Coverage of small and mid cap companies in major stock markets around the world has often been somewhat lacking. Shane Smith, the CEO of Independent International Investment Research PLC (IIIR) has estimated that “25,000 public companies listed on 27 key stock exchanges around the world, lack research.”
Irideus.org is a new service hoping to provide a global solution for small and mid cap companies’ research coverage issues. Enacting a similar structure to that seen in the PSQ Analytics service launched on the London Stock Exchange in March of this year, Irideus will combine the five research providers across the globe to provide unbiased research on firms traditionally uncovered by sell-side equity research analysts. Irideus.org believes that the recent attempts by a number of exchanges represent good progress in getting coverage for a wider range of companies. However, Irideus feels that the research provided by different exchanges is too fragmented and difficult to compare to be of use to global investors.
Irideus.org is made up of Aranca, a Mumbai-based research provider; Argus Research Company, a New York City provider; Copal, an Indian based firm; IIIR, a London based research company; and Zacks, a U.S. firm.
Of course, many of the same issues Integrity wrote about when PSQ was launched are still relevant today. Despite the random assignment of research providers to companies requesting coverage, there is still the risk that too many negative reports could hurt future business and thus there is the same motivation to provide positive reports as is present in paid-for research, although in a smaller scale. The fact that similar services such as the IRN (Independent Research Network), Bright Meridian, and the National Research Exchange all failed is another factor to keep in mind.
Irideus.org’s global scope is encouraging and the potential it has to become a large provider of independent research is exciting. The press release is copied below.
Irideus.org Press Release 8th December 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Global Equity Research Leaders Join Forces to Launch Irideus.org – New Platform
for Global Company Research
Irideus.org is positioned to become the world’s largest provider of independent, objective
research, providing a single, standard solution for companies, Exchanges and
London: 8th December 2009
Irideus.org – the Intermediated Research Initiative – has launched the world’s largest
independent research resource for equity research. Embracing substantially the same
framework as selected by the London Stock Exchange for its PSQ Analytics service
launched in March 2009, Irideus.org combines the scale and expertise of the research
professionals of five of the world’s leading independent research firms to provide a unified,
comprehensive repository for research on global issuers. These five international firms have
now joined forces under the Irideus.org umbrella to provide a single, standard solution to
serve the needs of companies, Exchanges, and institutional/retail investors.
Equity research plays an important role in healthy, vibrant equity capital markets and is
essential to the growth and success of equity as an asset class. This research contributes to
improved liquidity and tighter dealing spreads, which benefits investors and helps facilitate
companies’ access to growth capital.
Faced with a structural decline in research published by brokers, leading Stock Exchanges
such as ASX, SGX, Bursa Malaysia and more recently, the London Stock Exchange, NYSE
and Nasdaq, have shown leadership and foresight in implementing schemes to address the
problem of diminishing research coverage of smaller and mid-cap stocks traded on their
boards. While these local, individual initiatives represent significant progress, the resulting
fragmented array of research offerings presents a challenge to global investors seeking
investment opportunities across geographies or sectors.
Talking about Irideus.org, Shane Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Independent International Investment Research Plc, and one of the prime movers behind this
“An estimated 25,000 public companies listed on 27 key stock exchanges around the world,
lack research. Irideus.org represents, for the first time, a single global solution to a global
problem. Irideus.org combines the strengths of five highly regarded independent research
providers and is positioned to become the standard solution for smaller/mid-cap research
Among the key benefits of the Irideus.org platform include:
- A combined pool of over five hundred expert research analysts
- An international footprint, with research resources in the USA, UK, Middle East, India and China
- All industries, sectors and geographies covered
- A single, affordable, price point for all issuers
- Demonstrable independence enshrined in the business framework
- Uniform research report structure, as well as standardized methodologies and calculations, allowing investors to compare global companies easily
- A comprehensive searchable database, allowing investors to identify opportunities easily and quickly
- All research published under CFA Institute best practice guidelines
- All research published under UK Financial Services Authority regulation and authorization
- A powerful distribution facility, tailored for the issuer’s profile to reach institutional,
- wealth, and retail investors
- A ready-made solution for all Exchanges seeking to promote visibility and liquidity on their boards and foster a healthy equity capital market
Irideus.org combines the resources of Aranca, a Mumbai-based global, end-to-end and
customised investment research provider; Argus Research Company, a leading research
firm based in New York City with a 75-year pedigree; Copal, one of India’s largest research
resources; Independent International Investment Research Plc, a London-based innovator in
the research space; and Zacks, one of the largest independent research firms in the US.
Four of the firms were selected to provide research into the Global Research Analyst
Settlement in the US (2004-2009), and two were instrumental in the design and
implementation of PSQ Analytics, the service launched with support of the London Stock
Exchange in 2009. Irideus.org brings a wealth of resource and experience together to create
a new global brand in the research space.
In a joint statement, the Chief Executive Officers of these five companies (Hemendra Aran,
CEO, Aranca; John Eade, CEO, Argus; Rishi Khosla, CEO, Copal; Shane Smith, CEO, IIR;
Len Zacks, CEO, Zacks) commented:
“Irideus.org brings benefits for all stakeholders: Exchanges benefit from the strengthening of
equity capital markets as an asset class; issuers benefit from greater visibility through an
international research and distribution platform, which should translate into improved liquidity
and access to capital; investors benefit through greater information, choice, and opportunity.
We are excited to be powering this important new standard for research”
By allocating research assignments to the participating research firms through an auditable
random allocation methodology, the Irideus.org framework protects the rigorous objectivity of
research in order to satisfy institutional investors. By operating at scale, high quality
research is delivered affordably to clients.
About Irideus.org – The Intermediated Research Initiative
About the research providers: www.irideus.org/the_providers.php
N. America: John Eade, email@example.com Tel: +1 212 425 7500
Vinh Cam, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +1 212 627 2613
Asia: Shane Smith, email@example.com, Tel +44 7785 276 703