Mr. Marin said Measurisk, which will now be called Bear Measurisk, fits with his plan to grow Bear Stearns Asset Management by providing clients the ability to assess risk within portfolios, across asset classes and across managers.
Previously, Bear Stearns Asset Management used some in-house risk analytic tools and limited services from some data vendors, according to Mr. Quental.
"Measurisk was the only product out there that did what our clients needed — the ability to assess hedge funds in and of themselves and do multimanager assessments — one hedge fund vs. another," Mr. Marin said. "It allows clients to assess hedge funds along a broad spectrum of all their investments on an apples-to-apples basis."
He said he wants to expand Measurisk's client base to include endowments and foundations, which are big users of hedge funds and other alternative investments.
Mr. Quental said endowments and foundations lead the investment industry in allocations to alternative investments and as such are a natural target for Measurisk. "Some can be 40% or 50% into alternatives," he said. "They've definitely been out in front."
Mr. Marin added that Bear Stearns would be able to use the Measurisk service in-house as well as offer it to outside clients. Also, Bear Stearns Asset Management sales people will work with Measurisk sales people.
Despite this arrangement, Mr. Marin stressed the two entities would remain independent.
"This is all about keeping this a separate entity," he said, explaining Measurisk will be housed in a different building and will use different computer servers, a different data center and data backup service.
Mr. Quental, the Measurisk CEO, said the company's ties to Bear Stearns are "definitely a question people are going to raise." He said Measurisk will focus on its independence.
"We will not mix this business," he said, adding the company has already begun discussions with existing Measurisk clients about independence and data security.
Peter Gerlings, senior partner at New England Pension Consultants, Cambridge, Mass., said the Bear Stearns connection is not likely to be an issue, but Measurisk's independence could be a concern.
Mr. Quental said Bear Stearns would be treated no differently from any other Measurisk client.
"This is absolutely independent from BSAM in every way possible," he said. "We're going to report to them in the same was as any client. If (the data) looks bad, that's what they're going to get."
Overall, Mr. Gerlings said, having another solid risk assessment data provider was good for the industry.
Other firms providing risk data and assessment services include Riskmetrics Group, New York; Reech, which is owned by Wayne, Pa.-based SunGard Data Systems Inc.; GlobeOp Risk Services, a unit of GlobeOp Financial Services, Harrison, N.Y.; and Investor Analytics LLC, New York.
"We like these services and we're thrilled that we have one more to use," Mr. Gerlings said. "We're reluctant to bet on one horse and we really like a shortlist of six or seven capable, qualified firms."