Alternative research reduces risk for fixed income investors
San Mateo, Calif., February 23, 2009 - FirstRain®, the leader in search-driven research for investment professionals and executives, today announced the expansion of FirstRain to meet the alternative research needs of fixed income investors, including corporate and government debt investors. FirstRain’s platform now analyzes the leading indicators of defaults and downgrade risk that can significantly affect bond value.
Despite the bear market and market volatility, professional fixed income investors—government bond desks, closed-end fund managers, high-yield research analysts and short term fund managers—must still produce yield for their investors. As a result, investments in fixed income are on the rise, and with treasury yields near zero, investor focus is increasing on corporate and government debt.
At the same time, investment professionals have an urgent need for additional risk mitigation and analysis on top of the existing ratings from the credit rating agencies, given recent history. FirstRain provides incremental visibility to the leading indicators of cashflow and sustainable fiscal health for corporations and for state and local governments at a time when they are navigating between a collapse in their retail and property tax bases and a massive stimulus program.
New FirstRain extensions for Corporate Debt Research—provide fixed income investors with alternative qualitative information and insights from blogs, news, local, global and industry sources, on factors that affect debt issuers’ cashflow and long-term ability to meet debt obligations:
Management Analytics – detection of announced and unannounced management turnover trends below the executive suite, with analysis versus comparable firms, as well as attributed executive quotes, interviews, and “no comments”
Market – analysis, insights, and on the record comments about the demand environment including channel partners, customer wins and losses, changes in pricing power, competitor strength, positioning, perceptions, and emerging competitive threats
Product & operations – new products, market response, and supply chain costs and inputs
Corporate structure & financials – investor opinion, earnings forecasts and projections of potential merger and acquisition activity, strategic partnerships and other elements that affect future debt and long-term ability to pay
The new FirstRain Municipal Bond Report provides insights, local data points and expert opinion for analysts on government bond desks, including municipal bond teams, with reporting on:
Infrastructure spending plans, execution and analysis – critical for modeling risk, demand, and future debt loads
Municipal budget activity – government successes and failures to address widening deficits
Jobs and Employment Trends – local and specialized reporting for states, counties and cities—critical to the municipal tax base and services burden
Municipal Bonds – trends and alternative research on the municipal bond market by state
Concurrently, FirstRain has launched its consumer-focused Municipal Bond Map at www.firstrain.com.
“In this environment, institutional investors are driving fund flows into fixed income investments, but managing the risk is more critical than ever before,” said Penny Herscher, president and CEO of FirstRain. “FirstRain’s expansion into fixed income research provides leading qualitative indicators for defaults and downgrades.”
As the leader in search-driven research, FirstRain provides global firms with a competitive advantage, revealing information and trends from the web that they would not otherwise see. FirstRain changes the rules of research by applying state-of-the-art extraction and pattern detection technology to the web. FirstRain is a privately held company headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., with additional offices in New York, NY and Gurgaon, India. Contact FirstRain at www.firstrain.com. Visit CEO Penny Herscher’s blog, Market Mine, at http://pennyherscher.blogspot.com.