Datastream International Ltd., whose parent Primark Corp. recently acquired Disclosure Inc., is moving quickly to capitalize on Primark's deal. Datastream will link its products with those of Disclosure through joint marketing agreements and online access. Datastream is also planning to roll out an equity research product that will include data from Primark's recent acquisition. Meanwhile, Datastream is ready to become the third contender in the full-text graphical research delivery marketplace.
Datastream International plans to offer a system similar to First Call Corp.'s Research Direct and Multex Systems Inc.'s Multex Publisher services. The full text graphical research delivery system, dubbed Trapeze, is being developed by a Hong Kong firm called Bondtech International, says Scott Rosen, Bondtech's managing director. The Trapeze system is based on Adobe Systems Inc.'s Acrobat software, as are First Call's Research Direct and Multex's Multex Publisher. Beta-testing is slated to begin this week, says Rosen.
Datastream, which is providing the funding for the venture, is expected to license the product as well, although nothing has been finalized yet, says Rosen.
The Trapeze service will not charge brokers for contributing their research. Rather, Trapeze will earn its revenue from money managers who request the research documents via the system. While this is the fee structure that Multex uses for its Multex Publisher service, First Call's Research Direct bills both contributors and end-users of the system.
Additionally, Rosen says that Trapeze will be able to serve as a "virtual library of research." He says that a user, who has erased a document will retain the headline of the document, even though the body of that document has been erased. By double-clicking on that headline, the system will connect back to the Trapeze off-site server and download the requested document. This, claims Rosen, will reduce the clutter that research reports tend to make.
Another difference between Trapeze and its rivals is that First Call and Multex automatically send a newly entered document to each client. This can create a backlog when many documents are filed at once, says Rosen. He claims that Trapeze has circumvented this potential problem by not sending the entire document to its users. Instead, Trapeze sends only the headline and lets the user choose whether to read that document.
Datastream's marketing director Barbara Palma declines to comment on Datastream's plans for Bondtech's Trapeze system.
EASY DOES IT
Meanwhile, Datastream has plans for a September U.S. launch for its Microsoft Corp. Windows-based Easystream equity research product, which is in beta test in the U.K. right now, according to Palma.
Easystream carries data on equities for both established and emerging markets, including stock market data, indices such as the Morgan Stanley Capital Indices and I/B/E/S and Worldscope data, says Palma. The recent Primark acquisition gave Primark control of the I/B/E/S Inc. earnings estimates database, as well as Disclosure's own databases and its 50 percent stake in Worldscope/Disclosure International Partners (IMT, June 9). Primark-subsidiary Tasc Inc., a Reading, Mass.-based information technology vendor, contributed to the development of Easystream, according to a spokesperson for Primark.
At its annual strategy meeting in London early this month, Datastream finalized plans to link its product line with that of Disclosure Inc. to allow online access to Disclosure via Datastream. Other news from the London meeting includes Datastream's plans to open new offices in Korea, Thailand and Spain.
Discussions in London focused on establishing plans "to increase our investment in the collection of data and to more aggressively market our new products, both in the United States and the rest of the world," says Primark's chairman and CEO Joe Kasputys. He says that this includes the creation of joint marketing agreements. "For example, Datastream will be marketing both Disclosure and I/B/E/S products to its customer base and vice versa," he says.
Besides joint marketing, other links between products are planned. Kasputys says that ways to connect Disclosure, I/B/E/S and Worldscope with Datastream were examined at the London meeting. "One manifestation of that is we expect within the next 60 days that Datastream customers will be able to access some Disclosure products directly through the Datastream system," says Kasputys.
In the near term, any Datastream user will be able to access the Disclosure filings index and then order the document electronically, says Kasputys. He says: "We would expect to have online versions of the products coexisting over the longer term, but that would not be before 1996." He says that there will be a "common corporate platform that will provide access to both Disclosure and Datastream and other financial information products offered by Primark companies."
He says that Datastream will open its new offices in Korea, Thailand and Spain before the end of the year. "With our common marketing agreements these offices can also provide services to the other companies," says Kasputys.
Kasputys says that Asia has been a large area of growth for Datastream, led by its Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney, Australia offices. In Japan, he says, Datastream is "doing well ... but we're not growing very rapidly given the poor economic climate in Japan overall."
Last month, Primark Corp. made several senior level management changes in its various subsidiaries (IMT, July 21). Since then, Eric Resnick has been promoted from sales manager to country manager of North America. That position was previously held by Ira Herenstein, who was named managing director of Datastream International.
In addition, sales personnel were added over the last three months. This includes hirings for two new positions: Bruce Deutsch as regional sales manager for New York and Matt Delaney as a salesperson for the North American Midwest and eastern Canada region, according to Palma.
Palma says that Datastream previously had one salesperson, Jim O'Connor, covering the entire Northeast, which consists of New England, Canada and the Midwest--but not New York, which is handled separately. O'Connor is retaining the New England sales territory.
Deutsch was most recently with Global Management Group, a Philadelphia-based money management firm, for one year, and Onesource Information Services Inc. (formerly Lotus Onesource) for three years. Four salespeople report to Deutsch, says Palma.
Delaney, who is based in Chicago, was brought in to focus on the Midwest but will also sell to eastern Canada, says Palma. Delaney used to work for the then Track Data Corp. subsidiary Global Information Technology, now known as GMI (Global Market Information) Infovest and for S&P Compustat, where Herenstein once worked. Global Market Information Inc. is undertaking a so-called reverse acquisition of Track Data (IMD, July 3).
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