SIMON Markets (SIMON), an online distribution platform for financial professionals focused on structured investments, has added a new group of six investors and issuers – Barclays, Credit Suisse’s NEXT Investors, HSBC, JP Morgan, Prudential and Wells Fargo, as Goldman Sachs completes the sale of a majority equity interest.
Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
The transaction establishes SIMON as an independent financial technology company with a mission to deliver a dynamic marketplace for financial professionals to access structured investments and insurance products with simplicity. Structured investments are financial products whose value is linked to the performance of other financial instruments, such as indices or individual equities. The SIMON platform will provide robust educational content, powerful analytics, customisable investments and lifecycle management to financial advisors serving retail clients.
“We launched SIMON to help financial advisors learn more about structured investments and access the product class in a more efficient way, and this deal is an important step in our vision to create an industry standard and expand the platform to new investors, banks and advisors,” says Jason Broder, CEO of SIMON. “We’re excited to open the platform to an impressive group of market participants and to have their thought leadership around the table as we drive the future of SIMON as an independent, multi-issuer platform.”
With the new group of investors and issuers, SIMON will be able to deliver real-time access to a comprehensive suite of products and enable scalable education and enhanced workflow automation of this growing investment alternative for advisors and the retail market they serve.
A dedicated team will relocate to SIMON’s new headquarters in New York City. The core product, technology, sales and support teams will continue to develop and manage the platform under the new ownership structure and representatives from each of the investor and issuer firms will join the SIMON board. Jason Broder will serve as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Barclays is very excited to be investing in SIMON, a best-in-class, independent platform that is laser-focused on comprehensive client education. We are very proud to be working with our industry peers to deliver a front-to-back client experience for the US structured investments market,” says Ian Merrill, Head of Equity Derivatives Sales, Americas at Barclays.
“Credit Suisse is focused on aligning client service and execution with the adoption of technology,” says Elaine Sam, Head of Derivatives Sales, Credit Suisse. “As client demand for derivative-based products increases, in particular through online platforms, we’re pleased to be able to provide technology-driven solutions that help us to most effectively and efficiently serve our clients.”
“We are confident that the SIMON platform will lend itself to the growth of the structured products industry in the US, helping with education and ease of access,” says Todd Fruhbeis, Managing Director and Head of Structured Product Sales, Americas at HSBC. “We are pleased to be working with such a strong field of investors, issuers and distributors.”
“We view the creation of an independent platform like SIMON as an exciting step for the industry, one that furthers the goal of having transparent, easy-to-access information in the hands of our advisor clients,” says Brandon Igyarto, Head of Structured Investments Distributor Marketing at JP Morgan.
Mark Retik, Senior Vice President, Prudential Annuities and Head of Integrated Income Solutions says: “Innovation today is grounded in making solutions more attainable for advisors and investors. The SIMON platform brings together critical components of accessibility, simplicity and a streamlined education approach. The platform will deepen Prudential’s world class capabilities focused on offering integrated solutions across income, protection and investments, and will further support our ability to meet customers and advisors where they are.”
“SIMON’s shared investment platform gives our Structured Products desk greater distribution capabilities that help our clients achieve their financial goals,” says Donald Brudie, Head of Retail Distribution at Wells Fargo.
Darren Cohen, Head of Principal Strategic Investments at Goldman Sachs, says: “Through the development of SIMON, Goldman Sachs is pleased to have created a more efficient and effective platform to access structured investments. As the platform gained market acceptance, we realised that opening the platform and building a collaboration of leading investors and issuers would enable SIMON to unlock its transformative potential and create a more sound market structure for the entire industry.”