Today sees the launch of WeConvene, a global web-based platform designed to enhance corporate access for the global investment community, making it simpler, efficient, targeted, track-able and ultimately more useful.
Simultaneously to the launch, WeConvene has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Extel from Thomson Reuters. The transfer of the complete Extel business to WeConvene is scheduled to close and be completed by the end of June. The Extel business rates and ranks excellence and interactions across the equity community, and is one of the most high profile and visible brands in this market.
The WeConvene platform creates value for both buy and sell side customers. For the buy side it allows clients to quickly and easily find, book, track and rate important interactions with analysts and corporates - leaving them more time to focus on maximising the value of the interaction for their investment process. The efficiencies not only give buy-side clients much more time to manage investments, but will also help them comply with recent UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation requiring buy and sell-side customers to track, manage and value analyst and corporate interactions in an efficient and transparent manner. The intuitive preference-driven technology behind the platform also has the ability to identify and propose corporate access offerings which might otherwise be missed.
For the sell side, WeConvene makes corporate access execution, management and targeting much more efficient in a way that has not been done by any other vendor. By moving away from email based distribution and management of analyst marketing and corporate roadshows, sell-side customers could finally have real-time engagement with customers around other valuable services other than trading.
Founded in 2012 and based in Hong Kong, WeConvene was developed to combat the inefficiencies of the manual processes currently associated with corporate access. The specially combined experience of the founding team, board and advisory board spans the buy-side, sell-side, corporates and corporate access specialists, while the development and technology ley leadership has more than 40 years' experience in financial services.
The acquisition of Extel provides a unique opportunity to merge two highly complementary businesses within the corporate access arena. The Extel team, headed by Steve Kelly, will remain in place and the annual awards will continue under the Extel name, in partnership with Thomson Reuters. All Extel award winner data will also be integrated into Thomson Reuters Eikon and WeConvene will continue as a key service provider and partner to Thomson Reuters.
Radek Barnert, CEO and founder of WeConvene, commented: "The concept behind WeConvene originated from our own personal frustrations with inefficiencies inherent in the traditional processes. The team brings not only extensive and highly relevant industry expertise but also a passion for creating beautiful and intuitive web based applications. Excitement has been growing tangibly among investors and we are increasingly receiving incoming requests about the platform, so the appetite for WeConvene's solution is definitely there. Moreover, we truly believe that our acquisition of Extel is greater than the sum of the parts; the businesses are wholly complementary and the deal will unleash the potential inherent in both. Ultimately the combination of the two businesses will mean a more valuable, integrated and truly end to end experience for clients."
Steve Kelly, head of Extel at Thomson Reuters, commented: "We are delighted to be entering a new chapter for Extel, one which we believe will be hugely beneficial for the Extel brand; as a specialist firm whose very essence is the corporate access market, WeConvene is a great partner to further develop the Extel brand. The Extel footprint - already growing on a global basis - will benefit further from the fresh ideas and investment offered by WeConvene, and all parties are very much looking forward to the forthcoming Extel annual awards on 17th June."
David Craig, President, Financial & Risk at Thomson Reuters, added: "We are pleased with the new partnership with WeConvene, which will see them continue as a key service provider and partner to Thomson Reuters. As a well-funded, ambitious provider with strong credentials in the investment community, WeConvene will continue to expand the comprehensive range of Extel rankings and insights, which our clients will continue to receive through Thomson Reuters Eikon. We are pleased to bring these new investments, along with other developments, to our clients through this partnership."