John Phinney, Chairman & Co-PresidentThe global economic challenges facing asset allocators, especially pension plan, has ensured that alternative asset classes (Hedge–PE–Real Estate–VC–Structured Assets) play a key role in diversification and return in the investment management industry. In fact, PwC predicts that between now and 2020, alternative assets are expected to grow from $7.9 trillion to $15.3 trillion. The ability to extract value from data has emerged as a powerful competitive differentiator for alternative asset managers and their service providers. To help them navigate the complexity of issue that each faces in the marketplace, Convergence—a fast growing financial technology company—offers unique insights and solutions to navigate the fact growing alternative asset management industry. “Armed with a fundamental drive to create transparency and provide information that helps people take better decisions, we created Convergence,” begins John Phinney, the company’s Chairman & Co-President.
Convergence provides analytical data, benchmarking, custom research, and advisory services to the alternative asset management industry. Convergence’s data is unique because it is enriched by subject matter experts and data analysts. The company focuses on the manager/ advisor infrastructure including investment operations, risk management, marketing, investor relations, tax, compliance, technology, and service provider infrastructure.
According to George Evans, Co-President of Convergence, the Advisors are creating a massive “digital footprint” about their businesses through regulatory filings, social media and other forms of communication, yet all the information is not easily obtainable, structured, and not comparative in nature. “Convergence has created an entirely new platform comprising data, research, and analytical products and services that focus on exposing, improving and enhancing the business model and infrastructure of alternative asset managers,” he adds.
The Convergence Platform includes Research—a web-and mobile-based product providing access to the entire Convergence Database; and Surveillance—a custom built product providing compact and robust visual presentation of the Convergence data elements that are most important for customers to monitor on a daily, weekly, monthly and/or quarterly basis.
Our goal is to continuously innovate and enrich our products that make the decision making process seamless
Lastly, the Analytics service provides a summary of regulatory history, market share analyses, and Advisor complexity scoring and Service Provider Best Fit analyses to name a few key services.
George Evans, Co-PresidentConvergence understands that investment and business model complexity drive operating risk and cost for institutional investors, administrators, auditors and other service providers. “To respond to this growing problem we created Complexity/Risk Profiles© for every alternative advisor, which defines the risk profile and cost of running the infrastructure,” explains Phinney. “We use three core ratings, each of which may carry a “WATCH” label which gives users the ability to examine the operating risk characteristics inherent in an Advisor. This helps the user determine how to de-risk an Advisor’s operations. For example, an insurance company writing general liability insurance for hedge fund manager can use Convergence Complexity/Risk Profiles© to calibrate coverage premiums based on specific risk factors.”
The company’s desire to create original content is what differentiates them from competitors. In the days to come, Convergence will start rolling out next generation components of “original content”—building a library of content than can be used by anyone involved in the industry. “Our goal is to continuously innovate and enrich our products that make the decision making process seamless,” asserts Evans.