Chris Mackey, Founder & CEO
MackeyRMS (Research Management System) originated when an investment research expert met a couple of software experts. Or more precisely, when Chris Mackey—a Harvard graduate who had previously worked as a hedge fund analyst and primary research provider— realized the modern financial analyst could no longer afford to rely on a bunch of disparate notes and emails, with limited desktop access.
Bloomberg is Bloomberg, but there was nothing comparable for organizations’ internal data. Most funds depended on legacy RMS and believe it or not, Outlook. The systems lacked mobility, advanced search or automation. Mackey had been kicking around developing a next generation research tool but two things reinforced his vision and catalyzed things.
One was the launch of the iPad in the spring of 2010. Analysts were taking to the device like ducks to water. The second thing that convinced him was the government’s crackdown on hedge fund insider trading throughout 2010 and 2011, which led to an unprecedented number of convictions, and would force all funds to reassess their compliance tools and procedures. In 2011, Mackey, along with Dan Choi and Hoony Youn, founded MackeyRMS, with the vision of building a second generation RMS that would meet the twin objectives of mobility and automation–two key functions lacking in other platforms across the industry.
“To the modern analyst, usability and mobility are viewed as a right, not a privilege,” Mackey points out. “When an analyst needs to find information of great importance to an investment thesis or stock that’s moving, he or she needs that information immediately, and from anywhere in the world, using any device,” he adds.
Mackey’s RMS has at its core an auto-tagging engine that ensures emails, files, and varied other documents are aggregated and organized in real-time, so that they can be quickly searched and accessed later.
When an analyst needs to find information of great importance to an investment thesis or stock that’s moving, they need that information immediately, from anywhere in the world, using any device
It integrates with any email, Microsoft Office and OneNote, among other apps. It has full-feature iPad, iPhone, and Android apps for mobile access.
For Mackey, data security is paramount. While most funds are hosted in Amazon Web Services, with full encryption and end-to-end security, others prefer more of an old school approach–hosting data on-site, or with a private cloud provider, with Mackey’s backing.
“When we started, a Web-based RMS was a new concept. It was a big deal for hedge funds to change, despite the obvious advantages,” says Mackey. “Fast forward to 2017, and clients have largely embraced the inevitable shift. What’s more, I’m proud to say that many have come to recognize our team as data security thought leaders.”
Even some of Mackey’s biggest clients—multi-strategy funds operating in multiple countries, and managing tens of billions—had only ad-hoc systems with no central repository or community, and employed various processes and systems. They now boast a best-of-breed RMS with quantifiable benefits.
Today, Mackey’s clients together have over $850 billion in assets under management. The company has a large international presence. In the last year, it added 10 accounts in Hong Kong, it’s first-ever clients in Australia and Singapore, and recorded the industry’s biggest deal this year in London.
Mackey describes his team as a bunch of retired athletes and software industry veterans who are extremely competitive and bend over backwards to help their clients. He listed three qualities he likes in coworkers: Get the work done; dream big, and know how to have fun. “We try to not take ourselves too seriously, yet we are relentlessly dedicated to making sure we continue to innovate in order to meet and surpass the needs of our growing client roster.”