When Texan hedge fund manager Kyle Bass first revealed that Hayman Capital had taken a large long position in GM he did it on new website HVST.com (Harvest Exchange).
Earlier today, activist investor Daniel Loeb, who runs Third Point, also posted on Harvest Exchange that his fund’s largest long position is now Dow Chemical.
Both of those stocks moved after they published their ideas on HVST.com.
HVST.com is a site where hedge fund managers and investors can post investment ideas and share their views. Users don’t have to post content, though. They are welcome to lurk, read and consume the content.
The website launched just six weeks ago and it’s already starting to take off, according to the site’s CEO Peter Hans.
The site was co-founded by financial services veterans Peter Hans and Andrew Parmentier alongside Mike Perrone, whose web designs include Oprah.com, Electronic Arts, McDonalds, etc.
Hans worked on Wall Street for fifteen years as a buyside trader and on the sell-side in institutional sales.
“I found myself throughout my career just talking to people in the business about investments they were in and how they view the world,” Hans told us.
He explained that he didn’t feel like he got decent at investing until after he developed a network of friends, colleagues and coworkers who were willing to share their thoughts and perspectives on the market.
“It struck me that we have a pretty archaic financial investment infrastructure,” he said, explaining that Wall Streeters go to meetings, idea dinners and conferences where people talk about stocks and where they see the world going. He thought that this information should be more readily accessible to anyone who is interested in receiving it.
In mid-2011, Hans and his co-founders decided to build a platform that would make this possible. During the process, he said they had to do a lot of research on regulatory compliance and security working with internal compliance officers, external counsel, and former SEC enforcers. After that, they reached out to their contacts and friends in the hedge fund industry to get their thoughts.
Many of the early users like Bass and Loeb were contacts of theirs. They have both revealed major new investments on the site that moved the market.
“It’s funny because I don’t think Harvest Exchange is looking to ‘break news.’ I think the value in posting something on a platform like Harvest Exchange is you have more control over your content,” Hans said.
He added that users also have access to analytics where they can see how many views their ideas are getting.
As for the name “Harvest”, it comes from this idea of a farmer’s market where ideas and information flow freely, Hans told us.
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