Jim Minnick saw the importance of data and the inefficiencies in collecting and analyzing it as a young consultant at Watson Wyatt & Co. in the mid-90s. We were sending out lengthy faxes to every money manager that we were looking at for an asset placement, explains Minnick. My first job was basically standing by the fax machine and waiting for the responses. In 2000, Minnick; his wife, Karen; and two Watson Wyatt colleagues founded Atlanta-based eVestment to compile a database to assist institutional investors and their consultants in selecting asset managers. Today more than 5,000 managers worldwide report data to eVestment, which has detailed information on some 53,000 vehicles, both traditional investments and hedge funds. The firms Omni services, introduced in 2004, enable asset managers to automatically update their information in more than 80 consultant and third-party databases. The Asset Flows product relies on data reported by managers to track where institutional investors are placing their money, while Advantage is used to predict future asset flows by analyzing consultants and investors activity on eVestments website. The technology facilitates everything were trying to do, says Minnick, 43, who as CEO oversees the companys strategic direction. Its most recent innovation is Peer Alpha, which enables users to compare different managers portfolios.
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