Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:
A new site is online that offers a pretty radical amount of transparency about hedge funds and advisers. RIA Info looks a little basic at first blush, but for a fee, the site makes it possible to download any administrator, prime broker, or auditor's client list and see where that list intersects with the list of other service providers.
Apart from offering transparency, the site also makes it harder for administrators to exaggerate the amount of assets they have under administration. The site could also make third party marketers maintain a higher level of accuracy in their information, given that relationships are now easily identifiable.
According to sources familiar with the site, the data comes from a combination of proprietary algorithms that gather information, and the most recent SEC filings. Users can search based on a variety of filters including location, strategy and size. Sources say the ability to sort by size will mean more competition from smaller firms that will now be able to figure out competitors and friendly referral sources in various markets.
Based on search data, the overlap between service providers like Ernst&Young and Goldman Sachs can be surprising. Users of the data will be able to get confirmation on industry rumors whenever moves take place. The website's creator prefers to remain anonymous, and based on the FAQ, unhappy users are unlikely ......................
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