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Pittsburgh Post Gazette: North Shore Investment Data Management Company Wants Investors To Think Data First

Alexandra Hamer

Alexandra Hamer

Most people wouldn’t think twice before typing in a string of emojis or an inside joke as the description for a Venmo mobile payment to split a pizza for dinner. But it would make Mark Evans pause.

Mr. Evans, CEO and chairman of Pittsburgh-based investment data management company Confluence Technologies, would be thinking ahead to future implications. That vague description, he said, would make it hard to fully analyze someone’s expenses later.

Mr. Evans is part of a financial industry that works on such problems on a larger scale with investments like mutual funds and hedge funds. When investors purchase stock or finalize a trade, the specific details don’t need to be perfect for the transaction to go through. But, when financial companies come in later to offer a snapshot of their portfolio or compile reports about their biggest investments, those small errors make it hard to get a full picture.

This is an industry that traditionally filed papers on 1,000 shares of Apple purchased here or 5,000 of Walmart sold there. Those papers aren’t going away.

In fact, Confluence argues, in the past 20 years, regulators have begun asking for more and more paperwork to verify the accuracy and risk of trades and investments. To ease the burden, the company argues investors and financial advisers should think data first and paperwork second.

The company works by analyzing, verifying and repackaging the same sets of trade data for multiple purposes, meaning its clients don’t have to spend as much time filling out — and double-checking — paperwork. 

“We’re in the back office doing a lot of reporting and knowledge creation from all the data that comes in from all different places, and turning it into something meaningful,” Mr. Evans said.

Confluence announced Tuesday it had acquired StatPro Group plc, a cloud-based portfolio analytics company based in Wimbledon, a community in London.

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