Third Annual AIR Summit is a Success


Last week Franklin Templeton Investments held its third annual AIR Summit in Fort Lauderdale, FL featuring twenty unique and innovative data, research and financial technology firms who serve the buy-side investor community.  Feedback from attendees revealed that the event was a success.

Keynote Speakers

Neil Howe, Sector Head of Demography at Hedgeye Risk Management : Mr. Howe is a renowned authority on demographics and social change in America.  He is an acclaimed bestselling author and speaker and is the nation’s leading thinker on today’s generations—who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America’s future.  Mr. Howe spoke to the audience about the major demographic changes that have taken place in the US since World War I and how these generational shifts have impacted business and particularly the financial services industry.

Dave Silverman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CrossLead, Inc.:  Entrepreneur, bestselling author, and former Navy SEAL, David Silverman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CrossLead, Inc.  He also co-authored New York Times bestselling book, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement in a Complex World.  Mr. Silverman spoke to the audience about how companies can adapt the lessons learned from his time as a Navy SEAL to enhance communication and develop more agile and productive organizations.

Donald Putnam, Managing Partner, Grail Partners:  Donald H. Putnam founded Grail Partners LLC in early 2005 and is Managing Partner. Prior to founding Grail he led Putnam Lovell Securities, which he founded in 1987.  Previously, Don held senior positions at SEI Investments, including founder and President of SEI Financial Services Company, and founder and President of its various mutual funds with assets under management in excess of $15 billion.  Mr. Putnam discussed how to apply his experience as a quantitative investor and industry executive to many of the hot topics facing the asset management industry today.

Data and Alternative Research

One the AIR Summit’s first sessions focused on alternative data and financial technology solutions targeted at helping buy-side investors generate profitable investment ideas.  The eight vendors that presented during this session included:

Nutonian – Nutonian’s machine intelligence application, Eureqa®, empowers business intelligence professionals to do the work of data scientists. Invented by one of the “World’s Most Powerful Data Scientists” (Forbes), Eureqa supercharges data science initiatives by automating the creation and interpretation of predictive models. Nutonian leverages sophisticated evolutionary algorithms to make advanced data modeling simple, fast, accurate, and scalable.

News Quantified – News Quantified is a platform that seamlessly integrates breaking news events with the corresponding market data, delivering instant access to vital information — all in one place.  News Quantified analyzes major U.S. news feeds and regulatory filings in real time, covering all U.S. listed stocks. The platform provides users with a deep analysis of how and why a stock is moving at any given time, and helps them forecast equities’ reaction to anticipated events.

Cuebiq – Cuebiq is a next generation location intelligence company that allows businesses to glean actionable insights about real-world consumer behaviors and trends using its data intelligence platform.  Cuebiq provides geo-behavioral insights and offline location analytics, geo-behavioral audiences for cross-platform ad targeting, and offline attribution analysis. Cuebiq is headquartered in New York with offices in Italy and China.

Quant Insight – QI is a quant/tech firm founded in 2014 with offices in London, Cambridge and New Delhi. Several years of R&D, combining world class quantitative expertise with extensive macro investing experience, resulted in the creation of a unique quantitative framework for understanding financial market dynamics and valuations. QI covers thousands of securities across asset classes.

Quandl – Quandl is a provider of open, commercial, and alternative datasets to both retail and institutionally oriented investment professionals.  Quandl offers essential core financial and economic data alongside a suite of unique, alpha-generating alternative databases. The Quandl user base now numbers over 150, 000 people including thousands of analysts from the world’s top hedge funds, asset managers and investment banks.

AGOLO – Agolo is the world’s most advanced summarization Artificial Intelligence. Their platform is powered by a natural language processing engine that contextually learns by connecting internal documents, news and cloud storage to create business intelligence summaries in real-time.

Qineqt – Qineqt is a new era data data company built from a hedge fund practitioner’s perspective.  Qineqt collaborates with leading investment managers to create data repositories that facilitate the development of clients’ opaque and proprietary strategies.  The Qineqt team is building a unique data foundation, capturing depths and catalysts that uncover correlations never before realized.

Earnest Research – Earnest Research is a data innovation company driven to change the way Investment professionals understand consumer and business behavior. Working with world-class data partners, Earnest Research transforms raw data into a source for business and investment professionals to ask better questions so they can make better decisions. The firm’s first endeavor is to replace the need for consumer surveys.

New Solutions to Old Problems

Another session of the AIR Summit focused on financial technology or data services providers who provide new trading or investment solutions to buy-side analysts and traders.  The six vendors that presented during this session included:

 AltX –   Starting with “pre-market” securities in PUBLICLY-TRADED COMPANIES, AltX will be the first trading venue enabling investors to buy securities directly from issuers and receive significant price discounts as a result.

Red Deer – Red Deer is a state of the art information-management tool and decision support platform that ingests all of an investor’s external data, internally-created content, and sell-side research and elegantly puts this all in one place.  Red Deer then uniquely connects various strands of this data into actionable information customised to a client’s workflow and investment process thereby empowering individuals to make better investment decisions.

Force Rank –   Forcerank boils the stock market down to one question: will stock ABC outperform stock XYZ? Every week, hundreds of analysts answer this for assets across a variety of sectors via the firm’s iOS mobile app. The Forcerank Consensus Rankings have proven to be a superior stock sentiment data set predictive of market outcomes. More importantly, Forcerank strives to replace Buy/Sell/Hold recommendations which have no efficacy, produce little information, and are overly-influenced by the sell side.

AlphaSense – AlphaSense is a software technology firm founded with a singular mission: Apply cutting edge technology to help investment and knowledge professionals find critical information on companies and empower them to act with greater insight. AlphaSense offers a unique search engine that created a new standard for information discovery. Using a blend of advanced linguistic search and natural language processing algorithms, the AlphaSense search engine enables knowledge professionals to search, navigate, set alerts and analyze filings, news, research, etc., for critical data points that others are missing – at unprecedented speed and accuracy.

Symphony – Symphony is the cloud-based collaboration platform that connects markets and individuals, securely. Powered by a growing apps ecosystem and protected with end-to-end encryption, Symphony’s platform increases workflow productivity while maintaining organizational compliance. Symphony unifies the enterprise workflow to boost business productivity in any highly-regulated industry.

Street Contxt – Street Contxt is a secure ecosystem for hedge funds and asset managers to discover, manage, collaborate on, and measure all internal, broker, independent, and web-based content and research.  Street Contxt delivers broker’s desk commentary, research reports, and news updates to 152,000 + individuals at 20,100 + firms globally.

Disrupting the Status Quo

The third session at this year’s AIR Summit presented a number of technology or research vendors who provide new approaches to various aspects of the buy-side investment process.  The six vendors that presented during this session included:

BondCliQ – BondCliQ is the first central market system for US corporate bonds and is designed to improve institutional trading in the $8 trillion credit market. The BondCliQ central market system provides benefits to all market participants including sell-side, buy-side, platforms and regulators.  The BondCliQ platform centralizes and organizes institutional pre-trade quotes; creates a formalized price formation process; establishes a competitive environment for institutional market making; and empowers market makers to become more active trading participants.

Open Door Securities – OpenDoor offers an innovative electronic trading venue to improve liquidity in Off-the-Run Treasuries and TIPS. Participants benefit from improved price execution, the ability to preserve existing dealer relationships, and full anonymity. The firm’s sponsor model allows clients to source buy-side liquidity while maintaining full STP and post trade settlement to the current framework. No new counter-party or credit agreements are needed to participate on a platform that is fully web- and cloud based and offers the highest levels of security and confidentiality.

Electronifie – Electronifie is an anonymous, all-to-all Alternative Trading System focused on unlocking block-size liquidity in US-denominated IG, HY and distressed corporate bonds. More than 130 of the world’s largest asset managers and dealers are Electronifie Subscribers.

FundSeeder – FundSeeder focuses on finding, developing, and distributing new trading talent.   Through the use of advanced financial tracking software the company offers big data analytics in conjunction with pier based, results oriented, ranking metrics for global traders. Once identified potential money managers are provided an opportunity to further develop their trading skill, business acumen, and final operational structure to satisfy investor due diligence. Promising managers are then integrated into FundSeeder’s Investment division for distribution to institutional capital allocators seeking the economics of emerging manager investment options.

ForwardLane – ForwardLane is an applied Artificial Intelligence company delivering sell-side and buy-side solutions that help financial institutions scale scarce resources through automation and machine learning.  ForwardLane empowers finance professionals by coordinating disparate content and data sources and delivering synthesized intelligence through intuitive conversation to instantly meet client demands.

Coinbase – Coinbase is a digital asset exchange company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It operates exchanges of bitcoin, ethereum and other digital assets with fiat currencies in 32 countries, and bitcoin transactions and storage in 190 countries worldwide.

Our Take

Franklin Templeton’s third annual AIR Summit, held this year at the Fort Lauderdale Harbor Beach Marriott, was an incredible 1 ½ day event for buy-side investors to hear some great speakers and to learn about twenty unique data and Fintech providers who could increase their productivity and enhance their investment performance.

Not only did Franklin Templeton invite a number of unique vendors this year, but it also drew a growing number of key decision makers from hedge funds, mutual funds, PE firms, and investment banks.  In addition, the opportunity to network with vendors and other buy-side decision makers was an extremely valuable aspect of the event.  As I have concluded in the past, I would recommend next year’s AIR Summit to any buy-side professionals who make use of third-party data and Fintech systems as a part of their investment or research process.  In my opinion, the third annual AIR Summit was an extremely successful event for both vendors and buy-side attendees.  I only hope that Franklin Templeton found the AIR Summit to be enough of a benefit to run it again next year.



About Author

Mike Mayhew is one of the leading experts on the investment research industry. In addition to founding Integrity Research, Mike is on the board of directors of Investorside Research Association, the non-profit trade association for the independent research industry, and a frequent speaker on research industry trends and developments. Mike has over thirty years of research industry experience. Email:

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