Meet our Founders: an interview with Mike Carrodus, Founder and CEO of Substantive Research Limited

Mike founded Substantive Research in early 2015 with two goals in mind. To match analysts and portfolio managers using a bespoke, data-driven process, and help asset management firms ensure they were consuming the highest quality research at the cheapest price.

What lead to you starting Substantive Research?

I was working in a market that just needed to change. The market was opaque and was funded by the investors and pension funds meaning that there was a lot of space for regulatory change.

I used to run the commercial side of an independent research provider so I had visibility of what the market was demanding and where customers wanted to see a change.

The two areas of transparency that mattered the most to us were;

Transparency around content: how do you find the piece of research amongst thousands that will matter the most to the money that you are managing? There are so many types of research that is purposed for different uses, it can be hard to find the most appropriate piece.

Price visibility: We wanted to ensure that people were paying the right amount for this research, and ensure that they were maximising efficiency around that cost.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

We have an incredibly diverse client base. They each want different types of research and they all, not just the firms and teams but even individual team members, want to use the research differently. So, we have to gather all types of research and in that lies the difficulty of accurately comparing and benchmarking research pieces alongside one another.

Once we created a platform that allowed clients to express their needs and preferences first, we could then benchmark as a second step.

Why did you start to look for investment?

We have reached the point where we can safely achieve that whilst also proving we have a revenue model that works.

We’re focused now on the ways we can serve our existing customers’ needs further and are looking to expand into new markets. This is where the need for investment comes in. It allows us to build out the team in the UK, US and Asia, whilst deepening and broadening the coverage and valuation databases that drive the insights our clients find so valuable.

How did you know Foresight was the right partner for you?

From speaking with the team at Foresight we could tell that they were interested in helping us deliver a growth strategy that was sustainable above anything else. This gives us the space and time to deliver fast growth, in a way that retained the qualities of our revenue model.

What motivates you?

It’s rare in your career that you have those moments that I call ‘the click’, where you and everyone around you simultaneously is working at their most optimum. I’m in that moment now, I’ve built a fantastic team around me, and every day it inspires me what we can achieve as a unit.

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Click here to read the press release announcing Foresight's investment in Substantive Research Limited.