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Press Release

MiFID II schickt Analysten ins „Tal des Todes“ (German News)

By | Press Release

Seit MiFID II in Kraft getreten ist, bewirkt die Regelung eine tiefgreifende Veränderung in der Asset Management-Branche. Die neue Verordnung sorgt zwar insgesamt für mehr Transparenz zugunsten der Privatanleger, gefährdet aber auch hunderte von Arbeitsplätzen für Analysten. Deren Dienstleistung darf nicht mehr gebündelt mit kommissionspflichtigen Leistungen angeboten werden, wenn die Zahlung direkt aus dem Mandat erfolgt und keine eindeutige Zuordnung der Kosten möglich ist.

Dieser Vorgabe begegnen die Vermögensverwalter, indem sie die Kosten für Research selbst übernehmen. Damit rücken neben Transparenz auch Effizienz und Qualitätsanspruch in den Vordergrund – nur hochdifferenziertes Research soll entsprechend den konkreten Bedürfnissen der Endkunden in die Anlageentscheidungen einfließen. Konsequenterweise sind viele Dienste der Investmentbanken und ihrer Brokerhäuser in den vergangenen Monaten abbestellt worden, wenn zuständige Portfoliomanager keinen konkreten Nutzen darin erkennen konnten.

Einsparungen in Milliardenhöhe

Schon zuvor hatte die Unternehmensberatung McKinsey & Co. davor gewarnt, dass Banken rund 1,2 Milliarden Dollar an Ausgaben in diesem Bereich streichen werden. Man hat errechnet, dass die zehn größten Banken der Sell-Side (Investment Banking) rund 4 Milliarden Dollar jährlich für das Publizieren ihrer Analysen ausgeben. Diese Summe werde nun um etwa 30 Prozent schrumpfen – mit schwerwiegenden Folgen für die Jobs der Analysten. Auf Anbieterseite, so die Unternehmensberatung Oliver Wyman, könnten sich die Einbußen sogar bis auf zwei Milliarden Dollar aufsummieren. Es drängt sich der Gedanke auf, dass MiFID II für einige Bereiche der Industrie ein „Tal des Todes“ geschaffen hat, aus dem besonders der Berufsstand der Analysten nur schwer wieder heraus finden wird.

Beispielsweise erwartet auch Christian Bacher, Vorstand der Baader Bank, dass unabhängige Research-Analysten bei Vermögensverwaltern an Bedeutung gewinnen werden. In einem Interview betonte er: „Sie müssen aber flexibler sein als in der Vergangenheit und vor allem bedarfsorientierter produzieren. Sie müssen versuchen, das eigene Research zu positionieren und zu vermarkten.“ Bacher schreibt den Analysten ins neue Anforderungsbuch: „Man muss in der Lage sein, ein proprietäres, diskretionäres Research zu erstellen. Mit der Kommentierung, wie die Zahlen eines Unternehmens relativ zu Konsens und Historie ausgefallen sind, wird man in Zukunft keinen Blumentopf mehr gewinnen.“

Eigenverantwortung und Mehrwert schaffen – und das zu angemessenen Preisen

Hohe Qualität, Flexibilität, unabhängiges Denken, Nischen besetzen, Mehrwert schaffen – und das zu angemessenen Preisen. Das scheinen die Bausteine der neuen Zauberformel für Analysten zu sein. Nach einer Untersuchung von Integrity Research Associates sind größere und mittelgroße Asset Manager durchaus bereit in externe Analysen zu investieren, dies aber nur punktuell und für spezielle Bereiche wie Small- und Midcaps, einzelne Branchen oder Länder. Der Grund: Mit echtem Spezialwissen der Analysten erhöhen sie ihre eigene Möglichkeit, Alpha für ihre Kunden zu generieren.  Genau darin liegt auch die Chance für Analysten, aus dem Tal des Todes wieder herauszukommen.

Dichtes Netzwerk unabhängiger Spezialisten

Für die Analysten in der EU bietet es sich an, nach dem Muster des asiatischen und angelsächsischen Marktes ein dichtes Netzwerk unabhängiger Anbieter zu entwickeln. In Asien und hat sich schon länger eine Alternative außerhalb der hier bisher praktizierten Bündelung etabliert. Ursprünglich angetrieben von den Forderungen der Hedge-Fonds nach differenzierten Analysen zur Alpha-Generierung setzen dort ansässige traditionelle Vermögensverwalter längst auf die Vorzüge von banken- und emittenten-unabhängigem externen Research. Dieser Trend ist dank der Digitalisierung und Entwicklung cloudbasierter Plattformen für den Informationsaustausch zu einem neuen, tragfähigen Geschäftsmodell auch für einzelne, in ihrem Gebiet renommierte Analysten geworden.

Die vor vier Jahren gegründete Smartkarma hat dabei eine führende Rolle eingenommen. Sie bringt Investoren und Anbieter von unabhängigem Research in einem kollaborativen Ökosystem zusammen, das compliance-konform Zugriff auf hochdifferenziertes Research im Rahmen eines fairen Pricing-Modells bietet. Asset Manager müssen daher Analyse-Expertise nicht über Festanstellungen gewährleisten, sondern greifen fallbasiert auf echtes Expertenwissen zu. Außerdem erhalten sie Research, das nicht von Interessenkonflikten belastet ist. Vor allem aktiven Managern kann die digitale Organisation einer Research-Plattform entscheidende Kostenvorteile bringen.

Neue Modelle setzen Investmentbanken unter Druck

Trotz aller negativen Folgen durch MiFID II für einzelne Bereich in der Finanzindustrie gibt es auch einen positiven Paradigmen-Wechsel beim Einsatz von Research: Research wird nicht mehr verkauft, sondern bedarfsgebunden gekauft. Die negativen Folgen spüren vornehmlich die Investmentbanken, denn nach einer letztjährigen Umfrage des CFA-Instituts ist die Mehrheit der Vermögensverwalter dabei, sell-side Research durch eigene oder externe Alternativen zu ersetzen.

Das neue Regelwerk fördert aber auch eine allgemeine Verbesserung der Qualitätsstandards und damit eine Verbesserung der Investmententscheidungen, die dann hoffentlich bei den Privatanlegern wieder eine breitere Akzeptanz der Investmentindustrie bewirkt. Investmenthäuser sollten wieder mehr darauf achten, dass sie Raum lassen für neue unabhängige Quellen. Denn Transparenz und ein breiter Zugang zu Research sind die zentrale Voraussetzung dafür, dass Investoren informierte Anlageentscheidungen treffen können. Alles andere ginge zulasten der Anleger.

Weitere Informationen: Smartkarma Medienservice Kontinentaleuropa

Koetting Financial Communications GmbH
Carmen Weber
Tel.: 069 / 25710607
Email: [email protected]

Über Tim Bruenjes

Tim Bruenjes leitet bei Smartkarma in der Funktion Head of Continental Europe Operations die kontinentaleuropäischen Aktivitäten mit Sitz in Frankfurt. Er verfügt über mehr als 18 Jahre Erfahrung in der Finanzindustrie. Zuvor war er als Head of APAC Equity & Derivatives Trading bei PIMCO tätig. Davor arbeitete er in verantwortlicher Position unter anderem bei der Deutschen Asset Management Asia, sowie bei DWS Investments. Bruenjes hat einen Abschluss als ‚Global Executive MBA‘ der IE Business School in Madrid und ist regelmäßig als Redner auf Konferenzen der Finanzindustrie präsent.

Über Smartkarma

Smartkarma ist ein Netzwerk für globales Investment Research. Es bietet Investoren und unabhängigen Analysten ein gemeinsames Forum, das Investoren und Anbieter von unabhängigem Research in einem kollaborativen Ökosystem zusammenbringt. Die innovative und cloudbasierte Plattform stellt den Wert von unabhängigen Analysen für Investoren in den Vordergrund. Sie bietet institutionellen Anlegern einzigartige, und qualitativ hochwertige Informationen in Echtzeit. Dabei erstrecken sich die Angebote auf viele Bereiche wie Unternehmens-, Sektoren- und Marktanalysen. Seit seiner Gründung 2016 ist Smartkarma enorm gewachsen:

  • Mehr als 400 Analysten und Insight Provider decken rund 2,700 Unternehmen in 15 Märkten des asiatisch-pazifischen Raums ab.
  • Weltweit mehr als 165 institutionelle Investoren sind bereits Kunden von Smartkarma. Allein die 10 größten von ihnen haben mehr als 13,5 Billionen US-Dollar an Assets under Management.
  • Seit Dezember 2016 ist die Société Generale Partner von Smartkarma. Die Investmentbank stellt seitdem ihren institutionellen Kunden rund um den Globus den Zugang zu der innovativen Research-Plattform zur Verfügung.

Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter www.smartkarma.com

Smartkarma opens Frankfurt office to support the build-out of its Research Network across continental Europe

By | Press Release

The Frankfurt operations, led by Tim Bruenjes, is developing a pan-European network of Independent Providers whilst also supporting institutional investors across Continental Europe with Asian and Emerging Market investment research

Smartkarma, Asia’s largest provider of independent investment research, today announced the opening of its Frankfurt office, headed by Tim Bruenjes. After recently completing its Series B funding round, led by top-tier venture firm Sequoia Capital, Smartkarma looks to fast-track its growth across Continental Europe offering the MiFID II compliant research network of over 400 independent research providers.

Smartkarma brings together independent insight providers alongside investors and portfolio managers in a unique, global research network. Asset managers can engage directly, in real time, on the Smartkarma platform with access to a full range of research services, from published insight, through to analyst calls, corporate access, financial models and bespoke projects with expert Insight Providers. The flexible, cloud-based model engages independent research providers to publish research as it happens in the markets and incentivises the entire network to collaborate on the generation of ideas. This presents the buy-side with an innovative channel for obtaining investment ideas and themes, that are discussed, debated and questioned by the community of unconflicted research providers.

Smartkarma’s predictive search engine matches research in real time with investor mandates, helping clients consolidate relevant information and stay abreast of evolving, complex financial issues. With transparent, subscription-based pricing the platform’s design also ensures compliance needs are also fulfilled. Clients have complete confidence that they can operate in a safe and compliant environment, with access to all the information, data and functionality necessary to be in full control. More than 165 buy-side clients have already subscribed to the research network, with $13.5 trillion in assets under managed by the top 10 clients alone.

On average, 30 insights are published per day with the breadth of coverage exceeding 2,700 companies across 15 Asia Pacific markets. Smartkarma analysts often focus in underrepresented areas, including IPO/M&A analysis and event-driven special situations, as well as small and mid-cap company research. Insight Providers range from large established independent research firms to research boutiques and independent analysts, alongside academics, data scientists and strategists.

Jon Foster, Co-founder and Chairman of Smartkarma comments, “The demand for unconflicted, unbundled research is rapidly rising following the implementation of MiFID II. Our innovative research platform provides the buy-side with transparent pricing and instant access to Insight Providers, creating on-demand and real-time coverage and feedback, which is invaluable to investors sitting in European time zones.”

Head of Continental Europe for Smartkarma, Tim Bruenjes, brings 18 years of buy-side experience in global financial markets and notes, “As European investors hunt for alpha and respond to the evolving regulatory landscape, many are looking for opportunities outside the domestic market and see the emerging markets of Asia as an excellent fit for their investment strategies. Smartkarma offers European funds investing into Asia and those looking for differentiated coverage outside of European markets, an unparalleled, compliant and cost-effective research solution for idea generation.”

The Frankfurt office opening follows the recent announcement that Smartkarma is expanding their Insight Provider network to focus on European investment research. Predominantly in-country, Smartkarma is currently requesting independent research providers to apply via their website www.smartkarma.com.

 

– End –

 

Smartkarma media contact:

Chanda Shingadia

Tel: +44(0)7951163615

Email: [email protected]

About Tim Bruenjes

Tim Bruenjes is the Head of Continental Europe Operations for Smartkarma and has over 18 years of financial industry experience. Prior roles include running multi-asset trading desks across Asia as Head of APAC Equity & Derivatives Trading at PIMCO and before that at Deutsche Asset Management Asia as well as senior trading positions at DWS Investments in Germany. Tim holds a Global Executive MBA from IE Business School, Madrid and is a frequent speaker at a variety of financial industry conferences.

About Smartkarma

Smartkarma unlocks the value of independent insight, providing investors with high-quality, unique, expert opinion on timely themes and topics across companies, industries, and markets in Asia. Insight can be customized to individual investor needs and updated in real time as investment strategies change, helping investors consolidate relevant information and stay abreast of evolving, complex financial issues. In addition to large-cap bottom-up, coverage also includes frontier markets, small and mid-caps and in-depth event driven/IPO analysis, helping Smartkarma’s global client base generate new trade ideas.

Smartkarma saves investors and insight providers valuable time by providing new ways to create, engage with, and distribute insight with its innovative use of technology and direct access to experts through its responsive, intuitive platform. Its market-changing business model also meets evolving regulatory requirements, such as MiFID II. For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

SGX collaborates with FinTech firm Smartkarma to roll-out C-Suite Pilot Program

By | Press Release

The C-Suite Pilot Program will develop an innovative research solution to bring listed companies, analysts and investors on to a single platform

SINGAPORE, March 12, 2018: Singapore Exchange (SGX) and FinTech firm Smartkarma today announced a partnership to roll out the C-Suite Pilot Program, a cloud-based platform that will enable SGX-listed companies to streamline their communication and data reporting to the institutional analyst and investor communities.

Listed companies will be able to communicate seamlessly with analysts and investors, monitor sentiment, compare industry performance, and benchmark instantly against peers which will enhance investors’ understanding of and accessibility to these companies.

This is the first collaboration between Smartkarma and an exchange that will, for the first time, bring analysts, investors and listed companies into one unique network. Smartkarma and SGX are inviting C-level executives and investor relations professionals of SGX-listed companies to join the C-Suite Pilot Program to provide their input and feedback, with the objective of gaining a better understanding of local requirements and use cases specific to this market.

Chew Sutat, Head of Equities and Fixed Income, SGX, said, “The global investment research landscape is fast evolving with the emergence of self-directed and independent research, as well as new regulations resulting in a reduction in investment coverage by financial institutions. We welcome this initiative by Smartkarma to build a solution that raises the profile of our listed companies amongst investors and analysts.”

Among the SGX-listed companies which have signed up for the Pilot Program, Goh Toh Sim, Executive Director and Acting CEO, EC World Asset Management Pte Ltd, Manager of EC World REIT, said “We are interested to participate in the Pilot Program to learn how digital solutions can help improve investor dialogue, data transparency and quality of analysis. This fits into our efforts to improve governance and contact with the investment research community.”

Raghav Kapoor, Smartkarma CEO, said, “We are thrilled to partner with the SGX as we equip corporates with an innovative platform to engage with the fast-growing independent research community, helping improve their perception with current and potential investors. This is coming at a time when banks and brokers are downsizing research desks due to regulation and cost constraints, resulting in a decline in the depth and breadth of coverage of certain stocks, assets and sectors. C-Suite addresses this need in the market, strengthening information flows in a MiFID II compliant way.”

This latest initiative continues SGX’s efforts in raising awareness of listed companies and making research information more accessible to investors. SGX has in recent years begun distributing thematic sector research reports and CEO profile interview articles on SGX-listed companies and held a series of research forums. To access SGX’s markets research content, visit sgx.com/research.

To request an invite for the C-Suite Pilot Program, visit: https://csuite.smartkarma.com/. For more information about the Pilot Program, please contact Smartkarma.

C-Suite website: https://csuite.smartkarma.com/

About Singapore Exchange (SGX)

Singapore Exchange is Asia’s leading and trusted market infrastructure, operating equity, fixed income and derivatives markets to the highest regulatory standards. As Asia’s most international, multi-asset exchange, SGX provides listing, trading, clearing, settlement, depository and data services, with about 40% of listed companies and 75% of listed bonds originating outside of Singapore.

SGX is the world’s most liquid offshore market for the benchmark equity indices of China, India, Japan and ASEAN and offers commodities and currency derivatives products. Headquartered in AAA-rated Singapore, SGX is globally recognised for its risk management and clearing capabilities. For more information, please visit www.sgx.com.

About Smartkarma

Smartkarma unlocks the value of independent insight, providing investors with high-quality, unique, insight on timely themes and topics across companies, industries, and markets via it innovative, collaborative cloud-based platform. Smartkarma’s ecosystem has showcased considerable growth since its launch in 2016:

  • Over 400 Insight Providers covering in excess of 2,400 companies across 15 Asia Pacific markets.
  • Over 165 global institutional asset managers as subscribers. The top 10 clients alone have over $13.5 trillion under management.
  • In December 2016, global investment bank, Societe Generale, partnered with Smartkarma to provide its global institutional clientbase with access to this new research solution

For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

Media Contact

Singapore Exchange

Ho Lily

Marketing & Communications

E: [email protected]

T: +65 6713 6786

Smartkarma (For all enquiries on C-Suite Pilot Program)

Ryan Ramsay

E: [email protected]

T: +65 911 729 48

C-Suite website: https://csuite.smartkarma.com/

Smartkarma Launches Premium Services, Offering a Full Suite of Independent, MiFID II Compliant Research Services to the Buy-Side

By | Press Release

Smartkarma’s community of independent Insight Providers now offer value-added services globally including analyst calls, corporate access, financial models & bespoke projects.

SINGAPORE, LONDON, 21 February 2018 – Smartkarma, Asia’s largest provider of independent investment research, today announced the global launch of Premium Services, a suite of value-added services, allowing asset managers to deepen their engagement with independent research providers. Smartkarma’s innovative platform-based solution has up-ended the traditional research model by providing access to a large network of independent, transparent, analysts and insight providers. With the launch of Premium Services, this now extends into other services beyond content, including analyst calls, corporate access, financial modelling and bespoke research, all accessed in a fully compliant manner.

Smartkarma’s Premium Services launch follows the recent announcements of its expansion across Europe and the US, as well as its recent Series B funding announcement. Quinlan and Associates have forecast a growth in independent and boutique insight providers, due not only to regulatory obligations, but also the move towards a more dynamic and collaborative solution for the currently fractured investment research market. Smartkarma’s ecosystem has shown strong growth since its launch in 2016, with the top 10 clients alone having over $13.5 trillion under management.

Smartkarma’s Premium Services provides clients with a holistic solution, outside of the traditional bank research model, which has shown significant strain under the MIFID II regulatory rules. In contrast to the current cumbersome processes to establish interaction with analysts and analyst firms, ensuring compliance is an easy, transparent process with Premium Services. Once compliant, clients can easily work with all Insight Providers across the network, without any fear of inducement, a key requirement for MiFID II.

Premium Services allow the buy side the flexibility to engage with Insight Providers when and how they need, with simple and transparent pricing and a tiered subscription model, priced from $2,000 US per month. Clients can access Insight Providers whose work they appreciate and value, to get more in-depth knowledge on a specific topic, or to sense check a newly formulated trading idea. The addition of bespoke work also gives investors and portfolio managers the opportunity to request specific financial models or other research that will not be visible to others on the Smartkarma platform.

For Insight Providers, Premium Services enables monetisation of services that complement their written insight available on the Smartkarma platform, further strengthening their expert credibility. Over 400 Insight Providers covering in excess of 2,400 companies across 15 Asia Pacific markets publish regularly to the platform, covering areas that are underrepresented by traditional bank research including IPO/M&A analysis, event-driven special situations, and small and mid-cap company research.

Smartkarma Insight Provider and Chief Economist at Asianomics, Dr Jim Walker says, “Premium Services provides independent analysts like me, with an effective platform to reach a global community of buy-side clients interested in all of our services.”

Jon Foster, Co-founder of Smartkarma notes, “The finance industry is seeing unprecedented change and traditional bank-led models for research coverage and analyst interaction is no longer enough. The market wants more access to independent research that is compliant and actionable. Premium Services delivers this in a new and innovative way, allowing asset managers to dive deeper into the written ideas on Smartkarma and their next investment.”

Premium Services is now live across the Smartkarma platform and the service will also be available to European focused Insight Providers joining the platform this year.

 

Smartkarma: Media Contact:  [email protected]

Chanda Shingadia: + 44 (0)7951 163615

 

About Smartkarma

Smartkarma unlocks the value of independent insight, providing investors with high-quality, unique, expert opinion on timely themes and topics across companies, industries, and markets in Asia via it innovative, collaborative cloud-based platform. Insight can be customized to individual investor needs and updated in real time as investment strategies change, helping investors consolidate relevant information and stay abreast of evolving, complex financial issues. In addition to large-cap bottom-up, coverage also includes frontier markets, small and mid-caps and in-depth event driven/IPO analysis, helping Smartkarma’s global client base generate new trade ideas.

Smartkarma saves investors and insight providers valuable time by providing new ways to create, engage with, and distribute insight with its innovative use of technology and direct access to experts through its responsive, intuitive platform. Its market changing business model also meets evolving regulatory requirements, such as MiFID II. For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

Smartkarma expands to North America with its innovative research platform for unconflicted and independent research in Asian equities

By | Press Release

New US operations & NYC office to support US fund managers looking to the Asian markets.

SINGAPORE, LONDON, NEW YORK, January 29, 2018 – Smartkarma, Asia’s largest provider of independent investment research, today announced the opening of its New York City office, headed by 30-year industry veteran Warren Yeh. Smartkarma is well positioned to expand into American markets after recently completing its Series B funding round, led by Sequoia Capital. With a base in New York, Smartkarma aims to bring unprecedented on-the-ground reach and insight into Asian markets for US-based asset managers. Smartkarma has expanded from its headquarters in Singapore to five locations around the world, servicing a global client base comprising of some of the world’s largest asset managers.

By bringing together the best independent insight providers and asset managers in one collaborative ecosystem, Smartkarma is reinventing the way research is created and consumed, with timely insights delivered in an intuitive and engaging way. Smartkarma has demonstrated rapid growth since its launch in April 2016, with its top ten clients alone accounting for US$13.5 trillion of assets under management.

Raghav Kapoor, Co-founder and CEO of Smartkarma comments, “The demand for differentiated and unconflicted research is rapidly rising and US markets are no exception. Our Insight Providers, based in-country, provide US funds with local insight in areas underrepresented in traditional investment bank research, including IPO/M&A analysis, event-driven special situations as well as small and mid-cap company research.”

Smartkarma’s cloud-based platform brings together:

  • Over 400 Insight Providers covering in excess of 2,400 companies across 15 Asia Pacific markets.
  • Instant access to analysts, creating on-demand and real-time coverage which is invaluable to investors sitting in a distant time zone.
  • A unique Spotify-esque business model that enables asset managers to pay a single subscription for unlimited, personalised access to insight across all providers.

By adopting a model such as Smartkarma’s, with transparent subscription pricing. US managers are responding proactively to evolving regulatory changes such as MiFID II in Europe, which came into effect on 3rd January 2018 and has had a global impact. This aligns interests as many managers are starting to pay for research services out of their own P&L.

Leading Smartkarma in the US, Warren Yeh brings 30 years of buy-side experience in Asian and the US financial markets. Yeh notes, “As US investors hunt for alpha, many are looking for opportunities outside the domestic market of the US and see the emerging markets of Asia as still cheap, relative to historical levels and other asset classes. Smartkarma is an excellent fit for US funds investing into Asia, providing a level of transparency and independent insight that has not been available until now.”

Smartkarma media contact:

Chanda Shingadia

Tel: +44(0)7951163615

Email: [email protected]

About Warren Yeh

Warren Yeh is the Head of US Operations for Smartkarma and has over 30 years of industry experience. Prior roles include setting up and developing the New York office for Vickers Ballas’ – Singapore’s largest brokerage firm – as well as Managing Partner of Adapa Partners, LLC a long/short Asian equity hedge fund which he co-founded in 2000. Yeh has also managed the Japanese and Asian equity investments for the USAA International Fund and had various roles in the equity investment research space.

About Smartkarma

Smartkarma unlocks the value of independent insight, providing investors with high-quality, unique, expert opinion on timely themes and topics across companies, industries, and markets in Asia. Insight can be customized to individual investor needs and updated in real time as investment strategies change, helping investors consolidate relevant information and stay abreast of evolving, complex financial issues. In addition to large-cap bottom-up, coverage also includes frontier markets, small and mid-caps and in-depth event driven/IPO analysis, helping Smartkarma’s global client base generate new trade ideas.

Smartkarma saves investors and insight providers valuable time by providing new ways to create, engage with, and distribute insight with its innovative use of technology and direct access to experts through its responsive, intuitive platform. Its market changing business model also meets evolving regulatory requirements, such as MiFID II. For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

Smartkarma Raises Series B Round Led by Sequoia Capital

By | Press Release

Fundraise to drive international expansion and reshape the investment research industry

SINGAPORE, November 6, 2017– Smartkarma, Asia’s largest provider of independent investment research, today announced it has closed a Series B round of financing led by Sequoia India, which brings the company’s total funding to US $21 million.

Smartkarma is disrupting the traditional model of investment research, which has long been dominated by investment banks. It is a model in a state of flux: banks are under pressure from regulators to improve pricing transparency and resolve inherent conflicts between their research and investment banking departments. Many investment banks are also downsizing research desks due to cost constraints, resulting in a decline in the depth and breadth of coverage of certain stocks, assets and sectors.

Smartkarma’s platform connects investment managers with a large community of experts and analysts, and a wealth of independent, unbiased research. The company has seen rapid adoption since the launch of its platform in 2016.

  • Over 400 independent analysts covering more than 2,400 companies across 15 Asian markets, now contribute to Smartkarma’s cloud-based platform.
  • Insights are published daily with active minute by minute discussions, where themes and ideas are debated, discussed and questioned among a community of experts, in real time.
  • Over 150 leading institutional asset managers have subscribed, including sovereign wealth funds, global asset managers, hedge funds, boutiques and family offices, worldwide.
  • The top 10 clients alone have over $13.5 trillion under management.

The company was founded in Singapore in 2014 by Raghav Kapoor, Jon Foster and Lee Mitchell who, together, have over 35 years’ experience in equity research, marketing and sales. Kapoor and Foster were also co-founders of Aviate Research, which was acquired in 2010 by Religare Capital Markets.

Existing investors, including Wavemaker Partners, Jungle Ventures and Spring Seeds, joined the Series B round led by Sequoia India. The continued support of these leading venture capital firms underscores Smartkarma’s future growth and market opportunity.

“The traditional equity research model has been broken for a while. Smartkarma is empowering independent researchers and creating a new paradigm of transparent pricing in this industry.” said Shailendra Singh, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore Pte Ltd.  “The early success of the company is a strong testament to their innovative business model, and the team at Sequoia is excited to be part of this journey.”

Smartkarma will use the funds to consolidate its leadership position in the Asia Pacific region by strengthening its network of independent Insight Providers, augmenting the tools and features on the platform, as well as offering further services beyond the published content currently available. The additional funding will also support Smartkarma’s international expansion. In September, Smartkarma launched a UK office, which will serve as a hub to build out its independent research analyst community in Europe and support its buy-side investor clientele.

Smartkarma’s expansion comes at a time when the EU is rolling out MiFID II, banking legislation that will  force transparency around the supply and payment for research. That legislation, which comes into effect in January 2018, requires investment banks to charge for research, which has long been bundled with trading commissions and other services fees. Institutional investors are seeking innovative research solutions as the deadline for compliance with MiFID II approaches.

“We are immensely proud of the innovative ways Smartkarma is reshaping the investment research industry and the voice we are giving to independent Insight Providers. We recognized early on that the market was fractured and there was an opportunity to reinvent how research is created, shared and used in order to drive an unconflicted and efficient industry,” said Jon Foster, Co-founder and Chairman of Smartkarma. “This round allows us to extend our global reach and insight offerings to bring true value to investors.”

Smartkarma: Media Contact:  [email protected]

About Smartkarma

Smartkarma’s cloud based platform provides access to a wide range of independent research from over 120 investment insight firms, comprised of over 400 contributing analysts. Its community has written on more than 2,400 companies across 15 Asian markets, offering unconflicted, on the ground coverage in areas under covered by the traditional research providers, including frontier markets, small and mid-caps and in-depth, event driven IPO analysis. Smartkarma notably provides investors with direct access to research contributors, creating a strong correlation between research demand and supply.

Smartkarma saves investors and insight providers valuable time and provides new ways to create, engage with and distribute insight with its innovative use of technology and direct access to experts through its responsive, intuitive platform. Its market changing business model also meets evolving regulatory requirements, such as MiFID II. For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

Smartkarma Expands into Europe to Bring Innovation and Transparent Pricing to European Investment Research, Addressing MiFID II Concerns

By | Press Release

Smartkarma’s new UK office leads call for expert, independent research providers in Europe to join its collaborative, digital ecosystem   

SINGAPORE, LONDON, 25 September 2017– Smartkarma, Asia’s largest provider of independent investment research, today announced the opening of its new UK office to serve as a hub to build out its independent research analyst community in Europe and support its buy-side investor clientele. Arzish Baaquie, who joined the firm in 2014 and previously led the Special Situations offering, is spearheading the growth of Smartkarma in the UK and will build a team based in Baker Street, London.

Smartkarma’s move to the UK coincides with major banking legislation, MiFID II, which takes effect in January 2018 and is forcing transparency around the supply and payment of research. The goal for European regulators is the ‘unbundling’ of research; rather than assets managers receiving research ‘free’ from banks alongside trading revenues, it must now be transparently and fairly priced and paid for. As the deadline for complying with MiFID II is fast approaching, institutional investors are seeking ways to improve their strategies with new innovative solutions in how they search for, access and filter the best research.

“The research industry is under significant stress from MIFID II, and it is no secret that we plan to take full advantage of this fractured market. Our transparent subscription model and open access to the complete ecosystem of research and analysts means that investors are MiFID II compliant and can access independent research through an innovative, cloud-based platform,” says Jon Foster, Co-founder and Chairman of Smartkarma.

Innovation has been slow within the research sector, generally limited to research aggregators and traditional banks uploading current offline offerings online. Smartkarma has taken a different, network approach, one which has seen huge success across numerous other digitally disrupted industries, such as music, TV or film. Currently, with over 400 independent analysts based across 15 Asian markets, investment managers globally can take advantage of Smartkarma’s expert insights, delivered when and how they need it. This network is now set to expand across Europe to extend the benefits of the platform with further local, in-country coverage.

Smartkarma’s community of analysts and experts coexist and collaborate on the Smartkarma platform, allowing investment managers access to independent and unbiased research and the authors that created it. By using a simple set of tools and personalised alerts and trending insights, information overload issues are addressed, removing clutter and bringing the most useful and timely research for any given event or investment strategy into focus One of the most innovative benefits to investors is the platform’s ability to provide differing opinions from multiple analysts, on the same topic. Never before have bullish and bearish insights been at the investors fingertips, enabling investors to join the dots and make their own profitable decisions.

Independent insight providers in Europe can register interest with Smartkarma and after a vetting process to ensure appropriate expertise and coverage, they can join the platform with publishing tools and data sets readily available. Analysts can maintain their focus on producing timely and effective research to the market, as Smartkarma facilitates the access of this content to market.

“We are the largest provider of independent research in Asia with over 400 analysts and I have been selected to help replicate that success in Europe,” says Arzish Baaquie, Head of UK at Smartkarma.  “As the industry continues to evolve, we have already shown that we have reinvented how independent research is created, supplied and consumed. We are rapidly expanding our network of insight providers across Europe and establishing operations in London is a natural next step.”

Smartkarma: Media Contact:  [email protected]

About Smartkarma

Smartkarma’s cloud based platform provides access to a wide range of independent research from over 120 investment insight firms, comprised of over 400 contributing analysts. Its community has written on more than 1700 companies across 15 Asian markets, offering unconflicted, on the ground coverage in areas under covered by the traditional research providers, including frontier markets, small and mid-caps and in-depth, event driven IPO analysis.  Smartkarma notably provides investors with direct access to research contributors, creating a strong correlation between research demand and supply.

Smartkarma saves investors and insight providers valuable time and provides new ways to create, engage with and distribute insight with its innovative use of technology and direct access to experts through its responsive, intuitive platform. Its market changing business model also meets evolving regulatory requirements, such as MiFID II.  For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

About Arzish Baaquie

Smartkarma’s UK office will be led by Arzish Baaquie, who prior to Smartkarma, worked across several financial institutions, including Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas and Bloomberg LP. His most recent role was at TC Capital, a boutique investment bank focused on mergers and acquisitions, where he spent three years advising on various transactions across Southeast Asia.  Arzish joined the Smartkarma team in 2014, and began writing insights under the Special Situations vertical, with a focus on merger arbitrage opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.  He progressed to the position of Head of Special Situations, before taking a one-year sabbatical in 2016, to complete a Masters in Finance at London Business School. He is a recipient of the MAS Financial Scholarship, which is awarded to promising Singaporean financial sector professionals.

Smartkarma Partners with ULLINK to Offer Collaborative Independent Research Platform via the NYFIX Portal

By | Press Release

SINGAPORE, 13 September, 2017 – Smartkarma, Asia’s largest provider of independent research, and ULLINK, a global provider of electronic trading and connectivity solutions to the financial community, today announced the immediate availability of the Smartkarma research platform via the NYFIX Portal. Targeting the growing need for transparent pricing and unconflicted research for the buy-side, driven by regulatory focus on unbundling research from current commission structures, the partnership gives NYFIX buy-side members access to quality, independent research on Asian markets.

Smartkarma’s cloud based platform provides access to a wide range of independent research from 135 investment insight firms, comprised of over 400 contributing analysts who have written on more than 1700 companies across 15 Asian markets. It offers unconflicted, on-the-ground coverage in areas that are typically less well covered by traditional research providers, including frontier markets, small and mid-caps and in-depth, event driven IPO analysis. Smartkarma notably provides investors with direct access to research contributors, creating a strong correlation between research demand and supply. Access via the NYFIX Portal makes this research immediately accessible to the NYFIX community of more than 800 buy-side participants.

Smartkarma co-founder, Jon Foster, notes, “ULLINK’s NYFIX community is one of the largest trading communities in the world, and we are excited to offer access to our research services for its members, helping them to develop more effective trading strategies and understand market movements in real time.”

ULLINK’s NYFIX Portal is a service delivery platform providing NYFIX members with access to a range of trading and investment services, provided directly by ULLINK and by a growing range of third-party vendors. Smartkarma is the first independent research platform to offer their service though the NYFIX Portal under the auspices of ULLINK’s Global Alliance Program (GAP), providing the NYFIX buy-side community with access to quality, independent research on Asian markets to improve their trading strategy formulation.

ULLINK’s Global Head of Business Development, Philippe Carré, commented, “We are delighted to partner with Smartkarma, our first partnership with such an innovative research platform. Smartkarma targets the macro trend for unbundling payment for research and execution services, and provides an innovative approach based on collaborative contributions from its community. We believe our NYFIX buy-side community will benefit hugely from access to this service, and integration with our NYFIX Portal makes such access seamless.”

 

About Smartkarma

Smartkarma unlocks the value of independent insight, providing investors with high-quality, unique, expert opinion on timely themes and topics across companies, industries and markets in Asia. Insight can be customized to individual investor needs and updated in real time as investment strategies change, helping investors consolidate relevant information and stay abreast of evolving, complex financial issues. In addition to large cap bottom up, coverage also includes frontier markets, small and mid-caps and in-depth event driven IPO analysis, helping Smartkarma’s global client base generate new trade ideas.

Smartkarma saves investors and insight providers valuable time and provides new ways to create, engage with and distribute insight with its innovative use of technology and direct access to experts through its responsive, intuitive platform. Its market changing business model also meets evolving regulatory requirements, such as MiFID II.  For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

Contact:

[email protected]

Helen Toft +44 7989 420 445

 

About ULLINK 

ULLINK is a global provider of market leading multi-asset trading technology and infrastructure for buy-side and sell-side market participants, including NYFIX, one of the industry’s largest FIX based trading communities. Trusted by over 150 of the world’s top-tier banks and brokers, the company provides consistent, reliable access to the most current and innovative trading solutions available. Our multi-asset solutions allow you to connect to your desired markets, trade when and where you want, while being able to comply with global regulation. From our 10 offices covering all the major global financial centers, our team will advise on the best approach to address your challenges and deploy our technology.

For more information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.ULLINK.com.

Follow us on Twitter @ULLINK_News and LinkedIn

 

 

Quinlan & Associates sees significant role for alternative research models such as Smartkarma

By | Press Release

Investment banking research departments face potential losses of up to USD 240 million by 2020

Singapore, London, New York, 26 June 2017 – Quinlan & Associates, an independent strategy consulting firm specialising in the financial services industry, has released a thought leadership paper, ‘A Brave Call,’ looking at the changes in the investment research industry triggered by MiFID II. The report forecasts some global investment bank research departments could face potential losses of up to $240 million by 2020, but also looks at how cost reduction provides an opportunity for significant market disruption and innovation as investors look for new ways to access research.

The report discusses the inherent conflicts between the research and investment banking departments of full-service investment banks, supported by empirical evidence around stock recommendations. ‘The structural complexity and costs of sell-side research departments remain stubbornly high’, said Yvette Kwan, co-author of the report, ‘whilst regulation to-date has failed to fully resolve the inherent conflicts’. For example, there is a heavy bias towards the provision of positive ratings by integrated brokerage houses.  When examining analyst recommendations across all major investment banks, an average of 43% of stocks covered by tier-1 banks and 48% of stocks covered by tier-2 banks were given a ‘buy’ recommendation, with a mere 12% and 7% tagged with a ‘sell’ recommendation respectively.

At the same time, Independent Research Providers (IRPs) have been steadily gaining traction, reflecting their capacity to produce high-quality, in-depth independent and local market analyses at a considerably lower cost than major sell-side brokerages. ‘We have seen a host of new IRPs emerge, with analysts from bulge bracket firms capitalising on low barriers to entry to set up their own firms, as well as consolidation amongst existing IRPs’, said Benjamin Quinlan, CEO of Quinlan & Associates and lead author of the report. From a buy-side perspective, the report explores the IRPs’ proposition, including specialised content and flexible payment options, which is especially compelling for smaller managers.

In the report, Quinlan & Associates discusses alternative research models available to brokers in the wake of this rising competition. Options include operating research out of a separately-owned entity, and outsourcing research to IRPs either directly or via online research marketplaces (ORMs), such as Société Générale’s partnership with Smartkarma.

Reviewing the Smartkarma platform, Quinlan and Associates highlight its benefits for both the independent research providers as well as the investment community:

  • For investors, Smartkarma provides new and alternative content, as well as the curation of content both through its upfront selection of insight providers and smart algorithms to filter content, and dynamic engagement between users and insight providers.
  • For insight providers, Smartkarma is not just a content distribution platform – through the use of content and work management tools, it is also a publishing platform. And whilst the platform is heavily reliant on technology, the humanistic aspects incorporated into the platform are particularly thought-provoking.  These include the collegiate support network for IPs where desired behaviour is directly reinforced through remuneration, and income smoothing which provides income stability.

‘The most important priority for brokers now is to start making decisions around the structural make-up of their investment research offering’, said Mr Quinlan, ‘as the status quo of the fully-integrated model is no longer an option.’

Jon Foster, co-founder of Smartkarma adds, ‘By creating a new model for investors to collaborate, add and extract value from our community of independent insight providers, we are changing the research landscape for global investors, removing the inherent conflict seen today, and providing timely access to insight in a cost-effective way. Smartkarma’s bull-to-bear ratio of ~60:40 is a telling indicator of the independence of our insight providers, supported by our innovative compensation model and intuitive platform, which drives collaborative behaviours and improved insight outcomes, matched to investors’ needs.’

About Smartkarma

Smartkarma unlocks the value of independent insight, providing investors with high-quality, unique, expert opinion on timely themes and topics across companies, industries and markets in Asia. Insight can be customized to individual investor needs and updated in real time as investment strategies change, helping investors consolidate relevant information and stay abreast of evolving, complex financial issues. In addition to large cap bottom up, coverage also includes frontier markets, small and mid-caps and in-depth event driven IPO analysis, helping Smartkarma’s global client base generate new trade ideas.

Smartkarma saves investors and insight providers valuable time and provides new ways to create, engage with and distribute insight with its innovative use of technology and direct access to experts through its responsive, intuitive platform. Its market changing business model also meets evolving regulatory requirements, such as MiFID II.

For more information please visit www.smartkarma.com

Contact:

[email protected]

Helen Toft +44 7989 420 445

 

About Quinlan & Associates 

Quinlan & Associates is an independent strategy consulting firm specialising in the financial services industry. The Company is the first firm to offer end-to-end strategy consulting services. From strategy formulation to execution, to ongoing reporting and communications, Quinlan & Associates translates cutting-edge advice into commercially executable solutions. With a team of top-tier financial services and strategy consulting professionals, and a global network of alliance partners, Quinlan & Associates provides its clients with the most up-to-date industry insights from around the world, positioning the Company as a leader in this field.

 

For more information, please visit www.quinlanandassociates.com.

Contact:

Benjamin Quinlan | CEO & Managing Partner

+852 2251 8725 | [email protected]

Smartkarma at the Top: Publishing the World’s Highest Investment Research from Mount Everest

By | Press Release

Smartkarma’s cloud based platform enables independent research analysts to embrace flexible working

Singapore, Mt Everest – April 21, 2017 – Smartkarma, the leading online ecosystem for independent investment insight and analytics, today announces research published from Mount Everest basecamp using the Smartkarma platform. Dr. Paul M. Kitney, previously the head of strategy for Blackrock, who now publishes his highly respected “Animal Spirits” report on Smartkarma, has just released, “Animal Spirits: Dodd-Frank, Corporate Bond Market Liquidity & Macro-Financial Stabilization” from Mount Everest, while preparing for his ascent to the summit.

Between 2012 and 2016, the top 12 global investment banks saw a 10% reduction in research analyst headcount (Source: Coalition, Quinlan & Associates analysis). As this shrinkage of research teams continues, many top analysts are choosing to start their own independent research firms and look to platforms like Smartkarma to publish, distribute and monetise their services. For Insight Providers, the Smartkarma platform offers an easy, intuitive way to create and distribute research efficiently and flexibly. Smartkarma’s technology enables direct interaction across the network, ensuring that no matter where they are, analysts are engaged with their colleagues and clients.

Smartkarma unlocks the true value of independent insight, uniting a fragmented marketplace and providing investors with a selection of best-in-class research on Asia, all in one convenient portal.  Smartkarma supports Independent Insight Providers in all aspects of their business, allowing them to focus on what they do best, create great research and insight, from anywhere, anytime and on any device. Smartkarma’s rapidly growing platform currently provides global investors access to over 140 independent investment insight firms, including analysts, data scientists, academics and legal professionals. Its community has written on more than 1600 companies across 15 Asian markets, offering unconflicted, on the ground coverage including small and mid-caps stocks in frontier and emerging markets, and in-depth special situations and IPO analysis. On average, 25 insights are published daily with active minute by minute discussions, where themes and ideas are debated, discussed and questioned among a community of experts, in real time.

Dr. Kitney, Insight Provider at Smartkarma says, “Publishing to the Smartkarma platform strengthens the insight I create for the market. The tools and interaction with peers and investors ensure that my research is timely, appropriate and useful for the investor community. In addition, my company and my personal brand benefit extensively from access to the global investor community that uses my research. With the flexibility that the Smartkarma platform provides, I am finally able to combine work with fulfilling a lifelong dream.”

Jon Foster, co-founder of Smartkarma continues, “We are always thrilled to see how the Smartkarma platform enables flexible working for Insight Providers so that they can choose how and where to work. We can only commend such high-altitude publishing, taking Smartkarma to the top of the world, and we wish Paul every success in his ascent.”

About Smartkarma:

As a trusted information source, Smartkarma provides unconflicted and unmatched analysis, transparency and context into the Asian markets, helping global institutional investors confidently drive their investment strategies. Unlike traditional research companies, Smartkarma combines intelligence from the world’s premier analysts, academics, data scientists and strategists in one unique ecosystem. This customizable platform helps investors optimize research spending and enhance returns while accessing the widest range of global analysis of the Asian markets available.

We are on a bold mission to change the way market participants engage with research. By creating a new model for investors to collaborate, add and extract value from our tested and uniquely positioned global community, we are changing the research landscape for global investors. For more information visit us at www.smartkarma.com.

Media Contact:

Articulate Communications for Smartkarma
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1 212 255 0080