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Smartkarma launches Boost Research, the first grassroots accelerator to support investment analysts develop independent research businesses

Expert mentorship, financial support, data and office services as well as direct access to the global Smartkarma network available

Smartkarma, the leading investment research network for independent research providers, today announces the launch of Boost Research. Boost Research is the world’s first accelerator programme designed to support investment analysts who want to start independent research businesses and break the decades old sell-side research model. Boost Research aims to improve the overall supply of independent research to the market as well as increasing the variety of opinions in research to aid investment decisions and lead to better outcomes for end investors.

Just as Smartkarma has changed the nature of research production, consumption and distribution, with Boost Research it now wants to change the landscape of investment research provision, ensuring growth and improved diversity in the independent investment research space. Smartkarma wants to discover and support the entrepreneurial talent in the investment research industry, those with the drive to build a business, and offer the support and economies of scale available with their services to build a successful, sustainable business.

Recent changes in the provision of sell-side investment research, with MiFID II research unbundling and large-scale analyst lay-offs, offer opportunities to break the monopoly of the sell-side system. Many top-class analysts want to take advantage of market changes to set up on their own and the Boost Research programme de-risks the move to work independently and allows participants to grow their businesses quickly.

The Boost Research accelerator, like those in the VC industry, offers a range of subsidised office services, through to financial support, mentorship and access to regulatory cover, for entrepreneurs selected onto the programme, initially from the Smartkarma London office. Participants can also benefit from Smartkarma’s platform, providing data, publishing tools and distribution of research to their network of over 165 global buy-side institutions.

Key to the mission of Boost Research is solving the lack of differentiated voices in the investment marketplace. The Boost Research programme offers flexibility for all participants, with the ability to set their own work hours as they grow their business. Skilled providers who may otherwise be locked out of the market can join this programme and have a real opportunity to develop their business, increasing the supply of independent research to the market and offering more varied opinions to investors.

Mark Artherton, Head of Research, Boost Research, notes: “We are dedicated to growing the independent analyst landscape around the world to enhance the variety of opinion available to investors. At a time when sell-side analysts are facing an uncertain future, we are taking these skilled analysts and empowering them to build a sustainable business.”

John-Paul Smith, founder of independent research provider Ecstrat, with 34 years’ prior experience on the sell-side, adds: “At the start of my career as an independent analyst, setting up the business and focusing on things outside of the core research took up so much of my time and slowed the development of my business. Boost Research would have made my start much easier. I am now looking forward to being part of the Boost Research mentoring program and helping support the next generation of independent research providers.”