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Money Management

P&I joins with firm on platform for global searches

Pensions & Investments and research and selection platform Global Fund Search have teamed up to create a company providing asset owners, consultants and money managers with expanded data and information services.

The new company, Global Fund Search, is based in Denmark and has offices in Copenhagen and New York.

The open-architecture platform helps institutional investors search for money managers and specific strategies for their portfolios. Kasper Steen Andersen, founder and CEO of Global Fund Search, said in a telephone interview that while investors can use a standardized database directly, setting the parameters for a search, investment strategies and processes might not be readily available or easily identifiable. "We can shortcut this process because on our platform you can post the mandate and describe it exactly the way you want it in a 'wish list' — in terms of (for example) investment process, portfolio design, investment vehicle and how you want to implement it," Mr. Andersen said. "The asset managers can look (at the search) and say, 'Do we have something that fits the client?' To do it this way improves the product universe presented (a long list) and maybe saves several weeks of work in the investor's own process."

Gaining this search information also provides GFS with interesting information and data.

"Whenever an asset manager is shortlisted it's a signal that this asset manager has skills within a certain asset class or product category," Mr. Andersen said. "We aggregate data and it gets smarter every time we interact — that's where a platform like ours becomes really interesting."

Of the relationship with Pensions & Investments, Mr. Andersen said it provides Global Fund Search with a different kind of connection with institutional investors. "It's very interesting from our perspective as a platform, but also in that while P&I is working at the chief investment officer level, the industry level, providing news and analytics, we are sitting right next to the investment people, those who choose the asset managers. There's a nice synergy between what P&I does and what we do."

Added Chris J. Battaglia, publisher of Pensions & Investments, vice president of P&I parent company Crain Communications Inc. and president of Global Fund Search: "Pensions & Investments is excited to announce the expansion of our global data and information services through this important investment.

"By leveraging the successful track record of Global Fund Search, established in 2012, we can now deliver best-of-class manager research and selection services to a much wider group of investors through our new company. Global Fund Search is the only open-architecture platform for institutional investors and its core services are offered free of charge to asset owners and asset managers. This unique platform enables us to build upon Pensions & Investments' existing global information, news and conference lines of business."

P&I already provides manager search, hire and termination databases, covering more than 2,000 asset owners from 47 countries and representing more than $2.5 trillion in assets. P&I also provides performance rankings of asset owners, a mergers-and-acquisitions database of money managers, and a risk transfer database for pension fund buyouts, buy-ins and longevity swaps.

"This new company further expands Crain's global footprint and strengthens our growing data-services portfolio," said KC Crain, president and chief operating officer, Crain Communications, in a news release. "These industry-leading platforms build upon Crain's position as the global leader of business resources for top decision-makers in the sectors we cover and the global asset management community is critically important to Crain's future growth strategy."