Emma Margetts, co-founder of Alpha Exchange (now part of Visible Alpha) and winner of this year’s startup professional of the year category, is no stranger to hard work and overcoming challenges. By 2016, before the age of 30, she had successfully helped build and launch a research and management platform that delivers insights and analysis to investment professionals.
Recognized for her driving force and ability to execute ideas, Margetts along with her co-founders, Scott Winship and Alex Santos, led Alpha Exchange into the exciting year that was 2017. Under her leadership, Alpha Exchange was selected as one of 10 “Techstars” companies as part of Barclays’ 2016 accelerator program, and within 12 months it had signed 150 institutional clients. The platform was rolled out across 15 countries worldwide and was announced as the winner of the best financial research and data company in the 2017 FinTech Breakthrough Awards.
Attracting major interest in its first year, the firm was acquired by Visible Alpha, a research and analytics platform and solutions provider, in November 2017. This move saw the amalgamation of two research and investment analysis providers that shared a common client network and vision for the future. With her new remit as senior project manager at Visible Alpha, Margetts plays a crucial role in driving that vision forward. “It all comes down to me, when it comes to client success and product innovation, which are the two things I love deeply,” she says. “It’s basically making our product kick ass, so our clients have the best possible experience, and how we fit our company into the broader Visible Alpha product fit.”
As a young woman growing up in South Africa, Margetts had always set her sights on the capital markets. At 16 she was playing the stock markets and by 20 she had founded The Business Learning Network, an accelerator for female entrepreneurs, in a township near Cape Town.
Being a woman in an industry dominated by men, Margetts attributes much of her success to having confidence in her abilities and refusing to allow stereotypes to stand in the way of achieving her goals. “When I started Alpha Exchange, every pitch, every client’s board room and every investor and mentor was male. I made an active choice many years ago never to focus on being one of the women in a field or industry and instead to concentrate on making myself invaluable and an expert in the industry. To me it feels empowering to know that I have not let stereotypes hold me back in any way.”