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FactSet Research Systems Inc., trading as FactSet, is an American financial data and software company headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, United States. The company provides integrated data and software. For fiscal year 2020, FactSet's total ASV and professional services revenues were $1.56 billion.
Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.
Number of locations
|48, in 22 countries|
|F. Philip Snow (CEO)|
|Revenue||US$1.49 billion (2020)|
|US$440 million (2020)|
|US$372 million (2020)|
|Total assets||US$2.08 billion (2020)|
|Total equity||US$896 million (2020)|
Number of employees
|10,892 (August 31, 2021)|
FactSet provides client support & learning, implementation services, business advisory, data delivery, index services, portfolio data management, and transition services.
As computers became more prominent at the end of the 1970s, Wille and Snyder thought that the industry was changing. When Shearson purchased Faulkner, Dawkins and Sullivan and the company started to expand, Wille and Snyder decided to set out on their own and test their idea for a company that could deliver computer-based financial information. At the time, companies had to purchase raw data directly from a vendor such as Compustat, then hire programmers to make the data user-friendly. Wille and Snyder's vision would offer usable data directly to the client.
Originally, all data was delivered to clients on paper, often by bike messenger. The first and namesake product was a program called "Company FactSet," which produced a four-page company analysis report using the Value Line database. Today, FactSet users connect to FactSet's private network via WAN, Internet, and wireless devices.
In the early 1980s, FactSet employees numbered fewer than 10. In 1981, Snyder found a way to download data from the FactSet computer into Visicalc, meaning that clients could retrieve data from a database directly into a spreadsheet. For the first time, several steps in the process were eliminated, making the data download process dramatically quicker.
In 1984, FactSet added limited screening capabilities, which were expanded in 1988 with the introduction of Universal Screening, which allowed users to stipulate their own screening criteria. Another development during the 1980s was the 1989 release of the company's Private Database Service. Users could now store proprietary data and integrate it with their own information to perform custom analysis.
Current Chairman Philip A. Hadley joined the company as a consultant in 1985.
By the end of 1995, FactSet had fewer than 400 customers, but they included 84 of the United States' top investment managers. The company also changed its name in June 1995, becoming FactSet Research Systems Inc. in preparation for becoming a public company. The company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1996 under the symbol FDS.
In 1997, the company released Portfolio Management Workstation, which was followed a year later by the Economic Analysis and Company Explorer applications.
The product became easier to use, in 1998, with the release of the DIRECTIONS interface and the addition of Online Assistant, a web-based help and reference tool. FactSet introduced 24-hour live telephone support in 1999.
Wille retired as CEO and chairman in May 2000, Snyder stepped in as CEO on an interim basis, serving until September of that year, when Hadley was named the new CEO and chairman.
In the early 2000s, new products included a portfolio returns product, SPAR (Style, Performance and Risk), that allowed portfolio managers to analyze the risks and performance of their own funds as well as compare them with peer funds; the Data Central application, which allowed subscribers to create and save their own time-series databases; and Marquee, which combined real-time news and stock quotes with security-level analysis. In 2004, the company's sell-side platform, IBCentral, was released.
Also in 2004, the company relocated headquarters and consolidated its three Connecticut offices to Norwalk, CT. Sales topped the $200 million mark for the first time in 2002 and $500 million in 2008.
In 2008, FactSet acquired a copy of the Thomson Reuters WorldScope database, which it develops and markets as FactSet Fundamentals.
In 2009, FactSet combined its DIRECTIONS, Marquee, and IBCentral platforms into one product, called FactSet. The platform combined the features of the previous platforms with new shared online workspaces and faster analytics. Also in 2009, FactSet integrated Data Explorers short selling data on the Factset Research Systems analytics platform.
In January 2010, FactSet and FirstRain announced a partnership that would allow FactSet clients to access FirstRain's web research engine that finds, filters, and analyzes unstructured business data available online.
In June 2008, FactSet completed the acquisition of the Thomson Fundamentals database.
In June 2010, FactSet acquired Market Metrics, a market research firm situated in the United States that is solely focused on surveys conducted on advisor and insurance products.
Highlights of 2011 include the addition of a package for colleges and universities in January, the integration of Proquote trading functionality in April, and the addition of Trucost environmental research data in August.
In June 2012, FactSet acquired StreetAccount, which provides real-time company updates, portfolio and sector filtering, email alerts, and market summaries for investment professionals.
On February 9, 2015, FactSet acquired Code Red Inc, a provider of Research Management technology to the financial community.
On October 16, 2015, FactSet completed its acquisition of Portware, LLC, a multi-asset execution management system (EMS) provider.
On December, 2016, FactSet acquired Vermilion, a client reporting software, and CYMBA Technologies, an order management system (OMS) provider.
On March 20, 2017, FactSet acquired BISAM, a performance and risk provider, strengthening its coverage of critical workflows throughout the portfolio lifecycle.
On April 3, 2017, FactSet strengthened its offering to the Wealth Management industry by completing its acquisition of Interactive Data Managed Solutions.
In 2018, FactSet extended its presence in Asia with a new office in Shanghai, celebrated 20 years in Australia and 40 years as a company, and declared strong revenue and EPS growth: “We are proud to have reached many milestones in fiscal 2018. We celebrated 40 years as a company with 38 years of consecutive revenue growth and 22 years of consecutive adjusted EPS growth. This quarter we had the highest reported quarterly ASV in our history. We enter fiscal 2019 with strong momentum and an expanding suite of innovative workflow solutions to drive our growth plans,” Phil Snow, FactSet CEO.
A key milestone for FactSet in 2018 was the selection to be the primary market data provider for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (multi-year, enterprise level agreement including datafeeds). FactSet deployed its Market Data solution to more than 15,000 wealth management professionals across Merrill Lynch to provide complete multi-asset class content, analytics and global market data.
In 2020, FactSet acquired Truvalue Labs, a pioneer in AI-driven environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data. Truvalue Labs applies AI-driven technology to over 100,000 unstructured text sources in 13 languages, including news, trade journals, and nongovernmental organizations and industry reports, to provide daily signals that identify positive and negative ESG behavior. Its coverage spans over 20,000 public and private companies and generates short-term, long-term, and momentum scores derived from hundreds of signals. These signals are mapped against the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), allowing investors to evaluate ESG risk factors and real-world actions and impacts for quantitative analysis and back-testing. The company also works with its well-established Academic Research Network, which helps academic researchers use its data to study ESG trends and market-related behavior.
Products and servicesEdit
FactSet provides data and analytical applications to global buy and sell-side professionals, including portfolio managers, market research and performance analysts, risk managers, sell-side equity researchers, investment bankers, and fixed income professionals. FactSet's Workstation includes real-time news and quotes, company and portfolio analysis, multi-company comparisons, industry analysis, company screening, portfolio optimization and simulation, predictive risk measurements, alpha testing and tools to value and analyze fixed income securities and portfolios.
In November 2020, FactSet furnished over 400 affinity databases and sought to restructure its foundation with inside the cloud to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
As of August 31, 2020, there were over 131,000 users of FactSet. The number of clients subscribed to FactSet stands over 5,500. The annual client retention rate stands at over 90%.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, GAAP revenues increased 5.3%, or $19.3 million, to $383.6 million compared with $364.3 million for the same period in fiscal 2019. The increase is primarily due to higher sales of analytics, content and technology solutions (CTS), and wealth management solutions. Organic revenues grew 4.9% to $383.4 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 from the prior year period.
Since contractual relationships with third-party vendors can be terminated with one year's notice, the company tries to maintain relationships with at least two vendors for each type of data. Since 2000, FactSet has made close to 15 acquisitions, seven of which have been content providers.
- Robin A. Abrams, Chairman of the Board of Directors
- F. Philip Snow, Chief Executive Officer and Director
- Helen Shan, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
- Rachel R. Stern, Senior Vice President, Strategic Resources, General Counsel and Secretary
- Dan Viens, Chief Human Resources Officer
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