Forefront Communications

WatersTechnology: MackeyRMS, InsiderScore Merge, Creating Research & Analytics Hub for Active Managers

Forefront Communications

Forefront Communications

Two buy-side research and analytics vendors, MackeyRMS and InsiderScore, have merged, building on the trend of buy-side firms looking for one-stop-shops when it comes to products and services. Though a uniform branding of the new company is not yet being revealed, the two are poised to offer a new fundamentals research workflow aimed specifically at active managers.

MackeyRMS offers a SaaS-based research management platform that allows investment managers to capture and share internal investment research. InsiderScore, which is geared toward tracking insider transactions, management changes, stock buybacks, and institutional holdings for publically-traded US companies, is also home to inFilings, a software platform launched in 2018 for structuring and analyzing textual data such as SEC filings, earnings call transcripts, and other documents. By blending their tools the vendors are seeking to build out an end-to-end research solution comprising the collection, analysis, sharing, and structuring processes of fundamental data.

Though passive management, which includes index and ETF investing, isn’t without its downsides, such as potentially lower returns and limited ability to navigate periods of volatility, it has eclipsed active management in recent years, largely due to lower fees than those billed by active managers and the sense of stability that comes with buying baskets of securities that can offset one another’s risks. In other words, a day in the life of an active manager, who must continually analyze fundamental and alternative data in the hopes of finding trading alpha, is harder than it used to be.

Still, both the companies’ founders and CEOs, Chris Mackey of MackeyRMS, and Rusty Szurek of InsiderScore, are doubling down on active management, noting that many such managers have outlasted a lot of the competition over the years, and continue to thrive even during a sustained pandemic.

The decision to combine companies was obvious, Mackey says, as the companies’ client bases claimed dozens of shared customers out of his company’s 300-strong roster, especially among tier-1 firms. “It was an opportunity we just couldn’t ignore, and frankly, we’d have been doing our clients and all of our prospects a disservice had we ignored it,” he says.

Clients will not see any immediate changes to their services, and can continue to use the one or both of the offerings. But what they will immediately gain is a better-resourced company that allows for tighter integrations between internal and third-party research components. Additionally, Mackey says his company has been built with interoperability and openness in mind, and this next chapter for the company represents a readiness to start absorbing, or even leading with, new data sources and content streams.

“If you think about our platform and the value proposition for our clients, it’s very much, from an integration standpoint, an a la carte menu,” he says. “You tell us which providers you want to work with, and who you’re comfortable with—we’ll either expose our API to them, or if we need to get more in the weeds to work on the seamless transfer of information and content, we’re going to do that.”

The merger was made possible by a 2019 strategic investment in MackeyRMS from Resurgens Technology Partners, a $200 million software-focused private equity firm based in Atlanta. The investment marked the first influx of outside capital for the vendor since its founding in 2011. InsiderScore has been self-funded by Szurek since it was founded in 2004, but Resurgens will be invested in the now-combined entity.

Mackey says that with the investment from Resurgens, they will continue to look at M&A opportunities in the future.

Szurek, who is active on the technical and product sides, says the product roadmap is still coming together, but that the combined company is speaking to mutual clients to better understand the needs of active managers, especially as they adapt to a changing market. The deal also stands to open up foreign markets to the US-contained InsiderScore, and vice versa, as MackeyRMS has already established client hubs in London and Hong Kong, and an emerging business in Australia.

“By combining the two organizations, we have the opportunity to truly build a transformational user experience and workflow for our clients. We’re excited to be working together to build that right now,” Szurek says.

Terms of the deal were not released. The executives say that customers should not expect staffing changes in the near future.

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