Buy-Side Technology Awards 2017: Best Overall Buy-Side Technology Provider, 2017—FactSet

BestOverallBuySideTechnologyProvider2017,FactSet

FactSet took its time making its way into the BST Awards winners’ circle, but if this year’s performance is anything to go by, the Norwalk, Conn.-based financial data and software specialist has designs on making up all that lost ground. 

As has become a tradition in these awards, the final category of the 35 on offer and the second of only two to be announced on the afternoon of the November 3 awards luncheon, held at the May Fair Hotel in London, is that of the technology provider of the year. Last year it was UBS Delta—now bedded down in the StatPro stable—who joined the list of past winners of this category, which includes Advent Software (now part of SS&C Technologies), Charles River Development, Eze Software Group, Fidessa, Algorithmics (now part of IBM), and last year’s recipient, RIMES Technologies. FactSet is now part of that exclusive club, thanks to wins in two individual categories—best performance measurement and attribution product and best data analytics tool—and strong showings in three others: best client reporting platform, thanks to its Vermilion offering, best implementation at a buy side firm, and best data provider to the buy side. 

It’s fair to say that FactSet has had a busy last 12 months. On December 20 last year, it announced that it had acquired Vermilion Software—the last-standing independent client reporting specialist focusing on the buy side after SimCorp snapped up Equipos in February 2014—although its most noteworthy move of the last year came some three months later when it acquired performance measurement and attribution specialist BISAM, a firm that has dominated the performance category in these awards for the past decade. Then, just a fortnight later it announced that it had acquired the Interactive Data Managed Solutions business from Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Not bad for four-month spending spree.

In the final reckoning, however, FactSet didn’t have it all its own way: SimCorp won four individual categories in this year’s awards, but it was FactSet’s strong showing in the three categories that it didn’t quite manage to win that swung the vote in the end. Make no mistake, FactSet’s acquisition of BISAM is huge move —BISAM has an impressive buy-side pedigree, underlined by its enviable client list and retention record, factors that the parent company will no doubt seek to capitalize on. Add to that Vermilion’s highly thought-of Vermilion Reporting Suite and you have the makings of a highly effective buy-side middle-office provider, and one that deserves this year’s highest profile award. 

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