by Jan 26, 2016

In the second episode of our Faces of Finance series, Clare Levy, full-time mum, Founder and CEO of Essentia Analytics – a Fintech company – tells us about her background as a Fund manager, why she loves her current Fintech role and advice for women aspiring to enter leadership positions. Watch to find out more!

Clare Flynn Levy is Founder & CEO of Essentia Analytics, a financial software company that uses behavioural data analytics to help humans do a better job of investing. Prior to founding Essentia, Clare spent 10 years as a fund manager, both active equity (running over $1bn of pension funds for Deutsche Asset Management) and hedge (as Founder & CIO of Avocet Capital Management, a specialist tech fund manager). She ultimately “went native” into the software space as the President of Beauchamp Financial Technology, a market-leading provider of portfolio management systems to hedge funds, which was acquired by Linedata Services S.A.

A rundown of Essentia Analytics

Clare Levy: “At Essentia, we provide software and expertise that gives fund managers a better understanding of their ownbehaviour and the context surrounding their investment decisions. I like to think of it as holding a mirror up to your process and performance – you get an authentic, accurate picture of where you’re adding the most value and where you’re tripping yourself up, so that you can play to your strengths and maximise your return on energy expended. That is useful if you are an individual portfolio manager, analyst or trader, but it’s also useful if you’re a CIO who wants to be effective in coaching his or her team members.”

“Essentia looks at different elements that impact investors’ behaviour and decision making from a range of sources, from the obvious (past trading data) to the not-so obvious (CO2 levels and sleep patterns, for example).”

“Ultimately we can use as much or as little data as the investor wants to provide to inform our analytics. We’re applying the latest behavioural finance research in what we do – much of it hasn’t been attempted outside of a university setting before – and we’re creating a data-driven feedback, much like what an athlete would use to achieve excellence. All of this makes Essentia a really exciting place to work – we truly are at the cutting edge of our field, and we believe passionately that professional investors can use technology like ours to continuously improve performance.”

“Essentia is the software I wish I had when I was managing money. Human fund managers have never been under more pressure to prove that they add value; investors are realising that performance is at least as much a measure of luck as it is of skill. With limited hours in the day and unlimited information to digest, people who make investment decisions for a living need tools to help them to execute their investment processes in a convenient, repeatable and measurable way; they need a data-driven feedback loop to help them maximise return on energy expended, just like athletes. Those who manage investment managers for a living need tools for maximizing team performance, just like athletic coaches. The problem has existed forever –only now has technology made it possible to solve via an off-the-shelf product.”

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