FintekNews is pleased to offer our weekly feature column 3 Questions. Each week, we feature a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week, we’d like to introduce you to Bill Jenks, CEO of Intro-act, which offers AI-based corporate access tools that identify a corporation’s most likely investors, using targeted institutional investor-quality research to support corporate IR and its investor pool.
NAME: Bill Jenks
WEB ADDRESS: www.intro-act.com
1) How did you personally become involved in fintech?
Early in my career I was on the original First Call team, part of Thomson. I personally watched First Call technology rock the earnings estimate landscape; at First Call and the other early Thomson fintechs, growth was phenomenal. Together capital market professionals and technologists re-engineered the Street, and this continues today.
Intro-act reminds me of early fintechs, but today our tools are algorithms, primary research, big data sets, and in-house financial and research experts. The MiFID II regs that go into effect January 2018 created new fintech opportunities as research, IR, and investors adjust to changes. The Intro-act proof-of-concept ran 18 months, we learned a lot, course corrected, and kept going. Intro-act is a 21st century fintech team – a global virtual company. My institutional research firm, Blueshift Research, is also migrating to the Intro-act platform as the two teams combine. Intro-act sales outreach is underway, we are optimistic.
2) What does your firm do/offer within the fintech sector?
Intro-Act technology helps corporations identify their most likely investors, and understand the factors that drive their trading decisions. Intro-act’s predictive algorithms identify institutional investors likely to take a new position in a company or change their stake over the next 90 days. A corporate IR team uses Intro-act to support its corporate access process: investor targeting, meeting procurement, meeting preparation, and investor conversion. In response to MiFID II changes across global capital markets, Intro-act brings targeted institutional-quality research insights to a corporation and its investor pool. The era of “free” research is over, investors expect IR to provide capital markets insights as broker coverage diminishes or even disappears for some corporations. Intro-act connects investors, corporations, and targeted institutional research insights to support the changing roles of all corporate access participants.
3) What area/s of fintech do you believe will grow the most in the coming 5 years?
Corporations are arguably underserved by fintech. Intro-act is a good example – we bring IR into the investor’s world in a targeted fashion, unlike any existing fintech. At-the-market share offerings – ATMs – are growing because they’re cheaper, fast, and effective. Even IPOs are trending away from the services of investment banks for the same reason – the 5-6% fee is not always warranted given modern technologies.
Bill Jenks is CEO of Intro-act and a graduate of Arizona State University with dual degrees in Economics and Finance. Bill has been adapting to a changing landscape since the mid 80’s, and currently resides with his family in the Boston area.