Web Financial Readies Expansion, US Ops

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12 September 2016
United States

Madrid-based data-driven managed service solution provider Web Financial Group is preparing to expand into North America with plans for a raft of US hires, to build on its growth in Europe, and in response to client demand for a more global presence. Officials say Web Financial will hire between 10 and 15 people over the next 18 months, including project managers, pre- and post-sales support professionals, technologists and front-end developers, and call center staff across New York, Boston and Toronto. Leading the expansion is Jeremy Diamond, who joined Web Financial as president of North America in May from YCharts, where he had been chief revenue officer and a board member at the behest of YCharts investor Chicago-based data and investment research provider Morningstar, where he had previously held several roles, including global head of sales and buy-side solutions, prior to which he was senior vice president and central region head at S&P Capital IQ. Diamond is not the vendor's first US-based executive: In 2003, the vendor named former Interactive Data exec and founder and chief executive of crowdfunding data platform Crowdnetic Luan Cox as managing director of North America, though the two later parted ways. At that time, Diamond says, the core business in Madrid was not at the level it is now, and that hiring Cox but keeping functions such as development in Europe was the wrong model, whereas people want vendors to support those functions locally. Now, after 16 profitable years of operating in Europe, the vendor has "critical mass from a revenue standpoint," and is starting to look at other geographies where it can expand its footprint. In particular, some of the larger client firms of Web Financial in Europe wanted to use the vendor's platforms across their global locations, but were hesitant to use them in the US without a dedicated local presence. "We are involved in several engagements with big buy-side institutions and large banks about building out proof-of-concept solutions for them, starting with very focused solutions sets where they are not happy with other providers, or where firms are currently doing that themselves. For the most part, though, Web Financial sees itself collaborating-rather than competing-with rival vendors such as Thomson Reuters, S&P Global, and SIX Financial Information. In fact, Diamond's former employer Morningstar is a strategic partner, where Web Financial uses Morningstar's content in its hosted solutions, and allows Morningstar to sell components and feeds powered by the vendor. The two are currently in talks to expand this beyond Morningstar's fund data to include pricing, fundamental and other data, Diamond adds. To help its expansion, the vendor is currently in talks with institutional venture capital firms about raising funds. "It's not that we necessarily need money, but it will be good to have cash in the bank for acquisitions, if they present themselves to us," and to demonstrate stability and backing, he says. "We're in advanced conversations, but nothing is finalized yet-it's important that we find the right strategic partners."

Source: Waterstechnology.com by Max Bowie