Digital-age stock research firm Shareclarity has released a follow-up edition to its debut ‘Year Book’ of late 2016 featuring detailed information on more than 250 companies listed in NZ, Australia and Hong Kong.
The ‘Shareclarity 2018 Year Book’ boasts data on 254 listed companies, an increase of about 70 firms compared to the previous volume including Hong Kong stocks for the first time.
Daniel Kieser, Shareclarity managing director, said the NZ-headquartered business – founded in 2015 – would keep adding to the stock pile as it continues to expand in Australia.
Kieser said Shareclarity has gained traction in the Australian wealth advisory market over the last year, driven in part by increasing concerns over fallout from the recently-introduced European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (known as MIFID II) across the ditch.
The MIFID regime, which officially went live last month, requires institutions – among a raft of other reforms – to explicitly charge for securities research rather than bundling it up with execution.
While MIFID was ostensibly confined to Europe (or those trading with European institutions) the new rules could disrupt research business models globally, Kieser said.
He said Australian wealth advisers, many of whom manage direct equities on behalf of clients, could see traditional subsidised research channels dry up as MIFID sweeps in.
“Those advisers need independent research to support their approved product lists,” Kieser said. “If [current institutionally-supplied stock research] disappears or becomes too expensive advisers will look to alternative models like ours.”
He said a number of offshore firms such as Singapore’s Smartkarma, which aggregated investment research from a range of providers, were also tapping into MIFID-led demand.
Tradtional investment banks, too, were trialing new research distribution techniques including auctioning bespoke reports to the highest bidder.
“And some are charging clients up to $7,000 per hour to speak to their top analysts,” Kieser said.
Shareclarity charges a monthly subscription fee of about $15 for access to the service that covers a range of corporate information, performance and valuation metrics, as well as a ‘crowd-sourced’ qualitative analysis.
“We’re signing up about 30-50 new users every week,” he said.
The Auckland-based firm was licensed to operate in Australia last year after a fast-track process via the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) fintech ‘Innovation Hub’.
Kieser said Shareclarity was still targeting the $700 billion Australian self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) sector – whose 1 million plus members generally favour direct local stocks.
“We’ve progressed well in discussions with three of the SMSF intermediary platforms,” he said, “it’s a difficult market to access directly.”