January 17, 2017
Q4 acquires CapMark Clarity: A shared vision to bring next gen shareholder ID to the UK and Europe
I’m very excited to announce our acquisition of CapMark Clarity, and the addition of Amit Sanghvi, CEO of CapMark Clarity, to the Q4 team. Amit will be bringing our next gen shareholder ID and market intelligence platform to the UK and Europe, marking an important moment of expansion for Q4 into new markets. Combining Q4’s leading-edge technologies with CapMark Clarity’s market intelligence expertise enables us to provide the fastest, most accurate and actionable intelligence solution to the UK and European markets.
As we approached this day, I sat down with Amit and our head of global intelligence, Adam Frederick, to talk about the deal, the market, and all things related to shareholder ID, market intelligence, and the coming robot revolution in investor relations. (Just kidding on that last one!)
Darrell Heaps: Amit, let’s start by welcoming you to Q4! We’ve been talking for a while now, and I know I speak for all of us here at Q4 when I say how excited we are about you and CapMark Clarity joining our mission to bring next generation solutions to investor relations markets around the world. Using our data science approach in the U.S., we’ve been able to establish a new level of speed, accuracy, and actionability of data for our clients. We’re so excited to combine this with what you do and provide the same solutions here in the UK and Europe.
Amit Sanghvi: Thanks, Darrell. As you know, I’ve been providing shareholder ID solutions to European markets for over ten years and I’ve seen a tremendous amount of change. I’ve seen the market surveillance industry grow and evolve in an environment where transparency isn’t always available and where IROs have had to work really hard to get their information. When I started CapMark Clarity, I set out to use technology to bring more efficiency and precision to IROs. I’ve been following the Q4 story for quite some time, and I’m excited to be a part of what Q4 has been doing with technology to disrupt the space.
Adam Frederick: I echo Darrell’s comments, and I’m also excited to have you on the team! European expansion has always been on our roadmap, and you’re bringing the expertise we need to take that on. When we closed out our Series B round of funding in May and then acquired Euroinvestor IR Solutions back in October, we found ourselves in a unique position to grow our presence in Europe — and CapMark Clarity was the perfect fit. I’m very glad the timing worked out to get this done so early in 2017.
Darrell: Adam, for the readers, perhaps you could elaborate a bit on our view of big data and the use of algorithms in the market, and how this has really shaped our solutions.
Adam: Sure, Darrell, happy to. I guess at the heart of it, there’s been an undeniable trend in the exponential growth and use of big data (including artificial intelligence and machine learning) in the capital markets over the past ten years. The buy-side initially caught on, with cutting-edge firms like Renaissance Tech, Two Sigma, and Citadel employing big data quant technologies. Today we see more traditional “stock-pickers” like Bridgewater or Goldman Sachs Assets Mgmt going all-in on this type of technology. Even sell-side research firms now utilize big data systems in their research efforts. It’s become clear that in order to succeed in the capital markets, you need to be harnessing the power of big data. At Q4 we’re doing exactly that. We’re leveraging this technology to bring real-time insights, forward-looking predictive trading analytics, sector analysis, and advanced shareholder ID methods that increase not only the timeliness and accuracy of the intel, but also really emphasize the actionability of it. The result is a product unlike anything the European corporate market has seen.
Amit: I couldn’t agree more. It’s true, technology is disrupting every industry, IR included. What’s really changed over the course of my career is the emphasis on technology empowering the IRO. Q4 provides a level of customer service that challenges what’s available in the market, with industry-leading technologies that make the data an IRO needs to succeed more accessible and digestible. This is the impact we’re going to have on Europe: lots of expertise coupled with technology to empower IROs to be more effective in their roles and to work faster, of course.
Adam: Exactly. We’re not just coming at European markets with a data dump — it’s about providing insight and actionable information along with an amazing user interface and natural language commentary. As we roll out Q4 Desktop to Europe during this first quarter, I’m very excited about the impact it will have, as it really is redefining the IR desktop category and what is possible.
Darrell: Well, it’s clear to me that there is a lot of love in this room! It’s an exciting time, and we can’t wait to begin rolling out the products we have planned for this market. Amit, to close things out, can you provide a brief comment on the evolving role of IR?
Amit: Sure, Darrell. IROs are the rock stars of their companies: they are taking on more responsibilities from the C-suite. And while a technology revolution has been taking place in IR for many years, it’s older technologies that are still dominating the space. You can see that in the look and feel of other desktop solutions. So there’s a lot of room for growth in that sense, to deliver market intelligence using the best technology available. Great shareholder ID combined with the best technology in the market is really what’s going to keep IROs looking like the rock stars they are.
Darrell: Thanks Amit and Adam for joining me, and a massive congratulations on getting the deal done! Readers, keep an eye out for blogs from Amit; he’s going to be a regular contributor and brings a great perspective to the market. Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed this interview! Cheers.