Edison Group opens Benelux office

Edison Group, the international research and investor relations consultancy, has established an office in Amsterdam to cover the Benelux countries.

Edison’s regional presence brings new levels of investor access to Benelux corporates and MiFID-exempt independent global research to Benelux investors.

Heading up the new office will be Johan van den Hooven and Edwin de Jong, who previously worked together as part of a successful and longstanding team at NIBC bank, one of the Netherlands’ leading commercial banks. Van den Hooven has 26 years’ experience in financial services as an analyst, recently specialising in small caps and the industrials sector. De Jong has over 20 years’ experience in financial markets, 15 of these as an equity analyst at SNS securities, a leading brokerage in The Netherlands, where he specialised in technology, maritime services, and construction and engineering.

With regulations, supply chains and end markets all subject to the uncertainty and volatility brought about by Covid-19, corporates in the Benelux region face a highly challenging landscape. Benelux corporates have also started issuing equity at a historic rate in search of new sources of capital to help strengthen balance sheets, capitalise on new opportunities, and ensure they can grow through the pandemic. In recent weeks, beverage company JDE Peet has raised EUR2.25 billion in an IPO, while companies such as energy firm Alfen, gym chain Basic Fit and payments solution CM.com have raised millions of euros on public markets.

In this challenging environment, and with MiFID II limiting the availability of investor equity research, clear and direct communication with investors is more important than ever. Edison has tailored its broad range of research and investor relations capabilities to adapt to the current difficult circumstances and make sure companies can continue to reach the broadest pool of investors and raise the funds they need. With this successful business model in place, Edison is now looking to expand the scope of its offering to support more companies in more regions around the world.

Edison has digitalised the process of finding, informing, and introducing investors to its clients. After distributing its sponsored research globally, Edison’s digital platform monitors the behaviours of tens of thousands of investors by using smart targeting, with algorithms identifying interest – and even intent – to buy particular stocks. These ‘propensity to purchase’ signals are detected via Edison’s digital content tracking system that notes the investors who have accessed its research reports, which are distributed across 60 financial platforms including Bloomberg, Refinitiv and S&P. Virtual roadshows and video client consultations are then arranged so that investors can be told the full client equity story.

The Benelux region office – which has already signed its first client in automotive retailer Stern Auto is part of a wider growth story at Edison as its shift to a digital approach has led to the company flourishing during the pandemic. The company’s driving purpose is to continue leveraging its successful digital business model to help more companies around the world get access to the capital they need. In the last three months Edison has been appointed by 16 listed companies, bringing its portfolio to more than 400. New clients include significant names such as Newmont Corporation, the world’s largest gold mining company, as well as Applied Graphene Materials, Allianz Technology Trust and Stern.

The Benelux launch enhances Edison’s existing global reach, with its well-established New York office, for example, helping European and UK companies capitalise on a market with the deepest and broadest pool of capital in the world. There has been an increasing appetite from US investors for non-US and European equities, with foreign holdings trebling over the past decade to almost USD8 trillion.

Van den Hooven, Benelux Regional Director, says: “It’s fantastic to help lead this chapter of Edison’s growth story, the company’s focus and approach are strongly aligned with my own. During a time of massive upheaval and uncertainty, Edison has a platform that is perfectly positioned to match companies’ funding needs with investors’ investment requirement, and our presence on the ground will help businesses in the region access the investors and capital they so urgently need.”

De Jong, Benelux Regional Director, adds: “It’s an exciting time to join Edison and help lead the company’s growth in the region, it’s still very early days but we’ve already begun signing clients. Our clients particularly appreciate the fact that – unlike traditional brokers – we’re not limited by regulation or MiFID II and we are able to take them to the broadest sources of capital.”

Fraser Thorne, founder and CEO, Edison Group, says: “As a leading investment advisory and research firm, we are always looking to capitalise on opportunities wherever we see a need from the businesses that we serve. Opening the Netherlands office is a perfect example of this and is an exciting step for us. A new regional base will help ambitious growth companies in Europe by significantly broadening the scope and scale of their potential investor bases, and will help ensure that investors have all the latest data, information and analysis to invest in some of Europe’s most exciting growth companies.”