Mereus service launched to measure research usage

IT firm Mereus has launched a service which aims to help asset managers quantify the value of their paid-for research to improve profitability and enhance returns.

London-based Mereus (which stands for Measuring Research Usage) provides intelligence that firms can use to re-negotiate commission bills, manage subscription fees, improve the quality of the research they receive, and improve the efficiency of their staff.

The company said the service has “profound implications for IT costs and compliance issues”.

In a report in September 2011, The Radicati Group noted that the use of email attachments in business communications was growing rapidly. In 2011, 24% of all received email contained at least one attachment, an increase of 71% from 2010. The impact of this growth has resulted in dramatic demand for disk storage space, which saw a rise of 80% over the same period.

The Mereus service can reduce the amount of company disk space used by research by over 75%, as the system stores email attachments in a more efficient way than conventional email servers. It helps compliance with additional controls and standards in place to measure who is reading what and when, and demonstrates if investors are getting value for money from fund expenses.

Requiring no software installation, the system works by pre-processing research emails from fund managers’ external research providers, the firm said. Emails are tracked and the data converted into reports on easy-to-read dashboards, indicating who has opened which documents and when.

In one case study, asset manager Altana Wealth was able to reduce trading costs by 9% and total email IT disk space costs by 35% within 60 days. The business could see what information analysts were using to make decisions. Delivered as a cloud solution, the service requires no additional IT investment or resource to deploy.

Monitoring reveals that many attachments are never opened, and are often delivered to too many, or the wrong end-users.

Antony Lingard, Altana Wealth COO, commented, “We can now see where research makes a difference to the business by quantifying the total research read and identifying the leading providers and analysts. The value of research providers has become very clear. In some cases we have renegotiated broker agreements and overall operational costs have significantly reduced”.

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