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Making Events Manageable at MFS

Corporate-event management increases the productivity on the buy-side.

MFS Investment Management, a Boston-based buy-side firm with $113 billion in assets, has found success with its recent implementation of a corporate event manager called StreetEvents, a corporate-event-management product by Boston-based Corporate Communications Broadcast Network.

The service, which has been rolled out to approximately 140 portfolio managers and analysts at MFS, provides information on corporate events in the form of transcripts of calls and briefs of call summaries.

Joe Piotrowski, MFS' vice president of research and development for investment technology, explains that the service has freed time for portfolio managers and analysts, allowing them to focus on core competencies. "Now that corporations need to make available all earnings and research information to the Street, there is an unbelievable amount of information out there," he notes. "(StreetEvents) saves our portfolio management team time which could be better spent deciding what to buy or sell."

Before implementing StreetEvents, MFS used a variety of sources to obtain the necessary corporate information on companies that it invested in. "Instead of having to search company websites and other various news terminals, StreetEvents has brought it all into one place for us," adds Jackie Burkett, assistant vice president of equity operations at MFS. "Its like one-stop shopping."

E-mail notification of events is a key feature of the product, notes Burkett, pointing out that the service operates in real-time, allowing the user to be updated on approaching calls. In addition, she adds, the ability to archive transcripts enables users access to multiple calls happening at the same time. "During earnings season, there can be four or five different Web casts or conference calls to listen to in one time slot," she notes.

Cost and implementation time played a key role in MFS' decision to implement StreetEvents, Piotrowski says. "In this environment, price is always a concern," he explains. "This is a very economical solution. It enables all of our investment staff to have subscriptions at the same price as just a few licenses of other services, and we were able to deploy to our entire staff without any development work."

Piotrowski says that MFS has currently licensed the Web-based service for its users, but is working to customize the solution to narrow the scope of information and add more relevance for MFS' particular corporate-event interests. The project, which requires integrating StreetEvents data into MFS' databases for its own intranet accessibility, is slated to be finished by mid-October, he says. Other future projects may also include deploying the service to the fixed-income and credit departments at the firm, he adds.

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