Upcoming Alternative Data Conference Expects 100 Data Providers

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BattleFin, an asset management firm which offers events and technology for sourcing alternative data, has scheduled three alternative data events for 2018, the most immediate being BattleFin Discovery Day Miami being held January 30th and 31st.

The upcoming Miami conference is BattleFin’s premier event, being held over two days at the Nobu Eden Roc Hotel.  The firm is planning similar events in New York on June 21st and Hong Kong on November 14th.

The centerpiece of BattleFin’s events are one-on-one meetings between data providers and asset management firms interested in using alternative data.  BattleFin anticipates over 100 data providers will attend its Miami conference, representing a variety of alternative data types such as application usage, satellite imagery, transactions data, geolocation, macro, and social analytics.

Data one-on-ones last fifteen minutes, with the goal of scheduling eighteen face-to-face meetings for each data buyer attending the event.  In addition there will be sector-focused panels covering energy, consumer, technology, macro and other themes.  The Miami agenda can be found here.

BattleFin expects its Miami event will be the largest alternative data and machine learning one-on-one event in the world. The event targets fundamental as well as quantitative investment firms.  Two hundred attended last year’s event and the firm expects 300 to 400 attendees this year.  The conference has already sold out the venue hotel and is now selling room blocks at a neighboring hotel.  Tickets start at $1995 for buy-side attendees and at $2995 for data providers.  Here is a link for registration.

BattleFin was formed in 2012 by co-founders Tim Harrington who was previously with JP Morgan Ventures and lawyer Marc LoPresti.  In 2016 the firm hired trader Jeffery Ferro, previously of HSBC and Barclays, to oversee building out the firm’s investment strategies involving alternative data and Todd Schwendiman, previously of Alternative Asset Management Securities, to grow the events and technology businesses.

In addition to its events, BattleFin offers a technology app for curating alternative data and is encouraging data providers to participate in its Alternative Data Project (www.thealternativedataproject.com), which trades specific alternative data sources using live partner capital in order to verify that alpha can be generated using alternative data.  The firm is incubating different investment strategies incorporating alternative data, working in stealth mode to create an alpha library of live strategies with the goal of evaluating 1000 data sets over the next 3 to 5 years.

Our Take

BattleFin has been organizing events since 2013, and has developed a strong following among both alternative data providers and alternative data consumers.  It is expanding its events internationally, with the Hong Kong event its first export outside the US and a London-based conference in the works.

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About Author

Sandy Bragg is a principal at Integrity Research Associates. He has over thirty years experience as an investment research professional. Prior to joining Integrity in 2006, he was an Executive Managing Director at Standard & Poors, managing S&P’s equity research business and fund information properties. Sandy has an MBA from New York University and BA from Williams College. Email: Sanford.Bragg@integrity-research.com

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