First Coverage Signs GSA Capital as 50th Buy-Side Firm

16 September 2008

First Coverage Inc., a leading provider of financial information management solutions, announced today that it has signed London and Hong Kong-based $2.7 billion hedge fund GSA Capital Partners LLP as its 50th investment management customer. Developed by the founders of First Call and Street Events, First Coverage now serves a client base that manages more than USD $2 trillion in assets and includes three of the top 10 institutions worldwide.

“We are thrilled to have GSA Capital as a client. They are a firm that has been at the forefront of an industry-wide movement towards adoption of more efficient tools to better capture, filter and evaluate information,” said First Coverage CEO Randy Cass.

GSA Capital is a privately held investment management company focused on the development of quantitative models and computerized trading systems. The firm’s Alpha Capture Fund was developed specifically to utilize trade ideas generated from investment banks’ sales desks.

“The sell-side represents a significant source of Alpha provided their information can be properly organized and used,” said Dan Squires, Partner at GSA Capital. “Our decision to go with First Coverage was based on their market leadership within North America and the product’s ability to let us effectively aggregate, organize & utilize sell-side information to generate Alpha within our own internal investment process.”

“We believe – and our users would attest to this – that we are undergoing a major shift in the way information is transmitted in this industry,” said Cass. “While GSA is gathering and utilizing sell-side information in a manner unique to their proprietary investment process, many other buy-side clients are using First Coverage to simply demand and receive a higher quality of information that they are then able to utilize without having to sift through endless amounts of ‘noise’. Our user base continues to see dramatic efficiency gains in their ability to get at information most relevant to their portfolios from the most educated sources on the Street, allowing them to focus on generating higher performance across the board.”

First Coverage’s signing of its 50th buy-side client demonstrates a significant shift in the way investment management firms are looking to utilize information from their sell-side coverage. “As our user base grows, the investment management industry is realizing that the depth and quality of data being communicated via our platform trumps the status quo and represents the absolute best the sell side has to offer,” said Cass.

Used by more than 1,000 sales representatives at over 300 sell-side firms worldwide, First Coverage is the leading provider of information delivery and capture solutions. The First Coverage platform allows investment managers to efficiently manage, aggregate and evaluate all ideas, information and other sell-side services they receive. This enables them to identify the people and data that will add the most value or assistance to their investment strategies, either fundamental or quantitative, and creates greater transparency in the commission allocation process.

Since going into production a little over 18 months ago, the First Coverage platform has captured more than 100,000 trade ideas entered directly by the sell-side. First Coverage has also seen quarterly usage grow over 500% on a year-over-year basis. The First Coverage platform is used by buy-side managers to receive all types of investment information, not just trade ideas. Meeting requests, research notes and a wealth of coverage statistics allow managers to better evaluate the full range of services they are receiving from their counterparts on the sell side while also discovering new sources of Alpha.

In June 2008, First Coverage released Version 2.0 of its platform. New features delivered with Version 2.0 included expanded international coverage, enhanced portfolio reporting tools, internal idea tracking, exportable raw data capability, and integrated corporate meeting management functionality.

In March 2008, First Coverage completed a successful Series B round of financing raising US $9M to help fuel the firm’s continued growth and expansion.

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