BST Awards 2018: Best Buy-Side Portfolio Analysis Tool—Style Analytics

Martin Bayfield, Sylvia Kwok, and James Rees

There are some technology vendors that actively court the press, seeking every bit of help to raise their public profiles, while others choose a different, more media-shy path, relying instead on their clients to do their marketing for them. London-based Style Analytics, winner of this year’s best portfolio analysis tool category, falls into the latter category. Until now that is. Style’s change in tack, which saw it enter the BST Awards for the first time this year, comes in the wake of the arrival of two key staff members at the firm over the last 18 months: CEO Sebastien Roussotte and global head of marketing, Sylvia Kwok, ex-Vermilion, IHS Markit and SimCorp. Both know a thing or two about marketing and growing fintech firms, the most immediate being the often crucial role that winning awards plays in raising a firm’s industry profile. With this win, it goes without saying that Style made a big impression on the judging panel, beating a number of the industry’s most celebrated names in its first foray. Not bad for a debut appearance.         

In retrospect, the best buy-side portfolio analysis tool category really ought to have been added to the BST Awards line-up earlier than this year, given the increasing need for end-investors and portfolio managers themselves to fully appreciate the variables impacting the investment strategies governing their portfolios. And while Style might not be the most instantly recognizable name across the buy side—it rebranded from Style Research to Style Analytics mid-way through this year—it does boast an impressive client roster of more than 300 investment managers globally, including household names like Wellington Management, Fidelity, Invesco, Schroders, Vanguard, BNY Mellon and Oppenheimer Funds. 

According to Roussotte, a buy-side technology veteran with stints at Reuters, Sophis and Misys, the firm provides a cloud-based framework that enables fund managers to determine which factors are impacting the risk and performance of their portfolios. “It is fully cloud-based and it covers three areas of the investment universe: the market in general (macro analysis), peer-group comparison, and factor analysis at the individual portfolio level,” he explained during an interview with Waters in August this year. 

In the music industry, they say that the true test of a band is measured by the critical acclaim of its follow-up album and not its debut. Style will face a similar challenge next year when it locks horns again with the likes of FactSet, Nomura Research Institute and BaseVenture for bragging rights in this category. That it is already a well-established business and is comfortable and successful in its niche, is neither here nor there when it comes to repeating success in these awards, something Style no doubt is well aware of.  

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