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Clear Street's Vision for Corporate Access: Transparency, Execution Excellence, and Full Lifecycle Support

January 18, 2024
Kristina Leo
Director, Corporate Access
News and Products

Over the last decade, the practice of corporate access has become increasingly commoditized. An influx of platform hedge funds with the ability to pay the street significantly more versus their smaller peers has pushed the sell-side to focus on these large accounts, deprioritizing a majority of the buy-side and creating an environment where corporates often meet repeatedly with the same investors.

At Clear Street, supporting our clients across prime brokerage, sales, trading, and investment banking through high-touch, white-glove service is critical to everything we do. As a diversified financial services firm, we’re not restricted by the same capital structures as large banks, allowing us to develop new solutions focusing on our clients’ individual needs. All of this is underpinned by our best-in-class technology, which is the backbone of our business. We’re excited to announce that we are adding corporate access to this suite of services. 

Kristina Leo is Director of Corporate Access at Clear Street. In this blog, she details her thoughts on today's corporate access landscape, industry pain points, and her plans to build Clear Street’s business.

Mutually beneficial development

I joined Clear Street for the chance to build a corporate access function from the ground up at a new financial services firm that is disrupting the current landscape. We rarely see new sell-side entrants, and I’m excited by the opportunity to structure this business in a differentiated way that serves as a value-add to both corporates and investors.

Kristina Leo, Director, Corporate Access

Investor relations professionals today often struggle to address three key pain points when marketing with the sell-side, which we are committed to alleviating at Clear Street: full demand transparency, white-glove execution, and premium pre- and post-event support.

#1 Demand transparency 

The role of corporate access is to facilitate interactions between management teams and investors that drive buy-side engagement, impact investment decision-making, and ultimately enhance shareholder value. The art of making a synergetic match can be lost when banks heavily prioritize connecting corporates with the same large funds again and again. In my experience, most corporate access teams tend to shield the full demand picture from management teams, only proposing meetings with their most lucrative buy-side clients in an effort to create advantageous monetization opportunities for their firm via trading activity. 

At Clear Street, we believe in transparency. We deliver exceptional customer service with a consistent dedication to our clients, and we are committed to operating our corporate access practice with this mindset - focusing on strategic meeting allocations that are a value-add for management teams and exposing leadership to investors who they are not seeing on their schedules with other sell-side firms.

In addition, our robust prime brokerage capital introduction business exposes fund managers to new allocators and family offices, resulting in a unique investor base at Clear Street that positions me to introduce corporates to firms beyond the well-known accounts, and providing those investment firms with the access that they may struggle to obtain via our competitors.

#2 Seamless execution

Increasing pressure to commercialize businesses across financial services has resulted in the commoditization of corporate access, the effects of which have impacted the sell-side’s manpower and motivation to provide white glove service to corporates - especially when it comes to logistical execution. I believe that the increasing focus on providing access exclusively to their top revenue-generating accounts has diminished the attention to detail, consistent communication, and overall proactivity that used to be inherent in a corporate access function. 

At Clear Street, we are committed to returning to the boutique consultancy service model for corporate access. This means holding ourselves to the highest standards when it comes to event execution and operating in a way that positions us as a trusted marketing partner for management teams.

#3 Full lifecycle support

A widespread pain point for investor relations officers spanning all sectors is that corporate access teams rarely follow a company through the lifecycle of a marketing exercise. Gathering and analyzing investor feedback to provide to management teams following a non-deal event is another component of the function that we’ve seen diminish over the last few years, and the initiative is often left to investor relations to conduct themselves. 

Clear Street works to be a partner throughout the full lifecycle of an event, from proactive investor outreach to post-event follow-up. This qualitative feedback is extremely valuable to management teams and is standard operating procedure in our process.

Corporate access at a growing fintech

As Clear Street expands across product groups, we’re continuing to grow our teams across markets and investment banking. As a result, our network, services, and opportunities for synergetic collaboration continue to grow. 

Whether through non-deal roadshows, investor field trips, bespoke meetings or conferences, our team is dedicated to crafting tailored programs that align with a corporate’s unique requirements and complement the style and objectives of the management team.

Contact Clear Street’s corporate access team at corporateaccess@clearstreet.io

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