Frequently Asked Questions

In this list of FAQs, we cover the most commonly asked and important questions consolidated from our buy-side clients and independent research provider communities. For further information, please contact [email protected]

How do I join Smartkarma?

To register your interest in joining Smartkarma as a Client or Insight Provider, you can request a trial on this link. A member of our Business Development team will follow up on your request as soon as possible. Prospective Insight Providers will undergo a verification and approval process, while prospective Clients will receive a tailored consultation (to discuss eligibility and subscription options) and undergo a thorough onboarding process. All users will be required to sign and accept comprehensive user agreements with Smartkarma before access will be granted.

How much will Smartkarma cost an asset manager?

The cost for a single subscription is USD 7,500 for unlimited access to all insights on Smartkarma. There are Team subscription packages, which provide a discount based on the number of active users. More can be found here.

Who are Smartkarma's users?

Smartkarma users fall into two broad categories:

  1. Client subscribers pay a subscription fee to access investment content and insights on the Smartkarma platform. Clients include many of the world’s best and most sophisticated institutional investors, including asset managers, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, fund managers and family offices.
  2. Insight Providers are remunerated third-party content providers approved to publish investment content and insights on the Smartkarma platform. Insight Providers are ranked for quality, relevance and community engagement by in-house algorithms and are remunerated based on their ranking. Our current Insight Providers are a mix of large independent research houses, boutique research operations and individual analysts/data scientists/consultants/academics.

Why pay for content when broker reports can be obtained for free?

It is a widely-held misconception that broker content is free. In order to provide investors and clients with research, banks have traditionally offset the provision of research with either payments from clients in excess of execution-only levels of commission and/or ECM business derived from the bank’s research coverage. Under this bundled model, investors and clients typically pay more commission than necessary, or receive potentially biased research less likely to add value to a client’s investment process. This method of collecting payment for research is also struggling in light of recent regulator “clampdown” on the use of end-client money to pay non-transparent fees for so-called “free” research.

Is special software required to utilise and access the Smartkarma platform?

No. The Smartkarma platform is a web-based, digitally native SaaS solution. There is no need for special software and members can access the platform by logging on to the Smartkarma website on their desktop or mobile device.

How does Smartkarma approve Insight Providers?

To be accepted as an Insight Provider, a formal and structured application process is followed requiring verification of work/industry experience and writing quality. All Insight Providers are also required to accept comprehensive user agreements containing key legal obligations and provisions regarding compliant conduct and content.

Can data-analytics firms be Insight Providers?

Yes. Smartkarma is happy to consider any quality content that improves or adds value to our Users’ investment processes, insight and understanding. Smartkarma recognises that useful inputs come in many forms and from many sources.

What tools does Smartkarma provide to Insight Providers?

The Smartkarma platform provides Insight Providers with proprietary Insight publishing tools to publish digitally native, detailed content complete with many different types of embedded content modalities (e.g. visualisations, charts, tables, videos etc.). As much as possible, these tools automate the design, formatting and desktop publishing process. The platform also provides access to a suite of proprietary tools in the Smartkarma App Store, as well as various sources of news and information, and peer assistance from the Insight Provider community. We will continue to add additional analytical, data gathering, display, and collaboration tools.

What types of insights can be found on the platform?

Insights published on Smartkarma offer Content on various aspects of financial markets including:

  • Actionable sector thematic notes;
  • Cross-Asset Class Macroeconomic and asset allocation analysis;
  • Data-driven analysis of ECM Activity (IPOs & Placements);
  • Special Situations: M&A, Spinoffs, Discount Arbitrage, Relative Value;
  • Tactical Bottom-Up Long/Short company analysis; and
  • Governance and Accounting Shenanigans analysis.

What is the Smartkarma operating model?

Smartkarma allows Client subscribers to access differentiated and actionable investment insight, authored by a global community of Insight Providers, with one subscription fee. By disintermediating traditional providers of investment insight, Smartkarma is disrupting the economics and distribution of insight.

What is the difference between the content offered on Smartkarma and the content offered by traditional brokers?

Smartkarma is a technology-enabled, enterprise-quality marketplace that enables investors to discover relevant insight anytime, anywhere, on any device. Our Insight Providers are ranked, in real time, on their insights according to quality, relevancy and community engagement. Insights published on the Smartkarma platform are independent, credible, and without traditional agendas. Our Insight Providers also hail from diverse backgrounds within the industry, and are not exclusively bank-trained financial analysts. In addition to large established research houses and boutique research outfits, Insight Providers may also be freelance analysts, consultants, academics, data scientists and industry experts. The Smartkarma platform facilitates collaboration amongst the community to produce differentiated, unique and actionable Insights.

Feeling overloaded with research? How Smartkarma can help.

We know investment professionals are overloaded with research - reading it all is an impossible task. Smartkarma’s technology provides a reliable and efficient way to sift out the message from the noise. The Smartkarma platform offers a single point of access to a large pool of unique and differentiated investment content and insight. Our predictive algorithm searches through this growing universe of ideas and selects only those insights that are relevant to you based on your individual preferences and requirements, saving you time and money. You no longer need to subscribe to every voice on the street.

What do you mean when you say insights are produced collaboratively?

Our platform provides various communication and publishing tools enabling Insight Providers to collaborate, review each other’s work and pursue further discussion.

One such collaborative tool available to Insight Providers is the “peer review” tool – an elective 24-hour period of review and comment within the Insight Provider community before publication and distribution to Clients. This enhances the quality of content and mitigates the risk of inclusion of prohibited information (such as material non-public information).

Collaboration is also encouraged by virtue of Insight Providers being ranked not only by Clients but also by their peer group based on the quality and usefulness of their engagement feedback.

Finally, the platform provides both open or private forums for discussion between Clients and Insight Providers.

Is Smartkarma involved in deals or investment banking?

No, Smartkarma is not involved in these activities. Rather Smartkarma fosters a community of independent, unconflicted and differentiated Insight Providers.

Does Smartkarma outsource tech development?

Every line of code has been written in-house by the Smartkarma engineering team, with a view to continually extend and innovate the platform. This allows us to take complicated business requirements, break them down into shippable versions and develop in an agile manner.

What languages and methodologies are employed in your tech development?

Our main API backend is in Ruby on Rails. The Smartkarma Data Cloud API architecture is built on Sails.js. We use PostGres, MySQL, and Redis for our databasing and our frontend is built on Ember.js.