AFTAs 2018: Most Innovative Third-Party Technology Vendor (Data and Operations)—Sentieo

Victor Anderson, Evan Lubin and Daniel Berman

Data—it’s what fuels the buy-side engine. But in the modern day digital landscape, accessing and harnessing the right fuel has become increasingly more difficult, especially since the so-called data “explosion.” Founded by former analysts in 2012, Sentieo has set out to bridge the gap between buy-side firms and the information they require to make the most judicious investment decisions. Due to the development of its research platform and its growing capabilities, it’s no surprise that the New York-based firm has scooped the award at the 2018 AFTAs for the most innovative third-party technology vendor (data and operations). 

Rishi Mohnot, vice president of business operations at Sentieo, explains that the Sentieo platform was built with the objective of solving buy-side analysts’ workflow problems. Today, the technology allows clients to access millions of global financial documents, build customized portfolio models, extract value from large volumes of data, track activities across investment teams, and enable collaboration across workflows. The system sits on an extensive database that Sentieo claims holds over 20 million financial documents on over 64,000 firms globally, searchable through a browser using the firm’s native desktop application or via a Microsoft Excel plug-in. “I think the reality is that we are building a platform for the entire buy-side investor workflow, but what really sets us apart today is how we handle documents and integration management,” says Mohnot. “This includes the way we handle and process any documents you put into the system and making them searchable and intelligent, to how we handle your information in the form of your notes, your theses and your structured data.” 

At its core, the Sentieo research platform uses natural-language processing to sift through and extract value from multiple financial documents, including Securities and Exchange Commission filings, press releases, broker research, investor presentations, websites, earnings and internal databases. The search engine also includes a feature that detects sentiment by identifying who is speaking in a transcript, allowing linguistic data and portions of text to be more closely analyzed. 

In the last year, the firm has also enhanced its table-extraction technology and expanded its Equity Data Terminal to incorporate all global regions, including data from Thomson Reuters and Factset. The last 12 months have also seen the introduction of Sentieo’s Notebook, an integrated workspace where teams can work off the same documents, log activity and organize their research using any device, including a tablet or smartphone. 

Going forward, Mohnot explains that the provider has set its sights on adding to its workflow enhancements, improving its artificial intelligence capabilities, and further developing its table-extraction features. 

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