News

Fairfield-based data firm acquired by multinational company

ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo

Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge, has announced that his company has been purchased by a multinational firm called Backstop Solutions, headquartered in Chicago. Waksman and the 18 employees at the Fairfield branch are staying on. In fact, Waksman expects the Fairfield office to add 12-15 employees in the next one to two years.
ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge, has announced that his company has been purchased by a multinational firm called Backstop Solutions, headquartered in Chicago. Waksman and the 18 employees at the Fairfield branch are staying on. In fact, Waksman expects the Fairfield office to add 12-15 employees in the next one to two years.

Fairfield-based company BarclayHedge is looking to grow its workforce after being acquired by a much larger company last month.

BarclayHedge is a database company which collects information on the performance of hedge funds and investments. On Jan. 2, a company called Backstop Solutions Group purchased BarclayHedge.

BarclayHedge president Sol Waksman said the sale is great news for his business, and that he expects to dramatically increase his workforce. Eighteen employees work in the Golden Gate Center north of town, where the office has been for the past 15 years. Waksman plans to grow that number of employees by 12-15 in the next year or two.

“We’ll add a few programmers and data administrators,” he said. “It’s going to be a nice expansion.”

BarclayHedge is a service provider to the global financial sector, specializing in performance data on hedge funds, commodity funds and currency funds. It compiles that information into databases, sought after by investors, consultants and banks. It holds proprietary access to 2,200 alternative investment managers and 6,900 funds. The business also calculates indices and updates them in real time on its website.

Waksman said he received an email from Backstop Solutions last summer inquiring about his business. Backstop Solutions’s business is a bit different, focusing on writing software for customer relationship management. It’s designed for financial firms that trade or invest in hedge funds. Though the two companies have different products, they realized they have many of the same clients, and that’s why Backstop Solutions perceived BarclayHedge as an attractive acquisition.

“We’re fish in the same pond of customers,” Waksman said.

In a news release issued to announce the sale, Waksman said, “I’m personally very excited to be joining forces with Backstop and its client base of both asset owners and asset managers. There are many synergies to be unlocked in our respective lines of business, and I look forward to unlocking them. We collect over 300 data points per fund manager, providing institutional asset owners with a rich set of information they can rely upon to select the right managers for their portfolios. We can now make those data points available to a new universe of asset owners, as well as provide our fund managers with a more seamless reporting process through better integrated tools. It’s the classic ‘win-win’ for both companies.”

Since purchasing BarclayHedge in January, Backstop Solutions has given its Fairfield office workers new laptops and a contract. Everyone who worked for BarclayHedge before the sale has remained at the company.

Before the purchase, Backstop Solutions had 250 employees with offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and one in China. Fairfield will now be added to that list.

In a news release, Backstop Solutions’s chairman and CEO Clint Coghill said, “Backstop’s vision is to optimize every step of the investment process for institutional and alternative investment firms, from capital raising to investor relations to research and portfolio management. This acquisition supports our vision by removing friction for asset owners conducting research on alternative managers and for alternative asset managers hoping to get their data in front of those asset owners.”

Waksman founded BarclayHedge in 1985. Though they have similar names, BarclayHedge is not affiliated in any way with the British multinational investment firm Barclays Bank. As a matter of fact, Waksman said the name of his company was inspired by Barclay Cigarettes.

The two sides of the sale agreed to let the Fairfield office keep its original name. It will now be referred to as “BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions.”