What Is FactSet?

FactSet Research Systems provides computer-based financial data and analysis for financial professionals, including investment managers, hedge funds, and investment bankers. It consolidates data on global markets, public and private companies, and equity and fixed-income portfolios.

FactSet was founded in 1978 by Howard Wille and Charles Snyder and is headquartered in Connecticut, with additional offices in the United States and around the world. The Motley Fool is a major customer who uses their information.

Key Takeaways

  • FactSet Research System is a financial data and software company that provides research for Wall Street professionals and individual investors.
  • FactSet combines data from a variety of financial information resources into one source, available to users online.
  • FactSet's system provides market analytics, financial content, stock screening, customized data, and other features.

How FactSet Works

FactSet's mission is to help the performance of investment professionals throughout the world by providing analytical insight gleaned from raw financial data. The company seeks to do this by providing investors and other professionals with the tools needed to convert this data into information that can be used in financial analysis and financial reporting.

FactSet provides its services for a lower price than some of its competitors because the company uses multiple sources to provide its data, which creates pricing competition between suppliers.


The number of independent data providers FactSet allows members to access.

The company gives its clients an all-inclusive computer system that can be personalized for the specific needs of investment managers, hedge funds, investment bankers, and other quantitative fields and industries. FactSet offers products that take care of market analytics, financial content, financial screening, customized data analytics, and more.

As of 2019, FactSet services nearly 100,000 users in more than 4,700 companies and organizations. FactSet has 60 offices in 23 countries. The company reports it has had a client retention rate of 90% for over 15 years.

FactSet Research System's competitors include Morningstar, S&P Global, and Bloomberg.

The Company Structure

FactSet is broken down into three business units: one in the United States, one in Europe, and one in Asia-Pacific. The business unit located in the United States provides financial solutions to financial professionals as well as domestic financial institutions. The European and Asia-Pacific business units only service financial professionals in the regions in which each unit operates.

As of October 2019, the company is led by its chief executive officer (CEO), Philip Snow, who assumed the head role in 2015. Snow began his career at FactSet in 1996 as a consultant and held various company positions in the United States and abroad. Snow holds a degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management from Arizona State University.

FactSet has an established corporate governance with audit board committees made up of independent directors to help with financial and corporate compliance. The company also requires shareholders to have a supermajority to amend specific company provisions and an employee hotline that allows for the reporting of ethical or accounting concerns.

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