Capstone provides capital markets investors with actionable and differentiated investment ideas in equity, credit and other securities through deep-dive analysis. Our capabilities are at the international, US federal and state level, as well as at the European Union and Member State level. Since our staff is composed of experienced investment analysts, they are able to spot where consensus can be wrong about specific policy issues and create investment themes around this analysis. Our value-add is not simply in understanding what the policy is and how it could change, but also how the policy change matters for specific securities.
We believe the value we create for our clients lies in understanding the details of specific policies better than other analysts. Our product is comprehensive and thoroughly vetted analysis, not merely raw information. Our analysts ensure they use only public information in their research, whether garnered from public documents or through appropriately monitored conversations with policymakers. We believe our edge lies in our willingness to spend more time and creativity than anyone else on policy topics, as well as our ability to create actionable, security-specific investment ideas from this knowledge.
Our analysts regularly consult with our clients to help them understand important policy issues. An engagement with Capstone includes the ability to request ad-hoc policy research on existing and potential investments. At the direction of clients, our team can quickly identify key regulatory issues impacting an investment and communicate the analysis in a concise memo along with follow-up conversations. These projects typically span two to three days’ work. A client request that requires substantially greater time and resources may be treated and charged separately. We treat client requests with complete confidentiality.
Our focus on a fee-based model, rather than one requiring us to drive trading volume among our clients, allows us to maintain a more compact customer base permitting a more robust dialogue with our clients than our peers.
Whether we are preparing our research for distribution or responding to a client’s specific question for bespoke research, our process always involves deep-dive analysis of federal and state policy. Through our London office, we analyze policy and regulation at both the European Union and Member State level.
The first phase is the idea generation phase, in which analysts come up with unique investment ideas with a policy angle from news outlets, legislation, events or other public resources. During the second phase, the Capstone team conducts outreach to relevant industry associations, advocacy groups, regulators, policymakers and think tanks in order to gain a solid understanding of the relevant political landscape and the issues at hand. We use the knowledge we gain from these conversations to supplement our own deep-dive research. Our analysts focus on the minutiae of public policy by reading and reviewing public documents, including proposed rules and comment letters, proposed and enacted legislation, as well as policy meetings and hearings.
In the final phase, the analyst produces a comprehensive research note for publication and distribution.
US Financial Services – Themes pertaining to financial services and mortgage policy (defined broadly), including bank and insurance regulation, mortgage and government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform, student loans and consumer lending
European Financial Services – Themes pertaining to European and UK financial services covering all pan-European themes, including bank capital requirements (e.g. CRD V/CRR II proposals), competition and innovation in payments (PSD2), UK challenger banks, the Southern European nonperforming loan (NPL) market, the Swedish housing market and the impact of Solvency II on life insurers.
Energy – Themes pertaining to energy policy, including competitive power markets (ERCOT, PJM, ISO-NE, CAISO), special situation utilities, biofuels, oil and gas exploration & production (E&P), midstream oil and gas, and renewables
Healthcare – themes pertaining to healthcare policy, including managed care (Medicare Advantage, Medicaid), behavioral health, post-acute care, outpatient services, hospitals, health IT, and pharmaceutical supply chain (340B, pharmacy benefit managers, manufacturers)
Special Situations – Themes pertaining to distressed debt, merger arbitrage, munis including Puerto Rico, Illinois, and New Jersey; trade policy and other ideas
TMT – Themes pertaining to technology, media and telecom including data protection, spectrum auctions, FCC rulemakings and taxes on digital companies