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Equity research platform fills gap

Cloud-based equity research platform ShareClarity’s on-demand model covering Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong-listed equities offers a much more transparent and accessible approach for advisers and SMSF trustees, with interest already growing, according to the firm.

“Our platform is online and permanently live, so when market updates are published, they’re simultaneously distributed to the app, the chat forum and every user of the platform; that happens within 30 minutes to a few hours of an announcement, so it’s always done on the same day,” ShareClarity managing director Daniel Kieser told selfmanagedsuper.

“We very rarely find a market announcement by someone like a UBS, for example, of full-year results and notes prepared in the same day.

“So the end user, be it a trustee or be it a wealth adviser, has the first form of information in the market, it is completely transparent, and you can draw down into every single number and rationale and reasoning behind it, there’s no asymmetric distribution behind it and the cost is very low.

“This is the kind of world that we see ourselves playing in: firstly bringing equity research up to spec with technology, but more so how you make an equity research model work in the new environment.”

Kieser said the platform currently covered 250 Australian, New Zealand and Honk Kong-listed equities where valuations were fully auditable in the cloud.

“This means it gets distributed straight away, it’s so much faster and because we don’t sell shares, there’s no compliance wrap over the top of it,” he noted.

He added the platform worked as a single touchpoint for company information.

“The adviser can then overlay advice on top of it and they can also overlay the execution of it,” he said.

“We introduced the current platform a few weeks ago. We’re growing at about 50 users per week and we’re getting interest from individuals through to white-label opportunities.

“Probably our fastest-moving market are now the wealth advisers. Some of the early interest shows most of their clients, even at the margin, have a desire for 5 per cent direct equities where they have a particular favouritism, so those wealth advisers struggle to even talk on those in the absence of independent perspectives on them, so they can’t.

“Whereas now, a lot of our wealth adviser users are [using ShareClarity] to build a closer relationship with their clients rather than just talking about exchange-traded funds.”

He said the proposition also provided more transparency than traditional equity researchers.

“We don’t see ourselves as stepping on the toes of investment banking equity research analysts – when a market announcement or an event happens in the marketplace, they open up an Excel spreadsheet and update it with this information, and then they have to add very long PDF reports that need to have compliance [approval] overnight,” he said.

“So they’re not allowed to talk to the market about what their perspectives are on the announcement until the next day when it’s been fully compiled and distributed by email.”

In addition, traditional research also used long-winded rhetoric with an institutional focus, he said.

“So unless you have an understanding of what the business does, the PDF report that’s prepared in isolation is largely very difficult to follow,” he noted.

“Looking at that process alone, it’s Excel, it’s email, it’s slow, it’s non-transparent and it’s non-digital.

“If you think about that information flow, it’s very expensive and very slow, and it’s also prone to human error all the way through the [process].”

ShareClarity does not broker shares or manage funds. In addition, it is not paid by the companies it covers.

The business was launched in November 2016.

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