these LIBOR developments on our variable-rate borrowings, including the possible transition to rates based on observable transactions, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), cannot be predicted at this time, but could include an increase in the cost of our variable-rate indebtedness and volatility in our earnings.

We may require additional cash resources which may not be available on favorable terms or at all. We may require additional cash resources due to changed business conditions, implementation of our strategy and stock repurchase program, to repay indebtedness or to pursue future business opportunities requiring substantial investments of additional capital, including acquisitions. If our existing financial resources are insufficient to satisfy our requirements, we may seek additional borrowings or issue debt. Prevailing credit and debt market conditions may negatively affect debt availability and cost, and, as a result, financing may not be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. In addition, the incurrence of additional indebtedness would result in increased debt service obligations and could require us to agree to operating and financial covenants that would further restrict our operations.

Natural disasters, pandemics, terrorist acts, war, actions by governments, and other geopolitical activities could disrupt our operations. We operate in numerous U.S. and international locations, and we have offices in a number of major cities across the globe. The occurrence of, or concerns related to, a major weather event, earthquake, flood, drought, volcanic activity, disease or pandemic, or other natural disaster could significantly disrupt our operations. In addition, acts of civil unrest, failure of critical infrastructure, terrorism, armed conflict, war, and abrupt political change, as well as responses by various governments and the international community to such acts, can have a negative effect on our business. Such events could cause delays in initiating or completing sales, impede delivery of our products and services to our clients, disrupt or shut down the internet or other critical client-facing and business processes, impede the travel of our personnel and clients, dislocate our critical internal functions and personnel, and in general harm our ability to conduct normal business operations, any of which can negatively impact our financial condition and operating results. Such events could also impact the timing and budget decisions of our clients, which could materially adversely affect our business.
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Macroeconomic and Industry Risks

We are subject to risks from operating globally. We have clients in more than 100 countries and a substantial amount of our revenue is earned outside of the United States. Our operating results are subject to all of the risks typically inherent in international business activities, including general political and economic conditions in each country, challenges in staffing and managing foreign operations, changes in regulatory requirements, compliance with numerous and complex foreign laws and regulations, currency restrictions and fluctuations, the difficulty of enforcing client agreements, collecting accounts receivable and protecting intellectual property rights including against economic espionage in international jurisdictions. Further, we rely on local distributors or sales agents in some international locations. If any of these arrangements are terminated by our agent or us, we may not be able to replace the arrangement on beneficial terms or on a timely basis, or clients of the local distributor or sales agent may not want to continue to do business with us or our new agent.

Additionally, tariffs, trade barriers and restrictions, and other acts by governments to protect domestic markets or to retaliate against the trade tariffs and restrictions of other nations could negatively affect our business operations. In addition, the withdrawal of nations from existing common markets or trading blocs, such as the exit of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (the EU), commonly referred to as Brexit, could be disruptive and negatively impact our business and the business of our clients. We continue to monitor Brexit and its potential impacts on our results of operations and financial condition. In connection with Brexit, on December 24, 2020, the EU and the United Kingdom reached an agreement on a new trade arrangement that became effective on January 1, 2021. Once the new rules are formalized, there could be near or long-term negative impacts on our UK business. If this agreement and the new rules, once formalized, lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations in the United Kingdom and EU, then we, as well as our clients who have significant operations in the United Kingdom, may incur additional costs and expenses as we adapt to the new trade agreements. For example, we may face additional administrative procedures when purchasing tangible goods and equipment from the EU. Additionally, volatility in foreign currencies and other markets may also arise as the UK and EU work though the new trade arrangements. The impact of any of these effects of Brexit, among others, could materially harm our business and financial results.

Our operating results could be negatively impacted by global economic conditions. Our business is impacted by general economic conditions and trends in the United States and abroad. In its recent report, Global Economics Prospects, January 2021, the World Bank reported that following a collapse in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic output is expected to expand 4 percent in 2021 but still remain more than 5 percent below pre-pandemic projections. The report also indicated that global growth is projected to moderate to 3.8 percent in 2022, weighed down by the pandemic’s lasting damage to potential growth. The report noted that the global recovery, which has been dampened in the near term by a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, is expected to strengthen over the forecast horizon as confidence, consumption, and trade gradually improve, supported by ongoing vaccination. A downturn in growth could negatively and materially affect future demand for our products and services in general, in certain geographic regions, in particular countries, or industry sectors. In addition, U.S. federal, state and local government spending limits may reduce demand for our products and services from those governmental agencies as well as organizations that receive funding from those agencies, and could negatively affect macroeconomic conditions in the United States, which could further reduce demand for our products and services. Such difficulties could negatively impact our ability to maintain or improve the various business measurements we utilize (which are defined in this Annual Report), such as contract value and consulting backlog growth, client retention, wallet retention, consulting utilization rates, and the number of attendees and exhibitors at our conferences and other meetings. Failure to achieve acceptable levels of these measurements or improve them will negatively impact our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

We face significant competition and our failure to compete successfully could materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, and cash flows. The markets for our products and services are characterized by intense competition and we face direct competition from a significant number of independent providers of information products and services, including information available on the internet free of charge. We also compete indirectly against consulting firms and other information providers, including electronic and print media companies, some of which have greater financial, information gathering and marketing resources than we do. These indirect competitors could also choose to compete directly with us in the future. In addition, low barriers to entry exist in the markets in which we do business. As a result, new competitors may emerge, and existing competitors may start to provide additional or complementary services. Additionally, technological advances may provide increased competition from a variety of sources.

There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully compete against current and future competitors and our failure to do so will result in loss of market share, diminished value in our products and services, reduced pricing and increased marketing expenditures. Furthermore, we will not be successful if we cannot compete effectively on quality of research and analysis,
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timely delivery of information, customer service, the ability to offer products to meet changing market needs for information and analysis, or price.

We are exposed to volatility in foreign currency exchange rates from our international operations. A significant portion of our revenues are typically derived from sales outside of the United States. Revenues earned outside the United States are typically transacted in local currencies, which may fluctuate significantly against the U.S. dollar. While we use forward exchange contracts to a limited extent to seek to mitigate foreign currency risk, our revenues and results of operations could be adversely affected by unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations.

Legal and Regulatory Risks

Our failure to comply with complex U.S. and foreign laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our operations or financial condition. Our business and operations may be conducted in countries where corruption has historically penetrated the economy. It is our policy to comply, and to require our local partners, distributors, agents, and those with whom we do business to comply, with all applicable anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, regulations established by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and with applicable local laws of the foreign countries in which we operate. There can be no assurance that all of our employees, contractors and agents will comply with the Company’s policies that mandate compliance with these laws. Any determination that we have violated or are responsible for violations of these laws, even if inadvertent, could be costly and disrupt our business, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and cash flows, as well as on our reputation. For example, during the second half of 2018 we cooperated fully with a South African government commission established to review a wide range of issues related to the country’s revenue service, including the procurement and fulfillment of consulting agreements we entered into with the revenue service through a sales agent from late 2014 through early 2017. We fully cooperated with the commission and in parallel, we commenced an internal investigation regarding this matter. We voluntarily disclosed the matter to the SEC and Department of Justice (DOJ) in November 2018 and are cooperating fully with their review, including executing tolling agreements. At this time, we do not believe the ultimate outcome of these matters will have a material effect on our financial results, however, an unexpected adverse resolution of these matters could negatively impact our financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity.

In addition, continuously evolving data protection laws and regulations, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the recent decision in the Schrems II case, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Brazilian General Data Protection Law (LGPD), and the Chinese Cybersecurity and draft Data Security laws pose increasingly complex compliance challenges. We have implemented GDPR, CCPA and LGPD compliance programs. In the meantime, Gartner will continue to maintain and rely upon our comprehensive global data protection compliance program, which includes administrative, technical, and physical controls to safeguard our associates’ and clients’ personal data. The interpretation and application of these laws in the United States, the EU and elsewhere are often uncertain, inconsistent and ever changing. Complying with these various laws could cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices in a manner adverse to our business.

We face risks related to litigation. We are, and in the future may be, subject to a variety of legal actions, such as employment, breach of contract, intellectual property-related, and business torts, including claims of unfair trade practices and misappropriation of trade secrets. Given the nature of our business, we are also subject to defamation (including libel and slander), negligence, or other claims relating to the information we publish. Regardless of the merits of any claim and despite vigorous efforts to defend any such claim, claims can affect our reputation, and responding to any such claim could be time consuming, result in costly litigation and require us to enter into settlements, royalty and licensing agreements which may not be offered or available on reasonable terms. If a claim is made against us that we cannot defend or resolve on reasonable terms, our business, brand, and financial results could be materially adversely affected.

We face risks related to taxation. We are a global company and a substantial amount of our earnings is generated outside of the United States and taxed at rates less than the U.S. statutory federal income tax rate. Our effective tax rate, financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected by earnings being higher than anticipated in jurisdictions with higher statutory tax rates and, conversely, lower than anticipated in jurisdictions that have lower statutory tax rates, by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and/or by changes in tax laws or accounting principles and their interpretation by relevant authorities.

Corporate tax reform, base-erosion efforts and tax transparency continue to be high priorities in many countries. Tax reform legislation is being proposed or enacted in a number of jurisdictions where we do business. During 2015, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released final reports on various action items associated with its initiative to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). In 2020, the OECD further proposed a two-pillar approach to global taxation (BEPS 2.0), focusing on global profit allocation and a global minimum tax rate. While consensus has yet to be reached on
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BEPS 2.0, numerous countries have and continue to propose tax law changes intended to address BEPS. The future enactment by various governments of these and other proposals could significantly increase our tax obligations in many countries where we do business. These actual, potential, and other changes, both individually and collectively, could materially increase our effective tax rate and negatively impact our financial position, results of operations, and cash flows. We will continue to monitor and reflect the impact of such legislative changes in future financial statements as appropriate.

In addition, our tax filings for various years are subject to examination by domestic and international taxing authorities and, during the ordinary course of business, we are under audit by various tax authorities. Recent and future actions on the part of the OECD and various governments have increased scrutiny of our tax filings. Although we believe that our tax filings and related accruals are reasonable, the final resolution of tax audits may be materially different from what is reflected in our historical tax provisions and accruals and could have a material adverse effect on our effective tax rate, financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.

As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $119.5 million of accumulated undistributed earnings in our non-U.S. subsidiaries. Our cash and cash equivalents are held in numerous locations throughout the world. At December 31, 2020, 56% of our cash and cash equivalents was held overseas, with a substantial portion representing accumulated undistributed earnings of our non-U.S. subsidiaries. Under generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America, no provision for income taxes that may result from the remittance of accumulated undistributed foreign earnings is required if the Company intends to reinvest such earnings overseas indefinitely. The Company intends to continue to reinvest its accumulated undistributed foreign earnings, except in instances where the repatriation of those earnings would result in minimal additional tax. As a result, we have not recognized income tax expense on the amounts deemed permanently reinvested.

Our corporate compliance program cannot guarantee that we are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. We operate in a number of countries, including emerging markets, and as a result we are required to comply with numerous, and in many cases, changing international and U.S. federal, state and local laws and regulations. Accordingly, we have a corporate compliance program that includes the creation of appropriate policies defining employee behavior that mandate adherence to laws, employee training, annual affirmations, monitoring and enforcement. However, failure of any employee to comply with any of these laws, regulations or our policies, could result in a range of liabilities for the employee and for the Company, including, but not limited to, significant penalties and fines, sanctions and/or litigation, and the expenses associated with defending and resolving any of the foregoing, any of which could have a negative impact on our reputation and business.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

Our anti-takeover protections may discourage or prevent a change of control, even if a change in control would be beneficial to our stockholders. Provisions of our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law may make it difficult for any party to acquire control of us in a transaction not approved by our Board of Directors. These provisions include: (i) the ability of our Board of Directors to issue and determine the terms of preferred stock; (ii) advance notice requirements for inclusion of stockholder proposals at stockholder meetings; and (iii) the anti-takeover provisions of Delaware law. These provisions could discourage or prevent a change of control or change in management that might provide stockholders with a premium to the market price of their common stock.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.

None.
 
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES.

As of December 31, 2020, we leased approximately 20 domestic and 70 international office properties for our ongoing business operations. These offices, which exclude certain properties that we sublease to others, support our executive and administrative activities, research and consulting, sales, systems support, operations, and other functions. Our corporate office is based in Stamford, Connecticut. We also maintain an important presence in: Fort Myers, Florida; Arlington, Virginia; Egham, the United Kingdom; Gurgaon, India; Irving, Texas; and Barcelona, Spain. The Company does not own any real property.

Our Stamford corporate headquarters is comprised of leased office space in three buildings located on the same campus. Our lease for the Stamford headquarters facility expires in 2027 and contains three five-year renewal options at fair value. Additionally, we lease office space in a fourth building adjacent to our Stamford headquarters facility under a lease designed to be co-terminus with our headquarters lease. We have options for additional space in this fourth building.

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We expect to continue to invest in our business by adding headcount and, as a result, we may need additional office space in various locations. Should additional space be necessary, we believe that it will be available on reasonable terms.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.

We are involved in legal and administrative proceedings and litigation arising in the ordinary course of business. We believe that the potential liability, if any, in excess of amounts already accrued from all proceedings, claims and litigation will not have a material effect on our financial position, cash flows or results of operations when resolved in a future period.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.

Not applicable.




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PART II  

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.

Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “IT”. As of February 12, 2021, there were 1,065 holders of record of our common stock. Our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders will be held virtually on June 3, 2021. We did not submit any matter to a vote of our stockholders during the fourth quarter of 2020.
 
SECURITIES AUTHORIZED FOR ISSUANCE UNDER EQUITY COMPENSATION PLANS
 
The equity compensation plan information set forth in Part III, Item 12 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is hereby incorporated by reference into this Part II, Item 5.

SHARE REPURCHASES

In May 2015, our Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program to repurchase up to $1.2 billion of our common stock. In February 2021, our Board of Directors authorized incremental share repurchases of up to an additional $300 million under the program. The Company may repurchase its common stock from time-to-time in amounts, at prices and in the manner that the Company deems appropriate, subject to the availability of stock, prevailing market conditions, the trading price of the stock, the Company’s financial performance and other conditions. Repurchases may be made through open market purchases (which may include repurchase plans designed to comply with Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended), accelerated share repurchases, private transactions or other transactions and will be funded by cash on hand and borrowings. Repurchases may also be made from time-to-time in connection with the settlement of the Company’s stock-based compensation awards. The table below summarizes the repurchases of our common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2020 pursuant to our share repurchase program and the settlement of stock-based compensation awards.

PeriodTotal Number of Shares Purchased
(#)
Average Price Paid Per Share
($)
Total Number of Shares Purchased Under Announced Programs (#)Maximum Approximate Dollar Value of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
(in thousands)
October 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020195 $122.10 — $681,062 
November 1, 2020 to November 30, 202039,406 149.28 — 681,062 
December 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020655,288 156.08 650,030 $579,610 
   Total for the quarter (1)694,889 $155.69 650,030 

(1)The repurchased shares during the three months ended December 31, 2020 included purchases for both the settlement of stock-based compensation awards and open market purchases.


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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.

The fiscal years presented below are for the twelve-month periods from January 1 through December 31. Data for all years was derived or compiled from our audited consolidated financial statements included herein or from submissions of our Forms 10-K in prior years. The selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and prior year filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
(In thousands, except per share data)20202019201820172016
STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA   
Revenues:   
Research$3,602,892 $3,374,548 $3,105,764 $2,471,280 $1,857,001 
Conferences120,140 476,869 410,461 337,903 268,605 
Consulting 376,371 393,904 353,667 327,661 318,934 
Other — — 105,562 174,650 — 
Total revenues$4,099,403 $4,245,321 $3,975,454 $3,311,494 $2,444,540 
Operating income (loss)$490,150 $370,087 $259,715 $(6,329)$305,141 
Net income$266,745 $233,290 $122,456 $3,279 $193,582 
PER SHARE DATA  
Basic income per share$2.99 $2.60 $1.35 $0.04 $2.34 
Diluted income per share$2.96 $2.56 $1.33 $0.04 $2.31 
Weighted average shares outstanding:  
Basic89,315 89,817 90,827 88,466 82,571 
Diluted90,017 90,971 92,122 89,790 83,820 
OTHER DATA  
Cash and cash equivalents$712,583 $280,836 $156,368 $538,908 $474,233 
Total assets7,315,967 7,151,294 6,201,474 7,283,173 2,367,335 
Long-term debt1,985,531 2,067,796 2,146,514 2,943,341 672,500 
Stockholders’ equity1,090,428 938,593 850,757 983,465 60,878 
Cash provided by operating activities$903,278 $565,436 $471,158 $254,517 $365,632 
The items described below impacted the presentation and comparability of our selected financial data.
During 2018, the Company divested all of the non-core businesses that comprised its Other segment and moved a small residual product from the Other segment into the Research business and, as a result, no operating activity has been recorded in the Other segment in 2020 or 2019. Note 2 — Acquisitions and Divestitures in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s 2018 divestitures.

During 2017, the Company acquired CEB Inc. The operating results of CEB Inc. have been included in the Company’s operating results since the acquisition date. The Company also made other acquisitions in the years presented in the above table. Note 2 — Acquisitions and Divestitures in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s recent acquisitions.

During 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017, the Company recognized $6.3 million, $9.5 million, $107.2 million and $158.5 million, respectively, of acquisition and integration charges related to its acquisitions. Note 2 — Acquisitions and Divestitures in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s recent acquisition and integration charges.

During 2020 and 2019, the Company recorded a net tax benefit of approximately $28.3 million and $38.1 million, respectively, related to intercompany sales of certain intellectual property, which increased our diluted earnings per share by $0.31 and $0.42 per share for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. Note 12 — Income Taxes in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s income taxes.

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During 2017, the Company recorded a $59.6 million tax benefit related to the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which increased our diluted earnings per share by $0.66 per share.

On January 1, 2019, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Codification Topic 842, Leases, which resulted in a net increase of $638.7 million in its total assets on that date. The adoption of this new lease standard did not affect the Company’s stockholders’ equity. Note 1 — Business and Significant Accounting Policies and Note 7 — Leases provide additional information regarding the Company’s adoption of Accounting Standards Codification Topic 842.

During 2017, the Company borrowed approximately $2.8 billion and issued approximately 7.4 million shares of its common stock in connection with the acquisition of CEB, Inc.

The Company repurchased 1.2 million, 1.4 million, 2.1 million, 0.4 million and 0.6 million shares of its common stock in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. We used $176.3 million, $199.0 million, $260.8 million, $41.3 million and $59.0 million in cash for share repurchases in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Note 8 — Stockholders’ Equity in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s share repurchase activity.

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
 
The purpose of this Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) is to facilitate an understanding of significant factors influencing the operating results, financial condition and cash flows of Gartner, Inc. Additionally, the MD&A conveys our expectations of the potential impact of known trends, events or uncertainties that may impact future results. You should read this discussion in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Historical results and percentage relationships are not necessarily indicative of operating results for future periods. References to “Gartner,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” and “us” in this MD&A are to Gartner, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

This MD&A provides an analysis of our consolidated financial results, segment results and cash flows for 2020 and 2019 under the headings “Results of Operations,” “Segment Results” and “Liquidity and Capital Resources.” For a similar detailed discussion comparing 2019 and 2018, refer to those headings under Item 7., “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

In addition to historical information, this Annual Report on Form 10-K contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are any statements other than statements of historical fact, including statements regarding our expectations, beliefs, hopes, intentions, projections or strategies regarding the future. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “should,” “could,” “believe,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue” or other words of similar meaning.

We operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment that involves numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in any of our forward-looking statements are reasonable, actual results could differ materially from those projected or assumed in any of our forward-looking statements. Our future quarterly and annual revenues, operating income, results of operations and cash flows, as well as any forward-looking statement, are subject to change and to inherent risks and uncertainties, such as those disclosed or incorporated by reference in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Important factors that could cause our actual results, performance and achievements, or industry results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in our forward-looking statements include, among others, the following: uncertainty of the magnitude, duration, geographic reach and impact on the global economy of the COVID-19 pandemic; the current, and uncertain future, impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and governments’ responses to it on our business, growth, reputation, projections, prospects, financial condition, operations, cash flows, and liquidity; the adequacy or effectiveness of steps we take to respond to the crisis, including cost reduction or other mitigation programs; our ability to recover potential claims under our event cancellation insurance; the timing of our Gartner Symposium/Xpo series that normally occurs during the fourth quarter (but was cancelled in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), as well as of our other conferences and meetings; our ability to achieve and effectively manage growth, including our ability to integrate our acquisitions and consummate and integrate future acquisitions; our ability to pay our debt obligations; our ability to maintain and expand our products and services; our ability to expand or retain our customer base; our ability to grow or sustain revenue from individual customers; our ability to attract and retain a professional
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staff of research analysts and consultants as well as experienced sales personnel upon whom we are dependent; our ability to achieve continued customer renewals and achieve new contract value, backlog and deferred revenue growth in light of competitive pressures; our ability to carry out our strategic initiatives and manage associated costs; our ability to successfully compete with existing competitors and potential new competitors; our ability to enforce and protect our intellectual property rights; additional risks associated with international operations, including foreign currency fluctuations; the UK’s exit from the European Union and its impact on our results; the impact of restructuring and other charges on our businesses and operations; cybersecurity incidents; general economic conditions; changes in macroeconomic and market conditions and market volatility (including developments and volatility arising from the COVID-19 pandemic), including interest rates and the effect on the credit markets and access to capital; risks associated with the creditworthiness, budget cuts, and shutdown of governments and agencies; the impact of changes in tax policy and heightened scrutiny from various taxing authorities globally; uncertainty from the expected discontinuance of LIBOR and transition to any other interest rate benchmark; changes to laws and regulations; and other risks and uncertainties. The potential fluctuations in our operating income could cause period-to-period comparisons of operating results not to be meaningful and could provide an unreliable indication of future operating results. A description of the risk factors associated with our business is included under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A. of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, estimates and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements, and are currently, or in the future could be, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, those listed above or described under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Readers should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s opinion only as of the date on which they were made. Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K speak only as of the date hereof, and forward-looking statements in documents attached that are incorporated by reference speak only as of the date of those documents. Except as required by law, we disclaim any obligation to review or update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances as they occur.

BUSINESS OVERVIEW

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission–critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow. We believe our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

Gartner delivers its products and services globally through three business segments – Research, Conferences and Consulting, as described below.

Research provides trusted, objective insights and advice on the mission-critical priorities of leaders across all functional areas of an enterprise through reports, briefings, proprietary tools, access to our research experts, peer networking services and membership programs that enable our clients to drive organizational performance.

Conferences provides business professionals across an organization the opportunity to learn, share and network. From our Gartner Symposium/Xpo series, to industry-leading conferences focused on specific business roles and topics, to peer-driven sessions, our offerings enable attendees to experience the best of Gartner insight and advice.

Consulting combines the power of Gartner market-leading research with custom analysis and on-the-ground support to help chief information officers and other senior executives driving technology-related strategic initiatives move confidently from insight to action.

COVID-19 Impact

The coronavirus disease (“COVID-19”) pandemic has affected nearly every region in the world and has created significant uncertainties and disruption in the global economy. Gartner is closely monitoring the pandemic-related developments, and our highest priority is the health and safety of our associates, clients, vendors, partners, and other stakeholders. We are working closely with our clients to provide best in class COVID-19 related research to assist them in achieving their mission critical priorities.

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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily closed Gartner offices (including our corporate headquarters) in the United States, United Kingdom, India, and several other impacted locations around the world and implemented significant travel restrictions. Although we have plans to reopen most offices in the fall of 2021, reopening is subject to many factors outside of our control. As a result, we cannot predict for certain when or how we will begin to lift the actions put in place as part of our business continuity plans, including work from home protocols and travel restrictions.

We have seen negative impacts to all of our segments with Conferences being the most impacted. On March 25, 2020, we announced the cancellation of all in-person conferences through August 2020. On July 2, 2020, we announced the cancellation of all in-person conferences for the remainder of 2020. We held 15 virtual conferences during the second half of 2020, and plan on holding approximately 20 virtual conferences from February 2021 through August 2021. These virtual conferences are expected to result in significantly less revenue and gross contribution, but we believe aid in client retention and engagement. The safety of our associates and clients remain our top priority so future in-person conferences will be held only if we determine the relevant impacts of COVID-19 have sufficiently receded in the jurisdictions where our conferences are to be held.

As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $16 million recorded in Prepaid expenses and other current assets on the balance sheet related to cancelled conferences. We expect to recover the majority of these and potential termination costs for future conferences through either force majeure clauses in our vendor contracts, other arrangements with vendors or event cancellation insurance claims. For cancelled conferences, our event cancellation insurance enables us to receive an amount up to the lost contribution margin per conference plus incurred expenses. Our event cancellation insurance provides up to $170 million in coverage for 2020 with the right to reinstate that amount one time if those limits are utilized. The insurer has contested our right to reinstate limits and to include in reinstated limits conferences cancelled due to COVID-19. We are in litigation with the insurer on these issues. The timing of receiving the proceeds from these insurance claims is uncertain so we will not record any insurance claims in excess of expenses incurred until the receipt of the insurance proceeds.

Our Research segment has continued to experience a slowdown as contract value (CV) growth was 4.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to 10.6%, 7.0% and 5.3% in the first, second and third quarters of 2020, respectively. CV growth slowed late in the first quarter as the global virus response led to lower new business growth and lower retention rates. However, because our revenue and CV have been historically stable and predictable as a result of our subscription-based business model, we only experienced a modest decrease in Research revenue growth in 2020 compared to that in 2019. Slower CV growth in 2020 however will lead to slower research revenue growth in 2021. Nonetheless, we believe that our emphasis on producing business and technology insight into every major business function in the enterprise will continue to drive client engagement and satisfaction with our Research products.

Our Consulting segment was only moderately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as many engagements are being performed by associates working remotely. Labor based consulting weakened late in the first quarter due to the pandemic. This weakness continued in the remainder of 2020 due to weaker demand which will likely continue into 2021.

In connection with the cancellation of the majority of 2020 conferences and the weaker demand in our Consulting segment noted above, in the second quarter of 2020, we implemented workforce reductions. We incurred an aggregate of approximately $18 million in costs relating to these workforce reductions during the year ended December 31, 2020. $16 million has been paid during the year ended December 31, 2020, and we expect the majority of the remaining charges to be paid out in the first half of 2021.

In response to the pandemic’s impacts to our business, we implemented cost avoidance initiatives in the first half of 2020 including significant limitations on hiring and third-party spending, reductions to discretionary spending and elimination of non-essential travel and re-prioritization of capital expenditures. We began to restore certain investments in the business during the second half of 2020 and will likely continue these investments in 2021 and future periods.



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BUSINESS MEASUREMENTS

We believe that the following business measurements are important performance indicators for our business segments:
BUSINESS SEGMENTBUSINESS MEASUREMENT
Research
Total contract value represents the value attributable to all of our subscription-related contracts. It is calculated as the annualized value of all contracts in effect at a specific point in time, without regard to the duration of the contract. Total contract value primarily includes Research deliverables for which revenue is recognized on a ratable basis, as well as other deliverables (primarily Conferences tickets) for which revenue is recognized when the deliverable is utilized. Comparing contract value year-over-year not only measures the short-term growth of our business, but also signals the long-term health of our Research subscription business since it measures revenue that is highly likely to recur over a multi-year period. Our total contract value consists of Global Technology Sales contract value, which includes sales to users and providers of technology, and Global Business Sales contract value, which includes sales to all other functional leaders.
Client retention rate represents a measure of client satisfaction and renewed business relationships at a specific point in time. Client retention is calculated on a percentage basis by dividing our current clients, who were also clients a year ago, by all clients from a year ago. Client retention is calculated at an enterprise level, which represents a single company or customer.
Wallet retention rate represents a measure of the amount of contract value we have retained with clients over a twelve-month period. Wallet retention is calculated on a percentage basis by dividing the contract value of our current clients, who were also clients a year ago, by the total contract value from a year ago, excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange. When wallet retention exceeds client retention, it is an indication of retention of higher-spending clients, or increased spending by retained clients, or both. Wallet retention is calculated at an enterprise level, which represents a single company or customer.
Conferences
Number of destination conferences represents the total number of hosted virtual or in-person conferences completed during the period. Single day, local meetings are excluded.
Number of destination conferences attendees represents the total number of people who attend virtual or in-person conferences. Single day, local meetings are excluded.
Consulting
Consulting backlog represents future revenue to be derived from in-process consulting and measurement engagements.
Utilization rate represents a measure of productivity of our consultants. Utilization rates are calculated for billable headcount on a percentage basis by dividing total hours billed by total hours available to bill.
Billing rate represents earned billable revenue divided by total billable hours.
Average annualized revenue per billable headcount represents a measure of the revenue generating ability of an average billable consultant and is calculated periodically by multiplying the average billing rate per hour times the utilization percentage times the billable hours available for one year.

 
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS AND FINANCIAL POSITION
We have executed a strategy since 2005 to drive revenue and earnings growth. The fundamentals of our strategy include a focus on creating extraordinary research insight, delivering innovative and highly differentiated product offerings, building a strong sales capability, providing world class client service with a focus on client engagement and retention, and continuously improving our operational effectiveness.

We had total revenues of $4.1 billion in 2020, a decrease of 3% compared to 2019 both on a reported basis and excluding the foreign currency impact. Net income increased to $266.7 million in 2020 from $233.3 million in 2019 and, as a result, diluted earnings per share was $2.96 in 2020 compared to $2.56 in 2019.

Research revenues increased to $3.6 billion in 2020, an increase of 7% compared to 2019 both on a reported basis and excluding the foreign currency impact. The Research gross contribution margin was 72% and 70% in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Total contract value was $3.6 billion at December 31, 2020, an increase of 4% compared to December 31, 2019 on a foreign currency neutral basis.

Conferences revenues decreased to $120.1 million in 2020, a decrease of 75% compared to 2019 both on a reported basis and excluding the foreign currency impact. The Conferences gross contribution margin was 48% and 51% in 2020 and 2019, respectively. We held 5 in-person and 15 virtual conferences in 2020, and 72 in-person conferences in 2019.

Consulting revenues decreased to $376.4 million in 2020, a decrease of 4% compared to 2019 on a reported basis and 5% excluding the foreign currency impact. The Consulting gross contribution margin was 31% and 30% in 2020 and 2019, respectively. Backlog was $100.3 million at December 31, 2020.

Cash provided by operating activities was $903.3 million and $565.4 million during 2020 and 2019, respectively. As of December 31, 2020, we had $712.6 million of cash and cash equivalents and approximately $1.0 billion of available borrowing capacity on our revolving credit facility. During 2020, we repurchased 1.2 million shares of the Company’s common stock for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $176.3 million.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES

The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires the application of appropriate accounting policies and the use of estimates. Our significant accounting policies are described in Note 1 — Business and Significant Accounting Policies in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. Management considers the policies discussed below to be critical to an understanding of our consolidated financial statements because their application requires complex and subjective management judgments and estimates. Specific risks for these critical accounting policies are also described below.

The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions about future events. We develop our estimates using both current and historical experience, as well as other factors, including the general economic environment and actions we may take in the future. We adjust such estimates when facts and circumstances dictate. However, our estimates may involve significant uncertainties and judgments and cannot be determined with precision. In addition, these estimates are based on our best judgment at a point in time and, as such, they may ultimately differ materially from actual results. Ongoing changes in our estimates could be material and would be reflected in the Company’s consolidated financial statements in future periods.

Our critical accounting policies are described below.

Accounting for leases — On January 1, 2019, we adopted Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 842, Leases (“ASC 842”). We determine if an arrangement contains a lease at the inception of a contract. We consider an arrangement a lease if the arrangement transfers the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration. We have operating leases, but do not have material financing leases. Lease right-of-use assets represent the right to use an underlying asset for the lease term, and lease liabilities represent the obligation to make payments arising from the lease agreement. These assets and liabilities are recognized at the commencement of the lease based upon the present value of the future minimum lease payments over the lease term. The lease term reflects the non-cancelable period of the lease together with periods covered by an option to extend or terminate the lease when it is reasonably certain that we will exercise such option. Changes in the lease term assumption could impact the right-of-use assets and lease liabilities recognized on the balance sheet. As our leases typically do not contain a readily determinable implicit rate, we determine the present value of the lease liability using our incremental borrowing rate at the lease commencement date based on the lease term.
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Note 1 — Business and Significant Accounting Policies and Note 7 — Leases in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provide additional information regarding the Company’s leases and the adoption of ASC 842.

Revenue recognition — On January 1, 2018, we adopted ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.

Our revenue by significant source is accounted for as follows:

Research revenues are mainly derived from subscription contracts for research products. The related revenues are deferred and recognized ratably over the applicable contract term. Fees derived from assisting organizations in selecting the right business software for their needs are recognized when the leads are provided to vendors.

Conferences revenues are deferred and recognized upon the completion of the related conference or meeting.

Consulting revenues are principally generated from fixed fee and time and materials engagements. Revenues from fixed fee contracts are recognized as we work to satisfy our performance obligations. Revenues from time and materials engagements are recognized as work is delivered and/or services are provided. Revenues related to contract optimization engagements are contingent in nature and are only recognized upon satisfaction of all conditions related to their payment.

The majority of our Research contracts are billable upon signing, absent special terms granted on a limited basis from time to time. Research contracts are generally non-cancelable and non-refundable, except for government contracts that may have cancellation or fiscal funding clauses. It is our policy to record the amount of a subscription contract that is billable as a fee receivable at the time the contract is signed with a corresponding amount as deferred revenue because the contract represents a legally enforceable claim.

Note 1 — Business and Significant Accounting Policies and Note 9 — Revenue and Related Matters in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provide additional information regarding our revenues.

Goodwill and other intangible assets — When we acquire a business, we determine the fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed on the date of acquisition, which may include a significant amount of intangible assets such as customer relationships, software and content, as well as goodwill. When determining the fair values of the acquired intangible assets, we consider, among other factors, analyses of historical financial performance and an estimate of the future performance of the acquired business. The fair values of the acquired intangible assets are primarily calculated using an income approach that relies on discounted cash flows. This method starts with a forecast of the expected future net cash flows for the asset and then adjusts the forecast to present value by applying a discount rate that reflects the risk factors associated with the cash flow streams. We consider this approach to be the most appropriate valuation technique because the inherent value of an acquired intangible asset is its ability to generate future income. In a typical acquisition, we engage a third-party valuation expert to assist us with the fair value analyses for acquired intangible assets.

Determining the fair values of acquired intangible assets requires us to exercise significant judgment. We select reasonable estimates and assumptions based on evaluating a number of factors, including, but not limited to, marketplace participants, consumer awareness and brand history. Additionally, there are significant judgments inherent in discounted cash flows such as estimating the amount and timing of projected future cash flows, the selection of discount rates, hypothetical royalty rates and contributory asset capital charges. Specifically, the selected discount rates are intended to reflect the risk inherent in the projected future cash flows generated by the underlying acquired intangible assets.

Determining an acquired intangible asset’s useful life also requires significant judgment and is based on evaluating a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the expected use of the asset, historical client retention rates, consumer awareness and trade name history, as well as any contractual provisions that could limit or extend an asset's useful life.

The Company’s goodwill is evaluated in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 350, which requires goodwill to be assessed for impairment at least annually and whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of goodwill may not be recoverable. In addition, an impairment evaluation of our amortizable intangible assets may also be performed if events or circumstances indicate potential impairment. Among the factors that could trigger an impairment review are current operating results that do not align with our annual plan or historical performance; changes in our strategic plans or the use of our assets; restructuring charges or other changes in our business segments; competitive pressures and changes in the general economy or in the markets in which we operate; and a significant decline in our stock price and our market capitalization relative to our net book value.

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When performing our annual assessment of the recoverability of goodwill, we initially perform a qualitative analysis evaluating whether any events or circumstances occurred or exist that provide evidence that it is more likely than not that the fair value of any of our reporting units is less than the related carrying amount. If we do not believe that it is more likely than not that the fair value of any of our reporting units is less than the related carrying amount, then no quantitative impairment test is performed. However, if the results of our qualitative assessment indicate that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its respective carrying amount, then we perform a two-step quantitative impairment test.

Evaluating the recoverability of goodwill requires judgments and assumptions regarding future trends and events. As a result, both the precision and reliability of our estimates are subject to uncertainty. Among the factors that we consider in our qualitative assessment are general economic conditions and the competitive environment; actual and projected reporting unit financial performance; forward-looking business measurements; and external market assessments. To determine the fair values of our reporting units for a quantitative analysis, we typically utilize detailed financial projections, which include significant variables, such as projected rates of revenue growth, profitability and cash flows, as well as assumptions regarding discount rates, the Company’s weighted average cost of capital and other data.

Our most recent annual impairment test of goodwill was a qualitative analysis conducted during the quarter ended September 30, 2020 that indicated no impairment. Subsequent to completing our 2020 annual impairment test, no events or changes in circumstances were noted that required an interim goodwill impairment test. Note 1 — Business and Significant Accounting Policies and Note 3 — Goodwill and Intangible Assets in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provide additional information regarding the Company’s goodwill and amortizable intangible assets.

Accounting for income taxes — The Company uses the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. We estimate our income taxes in each of the jurisdictions where the Company operates. This process involves estimating our current tax expense or benefit together with assessing temporary differences resulting from differing treatment of items for tax and accounting purposes. These differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities, which are included in our consolidated balance sheets. When assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets, we consider if it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. In making this assessment, we consider the availability of loss carryforwards, projected reversals of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income, and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies. The Company recognizes the tax benefit from an uncertain tax position only if it is more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained based on the technical merits of the position. Recognized tax positions are measured at the largest amount of benefit with greater than a 50% likelihood of being realized. The Company uses estimates in determining the amount of unrecognized tax benefits associated with uncertain tax positions. Significant judgment is required in evaluating tax law and measuring the benefits likely to be realized. Uncertain tax positions are periodically re-evaluated and adjusted as more information about their ultimate realization becomes available.

Accounting for stock-based compensation — The Company accounts for stock-based compensation awards in accordance with FASB ASC Topics 505 and 718 and SEC Staff Accounting Bulletins No. 107 and No. 110. The Company recognizes stock-based compensation expense, which is based on the fair value of the award on the date of grant, over the related service period. Note 10 — Stock-Based Compensation in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding stock-based compensation. Determining the appropriate fair value model and calculating the fair value of stock-based compensation awards requires the use of certain subjective assumptions, including the expected life of a stock-based compensation award and the Company’s common stock price volatility. In addition, determining the appropriate periodic stock-based compensation expense requires management to estimate the likelihood of the achievement of certain performance targets. The assumptions used in calculating the fair values of stock-based compensation awards and the related periodic expense represent management’s best estimates, which involve inherent uncertainties and the application of judgment. As a result, if circumstances change and the Company deems it necessary in the future to modify the assumptions it made or to use different assumptions, or if the quantity and nature of the Company’s stock-based compensation awards changes, then the amount of expense may need to be adjusted and future stock-based compensation expense could be materially different from what has been recorded in the current period.

A change in any of the terms or conditions of stock-based compensation awards is accounted for as a modification of the award. Incremental compensation cost is measured as the excess, if any, of the fair value of the modified award over the fair value of the original award immediately before its terms are modified, measured based on the fair value of the awards at the modification date. For vested awards, we recognize incremental compensation cost in the period the modification occurs. For unvested awards, we recognize any incremental compensation expense at the modification date or ratably over the requisite remaining service period, as appropriate. If the fair value of the modified award is lower than the fair value of the original award immediately before modification, the minimum compensation cost we recognize is the cost of the original award.

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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Consolidated Results

The table below presents an analysis of selected line items and year-over-year changes in our Consolidated Statements of Operations for the years indicated (in thousands).
 Year Ended December 31, 2020Year Ended December 31, 2019Increase (Decrease)Percentage Increase
(Decrease)
Total revenues$4,099,403 $4,245,321 $(145,918)(3)%
Costs and expenses:    
     Cost of services and product development1,345,024 1,550,568 (205,544)(13)
     Selling, general and administrative2,038,963 2,103,424 (64,461)(3)
     Depreciation93,925 82,066 11,859 14 
     Amortization of intangibles125,059 129,713 (4,654)(4)
     Acquisition and integration charges6,282 9,463 (3,181)(34)
Operating income490,150 370,087 120,063 32 
Interest expense, net(113,549)(99,805)13,744 14 
Loss from divested operations — (2,075)2,075 nm
Loss on extinguishment of debt(44,814)— (44,814)nm
Other (expense) income, net(5,654)7,532 (13,186)>(100)
Less: Provision for income taxes59,388 42,449 16,939 40 
Net income$266,745 $233,290 $33,455 14 %
nm = not meaningful

Total revenues for 2020 were $4.1 billion, a decrease of $145.9 million, or 3% compared to 2019 both on a reported basis and excluding the foreign currency impact. The tables below present (i) revenues by geographic region (based on where the sale is fulfilled) and (ii) revenues by segment for the years indicated (in thousands).
Primary Geographic MarketYear Ended December 31, 2020Year Ended December 31, 2019Increase (Decrease)Percentage Increase
(Decrease)
United States and Canada$2,637,824 $2,734,490 $(96,666)(4)%
Europe, Middle East and Africa966,273 996,004 (29,731)(3)
Other International 495,306 514,827 (19,521)(4)
Total revenues$4,099,403 $4,245,321 $(145,918)(3)%

SegmentYear Ended December 31, 2020Year Ended December 31, 2019Increase (Decrease)Percentage Increase
(Decrease)
Research$3,602,892 $3,374,548 $228,344 %
Conferences120,140 476,869 (356,729)(75)
Consulting376,371 393,904 (17,533)(4)
Total revenues$4,099,403 $4,245,321 $(145,918)(3)%


Refer to the section of this MD&A below entitled “Segment Results” for a discussion of revenues and results by segment.

Cost of services and product development was $1.3 billion in 2020, a decrease of $205.5 million compared to 2019, or 13% on both a reported basis and excluding the foreign currency impact. The decrease in Cost of services and product development was primarily due to decreased costs related to cancellations of conferences during fiscal year 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, lower travel and entertainment costs during the year as well as the implementation of various cost avoidance
27


initiatives, which was partially offset by higher payroll and benefits costs. Cost of services and product development as a percent of revenues was 33% and 37% during 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expense was $2.0 billion in 2020, a decrease of $64.5 million compared to 2019, or 3% on both a reported basis and excluding the foreign currency impact. The decrease in SG&A expense was primarily due to reduced internal meetings, travel and entertainment costs and corporate expenses, partially offset by higher payroll related expenses. There was a decrease in the number of quota-bearing sales associates in Global Technology Sales and Global Business Sales to 3,089 and 846, respectively, at December 31, 2020. On a combined basis, the total number of quota-bearing sales associates decreased by 5% when compared to December 31, 2019. SG&A expense as a percent of revenues was 50% during both 2020 and 2019.

Depreciation increased by 14% during 2020 compared to 2019. This increase was due to additional investments, including new leasehold improvements as additional office space went into service, and capitalized software.

Amortization of intangibles decreased by 4% during 2020 compared to 2019 due to certain intangible assets that became fully amortized in 2020 and 2019.

Acquisition and integration charges declined by $3.2 million during 2020 compared to 2019. This decrease was the result of the Company having completed one minor acquisition in late 2019 and no acquisitions in 2020.

Operating income was $490.2 million and $370.1 million during 2020 and 2019, respectively. The increase in operating income was due to reduced Cost of services and product development and SG&A expense, partially offset by lower revenue, primarily in our Conferences segment.

Interest expense, net increased by $13.7 million during 2020 compared to 2019. The increase was primarily due to higher weighted average annual effective rates related to the replacement of expired interest rate swaps with interest rate swaps containing higher effective interest rates in late 2019. Additionally, we wrote off $1.8 million of deferred financing fees related to the prepayment of $787.9 million on the Term Loan A facility under the 2016 Credit Agreement during the year ended December 31, 2020.

Loss from divested operations of $2.1 million in 2019 was primarily due to adjustments of certain working capital balances related to the Company’s 2018 divestitures. Note 2 — Acquisitions and Divestitures in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s 2018 divestitures.

Loss on extinguishment of debt during the year ended December 31, 2020 was related to the early redemption premium and write-off of deferred financing fees on our redemption of the 2025 Notes on September 28, 2020.

Other (expense) income, net for the years presented herein included the net impact of foreign currency gains and losses from our hedging activities, as well as sales of certain state tax credits and the recognition of other tax incentives. Other (expense) income, net for the year ended December 31, 2020 also included the release of $10.3 million from Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net related to forecasted interest payments that were no longer probable on our interest rate swap contracts, due to the prepayment of $787.9 million under the Company’s Term Loan A facility and repayment of all amounts outstanding under our revolving credit facility on our 2016 Credit Agreement. During 2020, Other (expense) income, net also included a $2.2 million gain on de-designated interest rate swaps. During 2019, Other (expense) income, net also included a pretax gain of $9.1 million from the Company’s sale of a minority equity investment.

The provision for income taxes was $59.4 million and $42.4 million during 2020 and 2019, respectively, with an effective income tax rate of 18.2% in 2020 and 15.4% in 2019. The Company completed intercompany sales of certain intellectual property in both 2020 and 2019. As a result, the Company recorded net tax benefits of approximately $28.3 million and $38.1 million during 2020 and 2019, respectively. These benefits represent the value of future tax deductions for amortization of the assets in the acquiring jurisdiction. In July 2020, the Company completed an intercompany contribution of a significant amount of intellectual property. The Company’s intellectual property footprint continues to evolve and may result in tax rate volatility in the future. Note 12 — Income Taxes in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s income taxes.

Net income was $266.7 million and $233.3 million during 2020 and 2019, respectively. Additionally, our diluted net income per share increased by $0.40 in 2020 compared to 2019. These year-over-year changes reflect: the increase in our 2020 operating income, partially offset by: (i) the loss on extinguishment of debt; (ii) higher Interest expense, net and Other (expense) income, net; and (iii) a higher effective income tax rate in 2020 compared to 2019.
28



SEGMENT RESULTS

We evaluate reportable segment performance and allocate resources based on gross contribution margin. Gross contribution is defined as operating income or loss excluding certain Cost of services and product development expenses, SG&A expenses, Depreciation, Amortization of intangibles, and Acquisition and integration charges. Gross contribution margin is defined as gross contribution as a percent of revenues.

Reportable Segments

The Company’s reportable segments are as follows:

Research provides trusted, objective insights and advice on the mission-critical priorities of leaders across all functional areas of an enterprise through reports, briefings, proprietary tools, access to our research experts, peer networking services and membership programs that enable our clients to drive organizational performance.

Conferences provides business professionals across an organization the opportunity to learn, share and network. From our Gartner Symposium/Xpo series, to industry-leading conferences focused on specific business roles and topics, to peer-driven sessions, our offerings enable attendees to experience the best of Gartner insight and advice.

Consulting combines the power of Gartner market-leading research with custom analysis and on-the-ground support to help chief information officers and other senior executives driving technology-related strategic initiatives move confidently from insight to action.

The sections below present the results of the Company’s three reportable business segments.

Research
 As Of And For
The Year Ended December 31, 2020
As Of And For
The Year Ended December 31, 2019
Increase
(Decrease)
Percentage
Increase
(Decrease)
Financial Measurements:    
Revenues (1)$3,602,892 $3,374,548 $228,344%
Gross contribution (1)$2,597,852 $2,351,720 $246,13210 %
Gross contribution margin72 %70 % points— 
Business Measurements:    
Global Technology Sales (2):
Contract value (1), (3)$2,909,000 $2,801,000 $108,000%
Client retention 83 %82 % point— 
Wallet retention 98 %104 %(6) points— 
Global Business Sales (2):
Contract value (1), (3) $696,000 $649,000 $47,000%
Client retention 83 %82 % point— 
Wallet retention101 %101 %— 

(1)Dollars in thousands.
(2)Global Technology Sales includes sales to users and providers of technology. Global Business Sales includes sales to all other functional leaders.
(3)Contract values are on a foreign exchange neutral basis. Contract values as of December 31, 2019 have been calculated using the same foreign currency rates as 2020.

Research revenues increased by $228.3 million during 2020 compared to 2019, or 7% on both a reported basis and excluding the foreign currency impact. The gross contribution margin was 72% in 2020 compared to 70% in 2019. The increase in revenues during 2020 was primarily due to the same factors driving the trend in our Research contract value, which are discussed below. The improvement in margin was primarily due to the growth in revenue and a decline in travel and entertainment expenses due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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Total contract value increased to $3.6 billion at December 31, 2020, or 4% compared to December 31, 2019 on a foreign currency neutral basis. Global Technology Sales (“GTS”) contract value increased by 4% at December 31, 2020 when compared to December 31, 2019. The increase in GTS contract value was due to new business from new and existing clients. By industry, GTS contract value growth was led by technology, retail and services. Global Business Sales (“GBS”) contract value increased by 7% year-over-year, also primarily driven by new business from new and existing clients. GBS contract value growth was led by the healthcare and technology industries. The sales, finance and human resources practices all recorded double-digit contract value growth for the year.

GTS client retention was 83% and 82% as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, while wallet retention was 98% and 104%, respectively. GBS client retention was 83% and 82% as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, while wallet retention was 101% as of both December 31, 2020 and 2019. The number of GTS client enterprises was flat at December 31, 2020 when compared to December 31, 2019, while GBS client enterprises declined by 9%.

Conferences
 As Of And For
The Year Ended December 31, 2020
As Of And For
The Year Ended December 31, 2019
Increase
(Decrease)
Percentage
Increase
(Decrease)
Financial Measurements:   
Revenues (1)$120,140 $476,869 $(356,729)(75)%
Gross contribution (1)$57,302 $241,757 $(184,455)(76)%
Gross contribution margin48 %51 %(3) points— 
Business Measurements:    
Number of destination conferences (2)2072(52)(72)%
Number of destination conferences attendees (2) 42,27385,750(43,477)(51)%

(1)Dollars in thousands.
(2)Includes both virtual and in-person conferences. Single day, local meetings are excluded.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cancelled all in-person conferences from March 2020 through at least August 2021, and pivoted to producing virtual conferences with a focus on maximizing the value we deliver to our clients. During 2020, we successfully held 5 in-person conferences prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and 15 virtual conferences during the second half of the year. We began holding virtual Evanta conferences during the second quarter of 2020. Conferences revenues decreased by $356.7 million during 2020 compared to 2019, or 75% on both a reported basis and excluding the foreign currency impact. The segment gross contribution margin was 48% and 51% in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The lower gross contribution margin during 2020 was primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 noted above.

Consulting
 As Of And For
The Year Ended December 31, 2020
As Of And For
The Year Ended December 31, 2019
Increase
(Decrease)
Percentage
Increase
(Decrease)
Financial Measurements:    
Revenues (1)$376,371 $393,904 $(17,533)(4)%
Gross contribution (1)$115,744 $118,450 $(2,706)(2)%
Gross contribution margin31 %30 % point— 
Business Measurements:    
Backlog (1), (2)$100,300 $115,700 $(15,400)(13)%
Average billable headcount768784(16)(2)%
Consultant utilization61 %62 %(1) point— 
Average annualized revenue per billable headcount (1)$368 $373 $(5)(1)%

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(1)Dollars in thousands.
(2)Backlog is on a foreign currency neutral basis. Backlog as of December 31, 2019 has been calculated using the same foreign currency rates as 2020.

Consulting revenues decreased 4% during 2020 compared to 2019 on a reported basis and 5% excluding the foreign currency impact. The decrease in revenues on a reported basis was due to a 6% decrease in labor-based consulting, partially offset by a 3% increase in contract optimization. Contract optimization revenue may vary significantly and, as such, 2020 revenues may not be indicative of future results. The segment gross contribution margin was 31% and 30% in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The increase in gross contribution margin during 2020 was primarily due to benefits derived from certain cost-reduction initiatives, including a decline in travel and entertainment expenses due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Backlog decreased by $15.4 million, or 13%, from December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020. The $100.3 million of backlog at December 31, 2020 represented approximately four months of backlog, which is in line with our operational target.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

We finance our operations through cash generated from our operating activities and borrowings. Note 6 — Debt in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s outstanding debt obligations. At December 31, 2020, we had $712.6 million of cash and cash equivalents and approximately $1.0 billion of available borrowing capacity on the revolving credit facility under our 2020 Credit Agreement. We believe that the Company has adequate liquidity to meet its currently anticipated needs for at least the next twelve months. As a cautionary measure, we elected to suspend our share repurchase activity in March 2020. We resumed share repurchase activity in December 2020.

We have historically generated significant cash flows from our operating activities. Our operating cash flow has been continuously maintained by the leverage characteristics of our subscription-based business model in our Research segment, which is our largest business segment and historically has constituted a significant portion of our total revenues. The majority of our Research customer contracts are paid in advance and, combined with a strong customer retention rate and high incremental margins, has resulted in continuously strong operating cash flow. Cash flow generation has also benefited from our ongoing efforts to improve the operating efficiencies of our businesses as well as a focus on the optimal management of our working capital as we increase sales.

Our cash and cash equivalents are held in numerous locations throughout the world with 56% held overseas at December 31, 2020. The Company intends to reinvest substantially all of its accumulated undistributed foreign earnings, except in instances where repatriation would result in minimal additional tax. As a result of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, we believe that the income tax impact if such earnings were repatriated would be minimal.

The table below summarizes the changes in the Company’s cash balances for the years indicated (in thousands).
 Year Ended December 31,Increase
(Decrease)
 20202019
Cash provided by operating activities$903,278 $565,436 $337,842 
Cash used in investing activities(83,888)(160,885)76,997 
Cash used in financing activities(416,224)(285,992)(130,232)
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash403,166 118,559 284,607 
Effects of exchange rates 28,581 3,614 24,967 
Beginning cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash280,836 158,663 122,173 
Ending cash and cash equivalents $712,583 $280,836 $431,747 


Operating

Cash provided by operating activities was $903.3 million and $565.4 million in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The year-over-year increase was primarily due to (i) higher pre-tax income in 2020, (ii) improved collections, (iii) an increase in Accounts payable and accrued and other liabilities due to increased accrued payroll, fringe benefits and customer deposits and (iv) reduced income tax payments, offset by higher interest payments due to timing.

Investing
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Cash used in investing activities was $83.9 million and $160.9 million in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The decrease from 2019 to 2020 was the result of reduced capital spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financing

Cash used in financing activities was $416.2 million and $286.0 million in 2020 and 2019, respectively. During 2020, we repaid a net $148.0 million on our revolving credit facility under the 2016 Credit Agreement, paid a net $58.5 million in debt principal repayments, borrowed $5.0 million on our revolving credit facility under the 2020 Credit Agreement and used $176.3 million of cash for share repurchases. Additionally, we paid $25.8 million in deferred financing fees related to our financing activities and $30.8 million in early redemption premium payments related to the repayment of our 2025 Notes. Note 6 — Debt in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s financing activities in 2020. During 2019, the Company borrowed $5.0 million, repaid a net $7.0 million on our revolving credit facility under the 2016 Credit Agreement, paid a net $102.6 million in debt principal repayments and used $199.0 million for share repurchases.

OBLIGATIONS AND COMMITMENTS

Debt

As of December 31, 2020, the Company had $2.0 billion of principal amount of debt outstanding. Note 6 — Debt in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s outstanding debt obligations.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

Through December 31, 2020, the Company has not entered into any material off-balance sheet arrangements or transactions with unconsolidated entities or other persons.

Contractual Cash Commitments

The table below summarizes the Company’s future contractual cash commitments as of December 31, 2020 (in thousands).
Commitment DescriptionDue In Less Than
1 Year
Due In 2-3
Years
Due In 4-5
Years
Due In More Than
5 Years
Total
Debt – principal and interest (1)$109,753 $244,849 $504,002 $1,863,749 $2,722,353 
Operating leases (2)149,032 272,638 240,866 569,316 1,231,852 
Deferred compensation arrangements (3)8,129 14,884 8,808 62,717 94,538 
Other (4)32,891 48,306 18,455 30,621 130,273 
Totals$299,805 $580,677 $772,131 $2,526,403 $4,179,016 

 
(1)Principal repayments of the Company’s debt obligations were classified in the above table based on the contractual repayment dates. Interest payments were based on the effective interest rates as of December 31, 2020, including the effects of the Company’s interest rate swap contracts. Note 6 — Debt in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides information regarding the Company’s debt obligations and interest rate swap contracts.
(2)The Company leases various facilities, automobiles, computer equipment and other assets under non-cancelable operating lease agreements expiring between 2021 and 2038. The total commitment excludes approximately $325.4 million of estimated future cash receipts from the Company’s subleasing arrangements. Note 1 — Business and Significant Accounting Policies and Note 7 — Leases in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provide additional information regarding the Company’s leases.
(3)The Company has supplemental deferred compensation arrangements with certain of its employees. Amounts payable with known payment dates have been classified in the above table based on those scheduled payment dates. Amounts payable whose payment dates are unknown have been included in the Due In More Than 5 Years category because the Company cannot determine when the amounts will be paid. Note 15 — Employee Benefits in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s supplemental deferred compensation arrangements.
(4)Other includes: (i) contractual commitments (a) for software, telecom and other services and (b) to secure sites for our Conferences business; (ii) amounts due for share repurchase transactions that occurred in late December 2020 but were
32


settled in cash in January 2021; and (iii) projected cash contributions to the Company’s defined benefit pension plans. Note 15 — Employee Benefits in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s defined benefit pension plans.

In addition to the contractual cash commitments included in the above table, the Company has other payables and liabilities that may be legally enforceable but are not considered contractual commitments. Information regarding the Company’s payables and liabilities is included in Note 5 — Accounts Payable and Accrued and Other Liabilities in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

QUARTERLY FINANCIAL DATA
 
The tables below present our quarterly operating results for the two-year period ended December 31, 2020.
2020
(In thousands, except per share data)FirstSecondThirdFourth
Revenues$1,018,891 $973,135 $994,618 $1,112,759 
Operating income124,718 99,651 87,650 178,131 
Net income (1), (2)75,097 55,077 16,964 119,607 
Net income per share (1), (2), (3):   
Basic $0.84 $0.62 $0.19 $1.34 
Diluted $0.83 $0.61 $0.19 $1.33 

2019
(In thousands, except per share data)FirstSecondThirdFourth
Revenues$970,444 $1,070,882 $1,000,502 $1,203,493 
Operating income48,799 116,002 69,147 136,139 
Net income (2)20,795 103,406 41,388 67,701 
Net income per share (2), (3): 
Basic $0.23 $1.15 $0.46 $0.76 
Diluted $0.23 $1.13 $0.46 $0.75 
 
(1)In conjunction with the issuance of the 2030 Notes, the Company redeemed all of the 2025 Notes on September 28, 2020 for cash, and the Company recorded $30.8 million of charges for the early redemption premium and $14.0 million of charges for the write-off of deferred financing costs related to the 2025 Notes and the 2016 Credit Agreement, which were recorded in Loss on extinguishment of debt on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
(2)During 2020 and 2019, the Company recorded a net tax benefit of approximately $28.3 million and $38.1 million, respectively, related to intercompany sales of certain intellectual property, which increased our basic and diluted net income per share by approximately $0.31 and $0.42 per share for the second quarter of 2020 a and 2019, respectively. Note 12 — Income Taxes in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the tax impact of our intercompany sale of certain intellectual property.
(3)The aggregate of the four quarters’ basic and diluted net income per share may not equal the reported full calendar year amounts due to the effects of share repurchases, dilutive equity compensation and rounding.

RECENTLY ISSUED ACCOUNTING STANDARDS

The FASB has issued accounting standards that had not yet become effective as of December 31, 2020 and may impact the Company’s consolidated financial statements or its disclosures in future periods. Note 1 — Business and Significant Accounting Policies in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides information regarding those accounting standards.


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ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.

INTEREST RATE RISK
 
As of December 31, 2020, the Company had $2.0 billion in total debt principal outstanding. Note 6 — Debt in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements provides additional information regarding the Company’s outstanding debt obligations.

Approximately $0.4 billion of the Company’s total debt outstanding as of December 31, 2020 was based on a floating base rate of interest, which potentially exposes the Company to increases in interest rates. However, we reduce our overall exposure to interest rate increases through our interest rate swap contracts, which effectively convert the floating base interest rates on all of our variable rate borrowings to fixed rates.

FOREIGN CURRENCY RISK
 
A significant portion of our revenues are typically derived from sales outside of the United States. Among the major foreign currencies in which we conduct business are the Euro, the British Pound, the Japanese Yen, the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar. The reporting currency of our Consolidated Financial Statements is the U.S. dollar. As the values of the foreign currencies in which we operate fluctuate over time relative to the U.S. dollar, the Company is exposed to both foreign currency translation and transaction risk.

Translation risk arises as our foreign currency assets and liabilities are translated into U.S. dollars because the functional currencies of our foreign operations are generally denominated in the local currency. Adjustments resulting from the translation of these assets and liabilities are deferred and recorded as a component of stockholders’ equity. A measure of the potential impact of foreign currency translation can be determined through a sensitivity analysis of our cash and cash equivalents. At December 31, 2020, we had $712.6 million of cash and cash equivalents, with a substantial portion denominated in foreign currencies. If the exchange rates of the foreign currencies we hold all changed in comparison to the U.S. dollar by 10%, the amount of cash and cash equivalents we would have reported on December 31, 2020 could have increased or decreased by approximately $54 million. The translation of our foreign currency revenues and expenses historically has not had a material impact on our consolidated earnings because movements in and among the major currencies in which we operate tend to impact our revenues and expenses fairly equally. However, our earnings could be impacted during periods of significant exchange rate volatility, or when some or all of the major currencies in which we operate move in the same direction against the U.S. dollar.
 
Transaction risk arises when we enter into a transaction that is denominated in a currency that may differ from the local functional currency. As these transactions are translated into the local functional currency, a gain or loss may result, which is recorded in current period earnings. We typically enter into foreign currency forward exchange contracts to mitigate the effects of some of this foreign currency transaction risk. Our outstanding foreign currency forward exchange contracts as of December 31, 2020 had an immaterial net unrealized loss.

CREDIT RISK
 
Financial instruments that potentially subject the Company to concentration of credit risk consist primarily of short-term, highly liquid investments classified as cash equivalents, fees receivable, interest rate swap contracts and foreign currency forward exchange contracts. The majority of the Company’s cash and cash equivalents, interest rate swap contracts and foreign currency forward exchange contracts are with large investment grade commercial banks. Fees receivable balances deemed to be collectible from customers have limited concentration of credit risk due to our diverse customer base and geographic dispersion.

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA.
 
Our financial statements for 2020, 2019 and 2018, together with the reports of KPMG LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm, are included herein in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.

None.

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ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES.

DISCLOSURE CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

Management conducted an evaluation, as of December 31, 2020, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)), under the supervision and with the participation of our chief executive officer and chief financial officer. Based upon that evaluation, our chief executive officer and chief financial officer have concluded that the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures are effective in alerting them in a timely manner to material Company information required to be disclosed by us in reports filed under the Exchange Act.

MANAGEMENT’S ANNUAL REPORT ON INTERNAL CONTROL OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING

Gartner management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Exchange Act Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f). Gartner’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. In addition, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions and that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. Management assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020. In making this assessment, management used the criteria set forth in the Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). Management’s assessment was reviewed with the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.

Based on its assessment of internal control over financial reporting, management has concluded that, as of December 31, 2020, Gartner’s internal control over financial reporting was effective. The effectiveness of management’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020 has been audited by KPMG LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report, which is included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in Part IV, Item 15.

CHANGES IN INTERNAL CONTROL OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING

There have been no changes in the Company’s internal control over financial reporting during the quarter ended December 31, 2020 that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.

ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION.

Not applicable.
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PART III

ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE.

The information required to be furnished pursuant to this item will be set forth under the captions “The Board of Directors,” “Proposal One: Election of Directors,” “Executive Officers,” “Corporate Governance,” “Delinquent Section 16(a) Reports” (if necessary) and “Proxy and Voting Information — Available Information” in the Company’s Proxy Statement to be filed with the SEC no later than April 30, 2021. If the Proxy Statement is not filed with the SEC by April 30, 2021, such information will be included in an amendment to this Annual Report filed by April 30, 2021. See also Item 1. Business — Available Information.

ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION.

The information required to be furnished pursuant to this item is incorporated by reference from the information set forth under the captions “Compensation Discussion & Analysis,” “Compensation Tables and Narrative Disclosures,” “The Board of Directors - Compensation of Directors,” “The Board of Directors - Director Compensation Table,” “Corporate Governance - Risk Oversight - Risk Assessment of Compensation Policies and Practices,” and “Corporate Governance - Compensation Committee” in the Company’s Proxy Statement to be filed with the SEC no later than April 30, 2021. If the Proxy Statement is not filed with the SEC by April 30, 2021, such information will be included in an amendment to this Annual Report filed by April 30, 2021.

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS.

The information required to be furnished pursuant to this item will be set forth under the captions “Compensation Tables and Narrative Disclosures — Equity Compensation Plan Information” and “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” in the Company’s Proxy Statement to be filed with the SEC by April 30, 2021. If the Proxy Statement is not filed with the SEC by April 30, 2021, such information will be included in an amendment to this Annual Report filed by April 30, 2021.

ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE.

The information required to be furnished pursuant to this item will be set forth under the captions “Transactions With Related Persons” and “Corporate Governance — Director Independence” in the Company’s Proxy Statement to be filed with the SEC by April 30, 2021. If the Proxy Statement is not filed with the SEC by April 30, 2021, such information will be included in an amendment to this Annual Report filed by April 30, 2021.

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES.

The information required to be furnished pursuant to this item will be set forth under the caption “Proposal Three: Ratification of Appointment of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” in the Company’s Proxy Statement to be filed with the SEC no later than April 30, 2021. If the Proxy Statement is not filed with the SEC by April 30, 2021, such information will be included in an amendment to this Annual Report filed by April 30, 2021.

36


PART IV
 
ITEM 15. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES.
 
(a) 1. and 2. Financial Statements and Schedules
 
The reports of our independent registered public accounting firm and financial statements listed in the Index to Consolidated Financial Statements herein are filed as part of this report.
 
All financial statement schedules not listed in the Index have been omitted because the information required is not applicable or is shown in the consolidated financial statements or notes thereto.
 
3. Exhibits
EXHIBIT NUMBERDESCRIPTION OF DOCUMENT
Agreement and Plan of Merger by and among the Company, Cobra Acquisition Corp. and CEB Inc., dated as of January 5, 2017.
Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Company.
By-laws of Gartner, Inc. (as amended through January 30, 2020).
Form of Certificate for Common Stock as of June 2, 2005.
Indenture (including form of Notes), dated as of June 22, 2020, among Gartner, Inc., the guarantors named therein and U.S. Bank National Association, as a trustee, relating to the $800,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 4.500% Senior Notes due 2028.
Indenture (including form of Notes), dated as of September 28, 2020, among Gartner, Inc., the guarantors named therein and U.S. Bank National Association, as a trustee, relating to the $800,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 3.750% Senior Notes due 2030.
Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, dated as of September 28, 2020, among Gartner, Inc., the Lenders party thereto and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent.
Amended and Restated Guarantee and Collateral Agreement, dated as of September 28, 2020, among Gartner, Inc. each subsidiary guarantor party thereto and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
Description of Gartner, Inc.’s Common Stock.
Amended and Restated Lease dated April 16, 2010 between Soundview Farms and the Company for premises at 56 Top Gallant Road, 70 Gatehouse Road, and 88 Gatehouse Road, Stamford, Connecticut.
First Amendment to Amended and Restated Lease dated April 16, 2010 between Soundview Farms and the Company for premises at 56 Top Gallant Road, 70 Gatehouse Road, and 88 Gatehouse Road, Stamford, Connecticut.
2011 Employee Stock Purchase Plan.
2003 Long-Term Incentive Plan, as amended and restated effective June 4, 2009.
Long-Term Incentive Plan, as amended and restated effective January 31, 2019.
Second Amended and Restated Employment Agreement between Eugene A. Hall and the Company dated as of February 14, 2019.
Company Deferred Compensation Plan, effective January 1, 2009.
Form of 2017 Restrictive Stock Unit Agreement for executive officers.
Form of 2018 Stock Appreciation Right Agreement for executive officers.
Form of 2018 Performance Stock Unit Agreement for executive officers.
Form of 2019 Stock Appreciation Right Agreement for executive officers.
Form of 2019 Performance Stock Unit Agreement for executive officers.
Form of 2020 Stock Appreciation Right Agreement for executive officers.
37


Form of 2020 Performance Stock Unit Agreement for executive officers.
Form of 2021 Stock Appreciation Right Agreement for executive officers.
Form of 2021 Performance Stock Unit Agreement for executive officers.
Form of Restricted Stock Unit Agreement for non-employee directors.
Enhanced Executive Rewards Policy.
Subsidiaries of Registrant.
Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.
Power of Attorney (see Signature Page).
Certification of chief executive officer under Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Certification of chief financial officer under Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Certification under Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
101.INS*XBRL Instance Document - the instance document does not appear in the Interactive Data File because its XBRL tags are embedded within the Inline XBRL document.
101.SCH*XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Document.
101.CAL*XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase Document.
101.LAB*XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase Document.
101.PRE*XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase Document.
101.DEF*XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase Document.
104*Cover Page Interactive Data File, formatted in Inline XBRL (included as Exhibit 101).
 
*Filed with this document.
+Management compensation plan or arrangement.
(1)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on January 5, 2017.
(2)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 6, 2005.
(3)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on February 5, 2020.
(4)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on June 23, 2020.
(5)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K filed on September 28, 2020.
(6)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on February 19, 2020.
(7)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on August 9, 2010.
(8)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Proxy Statement (Schedule 14A) filed on April 18, 2011.
(9)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Proxy Statement (Schedule 14A) filed on April 21, 2009
(10)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on February 22, 2019.
(11)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on February 20, 2009.
(12)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 2, 2017
(13)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on May 8, 2018.
(14)Incorporated by reference from the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on August 1, 2018.

38


INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
GARTNER, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 
 
All financial statement schedules have been omitted because the information required is not applicable or is shown in the Consolidated Financial Statements or notes thereto.

39


Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Stockholders and Board of Directors
Gartner, Inc.:

Opinion on the Consolidated Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Gartner, Inc. and subsidiaries (the Company) as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the years in the three‑year period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes (collectively, the consolidated financial statements). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the years in the three‑year period ended December 31, 2020, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, and our report dated February 24, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting.

Change in Accounting Principle

As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company has changed its method of accounting for leases as of January 1, 2019 due to the adoption of Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 842, Leases.

Basis for Opinion

These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical Audit Matter

The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the consolidated financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the consolidated financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of a critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

Assessment of unrecognized tax benefits

As discussed in Notes 1 and 12 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company has recorded gross unrecognized tax benefits of $127.1 million as of December 31, 2020. As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company recognizes the tax benefit from an uncertain tax position when it believes such positions are more likely than not of being sustained if challenged. Recognized tax positions are measured at the largest amount of benefit with greater than a 50 percent likelihood of being realized. The Company uses estimates and assumptions in determining the amount of unrecognized tax benefits.
40



We identified the assessment of unrecognized tax benefits related to transfer pricing and certain other intercompany transactions as a critical audit matter. Complex auditor judgment was required in evaluating the Company’s interpretation of tax law and its estimate of the ultimate resolution of its tax positions.

The following are the primary procedures we performed to address this critical audit matter. We evaluated the design and tested the operating effectiveness of certain internal controls over the Company’s unrecognized tax benefits process, including transfer pricing and certain other intercompany transactions. We involved tax and transfer pricing professionals with specialized skills and knowledge, who assisted in assessing unrecognized tax benefits by:

evaluating the Company’s interpretation of tax laws and income tax consequences of intercompany transactions, including internal restructurings and intra-entity transfers of assets
assessing transfer pricing practices for compliance with relevant tax laws and regulations
analyzing the Company’s tax positions and determination of unrecognized tax benefits, including the associated effect in other jurisdictions
inspecting settlements with applicable taxing authorities.

In addition, we evaluated the Company’s ability to estimate its unrecognized tax benefits by comparing historical unrecognized tax benefits to actual results upon conclusion of examinations by applicable taxing authorities.

/s/ KPMG LLP
 
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 1996.

New York, New York
February 24, 2021

41


Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Stockholders and Board of Directors
Gartner, Inc.:
Opinion on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
We have audited Gartner, Inc. and subsidiaries’ (the Company) internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. In our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated balance sheets of the Company as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the years in the three-year period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes (collectively, the consolidated financial statements), and our report dated February 24, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion on those consolidated financial statements.

Basis for Opinion

The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audit also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ KPMG LLP
 
New York, New York
February 24, 2021
42


GARTNER, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(IN THOUSANDS, EXCEPT SHARE DATA)
 
 December 31,
 20202019
ASSETS  
Current assets:  
Cash and cash equivalents$712,583 $280,836 
Fees receivable, net of allowances of $10,000 and $8,000, respectively
1,241,508 1,326,012 
Deferred commissions259,755 265,867 
Prepaid expenses and other current assets109,212 146,026 
Total current assets2,323,058 2,018,741 
Property, equipment and leasehold improvements, net336,765 344,579 
Operating lease right-of-use assets647,283 702,916 
Goodwill2,945,547 2,937,726 
Intangible assets, net806,998 925,087 
Other assets256,316 222,245 
Total Assets$7,315,967 $7,151,294 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY  
Current liabilities:  
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities$952,431 $788,796 
Deferred revenues1,974,548 1,928,020 
Current portion of long-term debt20,515 139,718 
Total current liabilities2,947,494 2,856,534 
Long-term debt, net of deferred financing fees1,958,286 2,043,888 
Operating lease liabilities780,166 832,533 
Other liabilities539,593 479,746 
Total Liabilities6,225,539 6,212,701 
Stockholders’ Equity:  
Preferred stock:  
$0.01 par value, authorized 5,000,000 shares; none issued or outstanding
  
Common stock:  
$0.0005 par value, 250,000,000 shares authorized; 163,602,067 shares issued for both periods
82 82 
Additional paid-in capital1,968,930 1,899,273 
Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net(99,228)(77,938)
Accumulated earnings2,255,467 1,988,722 
Treasury stock, at cost, 74,759,985 and 74,444,288 common shares, respectively
(3,034,823)(2,871,546)
Total Stockholders’ Equity 1,090,428 938,593 
Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity $7,315,967 $7,151,294 
 
See Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

43


GARTNER, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(IN THOUSANDS, EXCEPT PER SHARE DATA)

 Year Ended December 31,
 202020192018
Revenues:   
Research$3,602,892 $3,374,548 $3,105,764 
Conferences120,140 476,869 410,461 
Consulting376,371 393,904 353,667 
Other