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Markit Acquires QSG

Markit, a financial information provider best known for its CDS data,  announced it had purchased Quantitative Services Group (QSG), an independent research providing equity research and trading analytics.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Quantitative Services Group (QSG) specializes in quantitative equity research which provides investors with off-the-shelf models as well as bespoke quantitative models.  It offers pre-built models for US equity markets, including a value momentum model, a relative momentum model, a GARP (Growth At a Reasonable Price) model, a price momentum model, a deep value model, an earnings momentum model and a growth model. It also offers industry models for REITs, Retail, and Banks and Thrifts, and international equity valuation and momentum models. The company also offers trade analytics. The firm is willing to customize its models to client specifications.  QSG was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Naperville, IL, just west of Chicago.

QSG received a minority investment from Goldman Sachs in March, 2008 and became part of Goldman’s Hudson Street platform.  At the time of its affiliation with Goldman, QSG predominantly worked with hedge funds, limiting its client base to 50 firms, although this begged the question of why it entered a distribution deal with Goldman Sachs.

In 2009, QSG released a study which found alpha in ESG research, utilizing data from ASSET4, which was also part of Goldman’s Hudson Street platform at the time.  ASSET4 was purchased by Thomson Reuters in December, 2009.

The acquisition provides Markit with a strong quantitative research group, which it can leverage to enhance its content.  QSG can benefit from gaining access to Markit’s derivative and fixed income data.

The full release is below:

Markit Acquires Quantitative Research Specialist QSG, November 2, 2011
London and New York, NY – Markit, a leading, global financial information services company, today announced that it has acquired Quantitative Services Group LLC (QSG).  QSG is a leading provider of independent equity research, advanced trading analytics and investment consulting services. 

The acquisition expands Markit’s capabilities in equities and will enable Markit to expose its high-quality data products to QSG’s statistical processes and create new tools for investment managers and traders.  Markit intends to expand QSG’s quantitative, factor-based research and trade analytics services to the global over-the-counter markets.

Armins Rusis, Managing Director and Global Head of Data, Indices and Research at Markit, said: “We are excited about combining Markit’s expertise in data with QSG’s quantitative, factor-based research and trade analytics.  The combination will allow us to develop new services for the equity and fixed income markets which will provide our customers with unique ways to recognize trading signals both within and across asset classes.”

Tim Sargent, CEO of QSG, said: “Joining forces with Markit gives us global reach and a focused opportunity to incorporate high-quality datasets directly into our offerings.  This combination will position us to expand our product set and serve the growing analytical needs of equity and fixed income clients alike.”

Notes to Editors:
About Markit
Markit is a leading, global financial information services company with over 2,300 employees. The company provides independent data, valuations and trade processing across all asset classes in order to enhance transparency, reduce risk and improve operational efficiency.  Its client base includes the most significant institutional participants in the financial market place.  For more information, please see www.markit.com.

About QSG
Quantitative Services Group LLC is a leading provider of independent global equity research, advanced trading analytics and investment consulting services to institutional investors.  The firm is based outside Chicago. For more information, please see www.qsg.com.

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