25 September
Reporter: Theo Andrew

Smartkarma opens European hub in London

Smartkarma is set to open a UK office in London, supporting its buy-side investor clients and its research analyst community in Europe.

The Asian research provider, which has 400 independent analysts based across 15 markets, is expanding into Europe in order to take advantage of the “fractured market” and the “significant stress” the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID II) has placed on the research industry.

Under MiFID II, set to come into effect on 3 January 2018, investment research must be bespoke to each institution, and investment firms must pay for research with their own funds, or through a separate designated account, which is charged to the client. Research fees also have to be separated from execution and trading fees.

According to Smartkarma, the move means European analysts can now register with the platform to join the data platform, offering a network approach to insights and publishing tools.

Arzish Baaquie, new head of the UK at Smartkarma, will lead the move and build the team from the Baker Street office.

Jon Foster, co-founder and chairman of Smartkarma, said: “The research industry is under significant stress from MIFID II, and it is no secret that we plan to take full advantage of this fractured market.”

He added: “Our transparent subscription model and open access to the complete ecosystem of research and analysts means that investors are MiFID II compliant and can access independent research through an innovative, cloud-based platform.”

Baaquie said: “As the industry continues to evolve, we have already shown that we have reinvented how independent research is created, supplied and consumed. We are rapidly expanding our network of insight providers across Europe and establishing operations in London is a natural next step.”

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