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Stop Press: Markit Buys Data Explorers

Markit has acquired securities lending data specialist Data Explorers, from owners Bowmark Capital, a mid-market private equity firm. Terms weren’t disclosed.

By combining Data Explorers’ data set with its own products and services, Markit plans to develop new offerings allowing clients to optimise their use of collateral. Markit will also develop products for equity market participants in the ETF, dividend forecasting and quantitative research areas to complement its existing services.

Data Explorers covers $12 trillion of securities in the lending programmes of over 20,000 institutional funds. The company – run by former Thomson Financial European head Donal Smith, provides a comprehensive view of short interest data and institutional fund activity across all market sectors. The service is used by beneficial owners, custodians, agent lenders, prime brokers and asset managers to help inform investment decisions, manage risk and produce independent benchmarks.

According to Lance Uggla, CEO of Markit, the company’s acquisition of Data Explorers “represents a logical extension to our existing data, research and analytics for the equity markets and complements our extensive fixed income offering. Our global distribution capabilities and robust technology infrastructure put us in a strong position to develop a compelling offering for our combined customer base globally.”

Data Explorers CEO Smith says: “With support from Bowmark Capital, Data Explorers has achieved fantastic growth over the last four years. We have more than doubled revenues and tripled profitability with new product innovation and expansion into Europe, North America and Asia. Data Explorers is now the leading provider of data and analytics to the entire securities finance market from agent lenders through to hedge funds and our services are a great fit with those offered by Markit.”

Data Explorers was established in 2002 and has offices in New York, London, Edinburgh and Hong Kong.

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