Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Happy Twentieth Birthday M·CAM


Today marks the 20th anniversary of the incorporation of M·CAM – the world’s first and only intangible asset qualitative and quantitative underwriter and trader.  At its inception earlier in 1998, the concept of rendering the “intangible” tangible through the marriage of big data and qualitative market algorithms was revolutionary.  Formed the same year that Google was launched, M·CAM’s steady progress towards reforming the manner in which markets measure intangible effects has spanned the globe and left an indelible mark on the capital markets.  Two years ago, M·CAM’s success was memorialized with the launch of the CNBC IQ100 powered by M·CAM – the world’s leading equity index.

There’s no question that our success is due, in large part, to the amazing contribution of the 103 community members who have been part of our company for a time across two decades.  We’ve provided investment returns for many active investors throughout our operation.  And we’ve impacted global markets and government regulators with unprecedented contributions to advancing transparency and accountability.

But on today’s momentous anniversary, there are a few unlikely individuals and organizations that I wish to acknowledge for their contribution to our long march to this moment.

M·CAM’s first credible external investor – Ned Goldstein – transformed our start-up into an enterprise that attracted national attention.  Ms. Fengming Lu opened the State Council of China to us as China was commencing its accession into the World Trade Organization.  And Dr. Pieter Fourie made South Africa our first commercial endeavor at a time when the nascent technology markets were merely whispers in Africa.

M·CAM’s first remarkable public recognition came from Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology and Terry Woodworth who awarded us the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first Innovation Grant for a fintech company in January 1999.  This award put a spotlight on our work at a time when financial engineering was largely relegated to academic institutions.

As he was leaving his post as President Clinton’s Comptroller of Currency for the United States, Eugene Ludwig took time to open up many doors to regulators and government agencies which ultimately included the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), the FDIC, and other important relationships upon which M·CAM built a reputation of incomparable collaboration and success.

SwissRe’s William Hoffman was the first commercial partner to take a reputational and business risk in our early days.  His long days and nights in Zurich led to our first appearance in the Wall Street Journal announcing our partnership in 2000.  Together with the team at Banc of America Securities, SwissRe put M·CAM on the global stage in September 2000.

Bank of New York’s investment research program, coordinated by John Meserve introduced investors to M·CAM’s market research through its Jaywalk and ConvergEx platforms.  In a world where sell-side research was a dime-a-dozen, the Jaywalk team went out on a limb to promote the importance of our work.

Congressman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) and Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) put the power of the United States Congress behind our efforts with the U.S. Commerce Department, the United States Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service.

Professor Anil Gupta and the team at the Indian Institute for Management – Ahmedabad and the SRISTI and HoneyBee networks proliferated our Global Innovation Commons work around the world.

Theresa Arek and Alise Stunnenberg took my involvement with the World Bank and brought it to a world of communities that gave rise to the Heritable Innovation Trust and our engagement in landowner rights across the globe.

Alistair Nolan – policy analyst at the OECD – and Carol Corrado – senior advisor at The Conference Board – brought the weight of their academic research to our analytic services offerings.  Together with Tony Clayton – chief economist at the UK Patent Office – and Alan Marco – chief economist at the U.S. Patent Office, the merger of industry and academic expertise drawing on M·CAM’s methodology further solidified our gold-standard collaboration credentials.

Nick Drake, Dan Goldstein, and Jimmy Smith – during their common tenure at TBWA\Chiat\Day did their best to make us cool – nice try guys!

And then there’s the trinity of extraordinary gentlemen – Mr. Joe O’Shea, Mr. Chet Nagle, and Mr. Bob Kendall – who added their wisdom to our navigating the most arduous of challenges and who, when all horizons appeared to be shrouded in impenetrable fogs – kept watch with me and offered the encouragement that kept a steady hand on the helm. 

If you’re reading this post, odds are that you’re also one of the amazing lights that have marked the path to this moment.  For each and every contribution to our collective success, I’m deeply grateful.  And as we consider the coming months and years, my commitment remains to honor all those who stood with me!  As with any success, it is not merely the hand that steers the ship but it’s the conspiracy of hands, winds and waves that makes the journey an epic voyage.  I honor each of you.