By Sanford Bragg April 6, 2021
Four months after merging with data provider InsiderScore, research management software provider MackeyRMS recruited a new CEO from alternative data firm Earnest Research. The new hire will oversee the combination of the two organizations.
Andrew Robson, the new head of the merged entity, spent the previous five years at Earnest Research as President and Chief Revenue Officer, where he reportedly grew revenues by 600%. He joined Earnest Research from leading expert network Gerson Lehrman Group, where he headed North American sales in the company’s core financial vertical. Robson says GLG grew its revenues from $35 million to $400 million during his 12-year tenure.
Robson will manage the integration of MackeyRMS with InsiderScore and its affiliate inFilings. He sees the embedding of content into the research management platform as a key value proposition. “Investment professionals are increasingly consolidating when and how they spend their time,” he said in an interview. “Embedding critical data natively into the MackeyRMS platform is a winning combination that enables active managers to capture and curate the most relevant information to their investment theses in order to more efficiently and effectively act on that information.”
MackeyRMS offers cloud-based software designed to help asset managers organize and store internal and external research. The company was founded a decade ago by Chris Mackey, a former TMT analyst at a long/short hedge fund, who was frustrated by the limitations of legacy RMS systems such as those offered by Code Red (acquired by FactSet in 2015) and Tamale (acquired by Advent Software in 2008). MackeyRMS stresses the compatibility of its software with Apple and Android devices for ease-of-use by buy-side analysts and portfolio managers.
According to Mackey, the firm has well over 100 clients with users located in over 30 countries (the newly combined company is said to have 300 institutional clients). MackeyRMS’s first customers were small and medium-sized asset managers, but the firm says it has been increasingly successful in winning larger global asset managers as clients. The company announced double-digit client growth in 2020, buoyed by buy-side demand for work-from-anywhere applications. It received a ‘significant’ equity investment from Atlanta-based private equity firm Resurgens Technology Partners in 2019. Its website currently lists four open positions: two sales people, an account manager and a technologist.
InsiderScore’s core product is 15 years of data on insider transactions, stock buybacks, management changes, and institutional holdings. In 2018, InsiderScore launched inFilings, a platform for analyzing SEC filings, earnings call transcripts, and press releases. The company was created in 2004 by Rusty Szurek, who had previously founded RagingBull.com, an early investor website sold to AltaVista.
The newly merged organization will potentially be looking to add additional content beyond the data currently offered by InsiderScore and inFilings. “Think of the research management platform as the shelves of a bookcase, as the first place users go to publish, share, and consume new investment insights,” said Robson. “We can enhance that further by pulling in additional sources of first-party or third-party data, integrating with other investment management applications, and continuing to look for partnerships and potential acquisitions.”
We suspect a model for the newly merged company is Sentieo, which also combines a research management system with SEC filings. Sentieo, which changed CEOs last fall, has had a laser focus on streamlining the workflow of buy-side analysts, particularly during the crush of earnings season. It has invested heavily in machine learning and natural language processing to quickly parse and summarize earnings releases, among other applications. Sentieo was also an early adopter of alternative data, most recently adding transaction data from Earnest Research. Thus, the new CEO for MackeyRMS/Insiderscore is well aware of Sentieo from his tenure at Earnest Research.
Nevertheless, Andrew Robson will likely have a somewhat different set of priorities as he settles into his new role. The key will be to continue the pandemic-induced momentum for MackeyRMS as the trojan horse for the additional data offered by InsiderScore.
Finally, there is the question whether to read anything into Robson’s departure from Earnest Research. Given his 17-year involvement in two high-growth research trends – expert networks and alt data – it is tempting to view him as a bellwether. Under that scenario, Robson, having ridden GLG’s glory years, might have sensed that the bloom is off the alternative data rose. We prefer the more benign interpretation that the new role was too attractive to pass up, even if it meant departing the glam world of alt data for the somewhat more mundane realm of research management software.
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