Newly-launched NZ ‘crowd-sourced’ stock research platform Shareclarity has piqued the interest of some local fund managers, according to founder, Daniel Kieser.
“Several of the smaller funds with limited research budgets/resources have been using it to screen stocks and take a deeper look at certain companies,” Kieser said. “Being smaller means funds can more easily build positions in companies outside of the top 20.”
He said a few larger funds have also logged on to Shareclarity “to sense-check their own perspectives”.
Kieser said the NZ market could open up further if recent changes introduced in Europe (and due to take effect in 2017) forcing brokers to unbundle trading commissions and research costs became accepted globally.
A Bloomberg report in June this year said once the rules came into force fund managers would likely “be more selective about the research they purchase and could ‘shop around’ from multiple providers”.
“If so, independent research providers would more easily be able to compete and gain access to the multibillion-dollar equity research market, which until now has been the near-exclusive domain of investment banks and brokers,” the Bloomberg report says.
As well as nascent interest from NZ fund managers, Kieser said a number of private wealth advisers were also beginning to tinker with Shareclarity “to engage more closely with their customers and to discuss a wider range of shares”.
“Most however have not fully understood what it is yet, simply because it’s such a new concept,” he said. “I get the impression they think it’s an expensive advisory tool, not a largely free source of collaborative company analysis that they can change and personalise.”
Kieser said he expected a big growth area would be retirees who had accumulated savings via KiwiSaver and other super vehicles looking for alternative investment options in an era of low interest rates and high house prices.
Even some younger KiwiSaver members were keen to explore the possibility of using Shareclarity to manage their funds, he said.
“The key reason being that they have high incomes, but low savings. They are more interested in renting on their own, buying a new car etc, than using that money to buy shares,” Kieser said. “Very few know that there are options to self-manage their KiwiSaver, but those that do have been keen to consider it.”
He said several schools and universities were also keen to developing educational uses for Shareclarity.
The platform, launched this September, aggregates stock and economic research while allowing users to collectively determine a fair price for a range of shares.
Shareclarity currently covers 75 NZX-listed stocks, however, the group ultimately aims to take the system global.