Financial Times & Wilshire partner to create indices, analytics and data sets for investors

The Financial Times and Wilshire have announced a far-reaching collaboration to develop new and more relevant indices, metrics, data sets and analytics to serve and inform investors worldwide.

The new services will provide investors with tools and content to understand the evolution of new themes in business and investment, from Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) to new digital financial instruments.

The two organisations, working with a range of leading market innovators and experts, will create dedicated services and features on combining data, tools, analytics and indices from Wilshire and its partners. The venture will provide investors with unique commentary, insights and data-sets to help them interpret the issues and themes driving financial markets.

The partnership will build on the success of the recently-launched and fast-growing ETF Hub on The ETF Hub, jointly produced in partnership with TrackInsight, provides leading global coverage, data and analytics relating to the fast growing USD8 trillion Exchange Traded Funds sector.

The Financial Times and Wilshire will also collaborate on the creation of indices for clients and investors worldwide utilising Wilshire’s deep pool of talent and content in investment advice and multi-asset strategies. The Wilshire 5000, widely regarded as the best single measure of the US equity market, is the first and oldest measure of the total US equity market and was created in 1974, with a time series of data beginning on 31 December, 1970.

Following a consultation with existing Wilshire 5000 users, the Wilshire 5000 index series will be enhanced, expanded and relaunched as the FT Wilshire 5000 US Series providing Wilshire clients with a superior set of domestic US indices to support their investment analysis and decision set.

Mark Makepeace, the new Chief Executive Officer of Wilshire, will be joined at Wilshire by his former colleagues, Reza Ghassemieh, Paul Grimes and Jonathan Horton, widely recognised for building and growing global index franchises and data businesses.

Ghassemieh, formerly Chief Research Officer at FTSE Russell and Managing Director, Head of Quantitative Research at Nomura International, joins as Chief Benchmark Officer and will be responsible for the development and delivery of the Wilshire index product strategy.

Paul Grimes, formerly a Managing Director, Head of Equities at IHS Markit and Chief Operating Officer at FTSE International joins as Chief of Staff and will be responsible for the development and delivery of the FT initiatives and collaborating with Ghassemieh in the delivery of the Wilshire index strategy.

Jonathan Horton formerly Chief Data Officer and Global Head of Change at FTSE Russell, where he led numerous acquisition integrations, joins as Chief Strategy & Integration Officer. He will work closely with the leadership team in the delivery of Wilshire’s ambitious growth objectives.

Benchmark and index data play a critical role in the financial services industry. This data is used to drive new product development, monitor performance and manage risk exposures. The index industry grew 11 per cent per annum between 2015 and 2019, into a USD3.7 billion market in 2019, and is expected to continue its growth trajectory driven by an increase in passive investment strategies. Growth is also going to be driven from unique index designs and customised solutions into investment segments such as ESG and Factor exposures in the traditional equity and fixed income asset classes, and a greater focus on alternative asset classes and multi-asset products.

"The investment industry continues to evolve and innovate. The combination of Wilshire’s deep pool of investment knowledge, the FT’s leading digital platforms and journalists, and our widely-recognised leadership team in the index space will allow us to provide our clients and investors worldwide with greater insight and better investment solutions," says Mark Makepeace, Chief Executive Officer of Wilshire.

“We are delighted to be working again with Mark Makepeace and many of his former colleagues to build a leading global index business. The FT has been a pioneer in digital journalism and the 'new agenda' for investing – including via Moral Money – and this collaboration will help us reinforce our brand in growth markets and strengthen our position as the leading global financial news organisation," says John Ridding, Chief Executive Officer of the FT Group.

The FT and Wilshire will also collaborate with Nikkei in Asia where Nikkei is already a leading index provider.

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