Wall Street veterans and former colleagues Tim Gerdeman (CEO & Co-Founder) and Shawn Severson (President & Co-Founder) have joined forces to formally launch Water Tower Research LLC as the premier U.S. producer of digitally distributed issuer-sponsored equity research and investor intelligence platform.
With “Research for the Other 99%”, Water Tower Research’s issuer-sponsored equity research is free-to-access for all institutional and retail investors, while traditional commission- and subscription-based equity research is intentionally limited to a narrow paying audience. Initially launching with Bioeconomy, Biotechnology, Chemical Materials & Technology, ClimateTech & Sustainable Investing, Emerging Growth & Special Situations, Industrial Technology, and Oil & Gas / Energy verticals, rapid sector coverage expansion is planned for the second half of 2020.
Commenting on Water Tower Research’s launch, CEO & Co-Founder Tim Gerdeman stated, “Having personally witnessed the decline of the sell-side commission-based equity research business model due to MiFID II and shrinking global commissions, it became obvious that a new approach was necessary to address hundreds of unsponsored companies struggling to connect with investors around the globe.” Gerdeman continued, “Water Tower Research is rapidly expanding with veteran Wall Street equity research analysts, all of whom are required to adhere to research rigor and fierce independence with their respective company and industry investor intelligence reports.”
The company’s world-class Board of Managers composition reinforces a top-down commitment to producing unbiased and reliable issuer-sponsored equity research and investor intelligence. Water Tower Research is not a startup, but rather, a recapitalized scale-up of alphaDIRECT Advisors, initially founded in 2016 as an early pioneer of issuer-sponsored, digitally distributed equity research, with a particular expertise in the ClimateTech & Sustainable Investing sector.
Also commenting on the company’s launch, Water Tower Research President & Co-Founder Shawn Severson stated, “For too long, the traditional sell-side equity research model focused on the one-percent of large commission-paying investors, whereas our research and investor intelligence reports reach the other 99% of institutional investors, hedge funds, family offices, RIAs and retail investors overlooked by the sell-side.” Severson continued, “Even large-cap management teams enjoying broad sell-side coverage increasingly voice frustration over continually meeting with the same handful of institutional investors on broker-sponsored non-deal roadshows and at brokerage conferences. Our free-to-access equity research addresses these unnecessary and intentional barriers to reaching the broader investment community.”
Water Tower Research’s particular research emphasis is on assisting companies whose respective products, services and associated investment themes directly overlap with megatrends that most interest investors today, including but not limited to sustainable investing; climate tech; bioeconomy; biotechnology; energy efficiency / energy storage / renewable energy; emerging growth; industrial technology; specialty & electronic chemicals; advanced materials; agriculture, food & nutrition; disruptive consumer businesses; water management / conservation; and emerging healthcare technology.
Tim Gerdeman, CEO & Co-Founder
Tim’s Wall Street credentials include being an Institutional Investor Magazine-ranked Managing Director & Senior Equity Research Analyst covering Specialty Chemicals & Materials at Kemper Securities, Salomon Brothers, Citigroup, and Lehman Brothers. Tim has been extensively quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg, and several other publications. Most recently, Tim was Partner at Investor Relations and Corporate & Crisis Communications firm, Lincoln Churchill Advisors, and previously, President & Founder of Investor Relations & Corporate Strategy boutique, StreetSmart Strategies. Early in his career, Tim was a Senior Management Consultant at Kline & Company, Director of National Accounts at OHM Corporation and Territory Manager at Valspar Corporation. Tim has held board seats on multiple successful startups. Tim holds an MBA with a finance concentration from the University of Baltimore, a dual-BA degree in International Marketing & Marketing Management from the University of Toledo and is a former member of the Ohio Army National Guard and Maryland Air National Guard.
Shawn Severson, President & Co-Founder
Prior to co-founding Water Tower Research and previously founding predecessor alphaDIRECT Advisors, Shawn spent over 20 years as a Senior Equity Research Analyst covering the Technology and ClimateTech sectors that included senior positions at JMP Securities, ThinkEquity, Robert W. Baird (London) and Raymond James, and Shawn started his career as an equity research associate at Kemper Securities. Shawn frequently ranked as a top equity research analyst including one of the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” stock pickers and a StarMine Analyst Awards Top 3 stock picker. Shawn’s extensive professional experience also includes his former role as Managing Director of the Energy, Environmental and Industrial Technologies Practice at The Blueshirt Group, a leading investor relations and IPO advisory firm. Shawn holds a BA degree in Finance and Economics from Augustana College.
alphaDIRECT Group LLC Board of Managers:
Steven Berkenfeld is currently founder of Ecotopia Consulting LLC after recently retiring from a career in Investment Banking to focus entirely on impact and sustainability. Prior to his retirement, Steven was a Managing Director in Investment Banking at Barclays leading the coverage initiatives for Cleantech and Environmental & Social Impact Banking, held a 21-year tenure at Lehman Brothers that included the roles of Chair of all of the Transaction Approval Committees for Investment Banking, Global Head of Legal, Compliance and Audit and Chief Investment Officer, Chair of the Investment Committee, and had previous experience at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. He also has extensive governing and advisory board experience. Steven holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.S. degree from Cornell University.
Dan has been involved in the financial markets for over 30 years with a focus on institutional portfolio management, including noteworthy prior roles as Managing Director & Global Chief Investment Officer at Citigroup Asset Management, Managing Director & Director of Quantitative Analysis at Zurich-Kemper Investments, and quantitative analysis roles at IDS Financial Services and Morgan Stanley Asset Management. Currently, Dan is Managing Partner at Net Alpha Advisors, involving the secure warehousing of security trade and execution data. Dan holds an MBA (Valedictorian) and an AB degree (Phi Beta Kappa) in statistics from the University of Chicago. Dan’s board affiliations include the Investment Advisory Committee of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Physical Sciences Division of the University of Chicago.
Tim Gerdeman (bio above)
Dana Hayes Jr.
Dana Hayes Jr. is CEO of ShareThis, whose technology is used by over 40 social channels and three million publishers globally. Dana has extensive digital distribution, social media and consumer engagement experience, including the creation and successful launch and Interim CEO role for quadrantOne, an online platform and joint venture backed by Hearst, Gannett, The New York Times, and Tribune. Previous experience includes Board roles at Shoplocal, Boodle, quadrantONE, and Forbes Travel Guide. Dana has been involved with the online marketplace since the mid 1990’s with the launch of weather.com. Dana holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business in Marketing, Strategy and Finance, and a BA degree in Communications from DePauw University.
Dan Kipp is currently the Founder & CEO of City Capital Ventures, a Chicago-based private investment partnership that invests in growth control situations in the consumer, commercial and services sectors. Dan Chairs and sits on several CCV and outside boards. Dan has three decades of investing and financial advisory experience across venture capital, growth equity and buyout investments, as well as in financial advisory and corporate finance disciplines with boardroom experience ranging from startup to multinational companies. Prior to founding CCV, he was a co-founder and Managing Director of Winona Capital Management, a growth-oriented PE fund, and previously enjoyed a 17-year investment banking career with Salomon Brothers (Citigroup) and Bank of America, the latter for which he served on the equity underwriting committee. Dan holds an MBA from the Darden School at The University of Virginia and a B.S. degree in Finance & Business Administration from Miami University (Ohio).
Shawn Severson (bio above)
* Water Tower Research LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of alphaDIRECT Group LLC
Co-Founder & President
Phone: +1 (312) 283-7534