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Rating:The BrightScope Bros Take On M* Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The BrightScope Bros Take On M*

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A data specialist known for its public databases of FAs and 401(k) plans is tackling another piece of the business: mutual funds, and the mutual fund shops that offer them.

This morning San Diego-based BrightScope is launching its public, open-access Fund Pages database, giving the public (including FAs and fundsters as well as investors) the ability to drill down and look at data on a specific mutual fund companies, as well as on their mutual funds and on the share classes of those mutual funds. There's data on AUM and flows (both current and historical), active versus passive, distribution channels, fees, performance, and even 401(k) plans; and that's at the fund firm level, the fund level, and the share class level. There's even a six-piece scorecard at the fund share class level that's reminiscent of the components of BrightScope's 401(k) ratings, but without a resulting overall score.

And for fundsters, online brokerages, and others looking to reach fund investors and others, the BrightScope team is also rolling out what Ryan Alfred (co-founder, president, and chief operating officer) calls "a very sophisticated ad-targeting platform."

"We're getting more serious about the advertising capabilities on our website," Alfred tells MFWire.

Fundsters and others will be able to advertise on specific pages (say, a specific fund or firm) and to specific people (by location of the website visitor, or to advisors if they're logged in).

"If you're an advisor, we geo-locate you," Alfred says. "We can actually show you the wholesaler [for a particular fund firm whose page you're visiting] who covers your area."

Wholesalers, after all, are registered just like advisors. So as what Alfred calls a byproduct of BrightScope's existing Advisor Pages, which pull from regulatory filings with the SEC and Finra, BrightScope already has pages on wholesalers. And those pages, Alfred says, will be converted into wholesaler pages.

"We're able to know when wholesalers are moving," Alfred says. "We want to make it easier for advisors to connect to wholesalers."

So, FAs will see data on wholesalers and be able to tie in articles they write on, say, a specific fund or firm, to be seen by investors. And BrightScope's biggest asset manager clients and the like will see Fund Pages tie in with the advisor and 401(k) data they're already looking at from BrightScope.

"The platform is designed for a lot more connectivity than just throwing out a bunch of data," Alfred says.

To power Fund Pages, BrightScope is drawing both on its existing Lipper partnership and on SEC data. 

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