A case study of how FeedStock Cortex was able to help one of the largest asset management firms address research procurement and pricing challenges.
The client problem
One of the largest asset management firms in the world was looking for a way to manage and evaluate the myriad and complex research relationships taking place between individual internal departments and external research providers. Asset and Portfolio Managers have to be reliant on research providers to assess research consumption, without an internal tracking system for verification and research fee justification. In the past, research was never a P&L cost, but recent regulatory changes created a shift in the pricing model, making research pricing complex.
In order to find the best value for clients, acquiring quality research by constantly evaluating new providers and tracking changes as an ongoing life-cycle management process is paramount, but also difficult to manage with numerous trials with different providers across numerous teams. To thrive in the current regulatory and market environment, this firm was looking for a solution that offers real-time analysis of their research costs over time, in order to rigorously refine and optimise their procurement and investment processes.
The Cortex solution
Cortex uses the very latest machine learning technology to automatically track research interactions, including inducement rates and matching content to the firm’s needs, across multiple research channels. This provides a complete picture of research providers, consumption and engagement. It allows comparison with previous quarters to monitor key differences in research consumption such as analysts’ engagements and number of bespoke interactions over a specified time period. Cortex effectively provides an automatic, 360-degree view into all research interactions, across a complex and changing organisation, in a compliant manner.
Outcome from using Cortex
Cortex was the perfect fit for the global asset manager as it provided insightful data for Research Directors to make informed decisions allowing them to effectively negotiate contracts with providers, compare providers based on value offered, understand changes within the company portfolio and identify companies to set up corporate access or turn seats off contracts.
Overall, Cortex was able to:
- Reduce the client’s investment research spend by 50%.
- Save our client an estimated 10 hours per week by automatically tracking inducements and providing a smart, secure and 360-degree control process.
- Provide bottom-up data to support and streamline the front-office broker voting process.
- Intelligently evaluate research trials to assess if a particular provider will add value.
- Enable the client to proactively understand surges in research consumption. For example, research consumption went up 90% in the aftermath of COVID-19.
- Identify high-value research and companies, helping the client pick companies to set up direct corporate access with.
- Facilitate internal conversations around research spend, for example, which desk owes more for which provider.
How did we get there?
FeedStock’s modular system design allows enormous flexibility in client integrations. Our expert team conducted an initial on-boarding analysis, to assess the client’s requirements and existing infrastructure, and then tailored the modular system to satisfy the client’s particular IT infrastructure and legal, regulatory and data privacy requirements.
We ensured alignment with the client by incorporating considerations such as extending our model to include European languages and working in-line with the client’s legacy browsing systems. The system also integrates with the client’s single sign-on and Active Directory providing automated user maintenance.
Our bespoke solutions range from fully cloud-based containers which require no maintenance by our clients, to hybrid on-prem deployments into client’s existing hosting platforms, a deployment mode suitable for clients with more stringent data privacy requirements. Our integration team is fully engaged and committed to deliver in the shortest mark-to-market time possible.