To what extent do you base investing and deal-making decisions based on who you know at the companies involved? Thomson Financial has teamed up with search/analytics firm Generate, Inc., to capitalize on investment bankers' need to know with whom they are dealing. Generate's tools can analyze a web page or a customer record and map the people and companies mentioned therein to other sources of information about people and companies - primarily large databases filled with information gathered from the web. With this combination, users of Thomson data and products will be able to click on the name of a person or company and view a profile of the individual or firm with related links."Everyone is looking for information to help them make better investment decisions, to build better relationships, to get deals done or to find new people," says Bill O'Connor, executive vice president of Generate. One major area of interest for Wall Street firms today is better information on private companies. "Everyone knows the public companies but private companies have become increasingly important," he notes. A second major area of interest for investment banks is people. If, for instance, a new CEO has joined a company, how is the company likely to perform under him? How did that CEO perform at the last five companies he was at? When investment bankers are trying to get deals done, they need to build relationships with the senior executives at the firms involved, and it's helpful to figure out the linkages between people and companies. "Then they can say, great, I know the CFO, he worked at the same company I did five years ago, we went to the same school, we lived in the same town, or we're interested in the same charities," O'Connor says. "Anyone who is interested in building relationships is dying to get their hands on this kind of information because it helps them relate better to the person on the other side." Brokers could also use these tools to monitor their book of business for reasons to call a client.
Generate's software crawls 41 million websites as well as news feeds and even SEC filings, picking out people, companies and events mentioned in the content. It tags those entities and links them to other sources of content, including Thomson's directories of people and industries, research reports and charts. Generate has also built two databases -- a private company database with over four million records, and an executive profile database with 3.6 million records - as well as relationship mapping software that O'Connor says is similar to social networking on a professional, enterprise scale.
"We do a lot of work with investment banks as they're preparing for big pitches to certain companies," says Ed Jay, senior vice president, Thomson ONE Product Management. "At Thomson Financial we provide a lot of the analytical tools and content to help them determine if they want to pitch a particular merger or divestiture. Marrying that with the content and tools from Generate brings another level of insight into who are the dealmakers on the team, who do they really need to know, who's going to make the deal happen. It gives that human factor toward making the investment a better decision."
The two companies expect to have the mapping between their major data sets completed in about 45 days. The integration of other Generate tools with the Thomson ONE platform should be finished by the end of the year.