An inauspicious start
Solactive, or Structured Solutions as it was then known, was founded in 2007, just before the global financial crisis hit. Not the best time to launch a business, but founder Steffen Scheuble managed to persuade three others to join him in a management buyout, and Solactive was up, if not yet running.
The first few years were tough, but they shaped who we have become. We knew then, and still firmly believe, that the only way we were going to be successful was by being open and transparent, believing in what we were doing and by being a reliable business partner, nurturing close relationships with our clients.
Our first US client
A significant boost came when we formed a relationship with a now well-known ETF provider – back then another start up based in the US. They soon became our first client in the US, launching ETFs linked to Solactive indices.
Our own platform
The next major milestone was the acquisition of the S-Box index platform from the Stuttgart Stock Exchange.
Focusing on technology
This gave rise to the need to build a new independent IT infrastructure, and thanks to the right IT partner, on May 13th 2011 (a Friday!) after many stressful months we switched over to our new index calculation platform.
A new name
This was also the time we re-branded from Structured Solutions to Solactive, due to a dispute with another index provider. Even though it meant we had to re-brand, it was encouraging as it meant we were being taken seriously by the competition.
The next few years were still hard going, but we began to grow. As we grew, more and more people started to take notice and trust in us, giving us more and more business. This required hiring more people, and by 2014 we’d outgrown our office space and needed new premises. In 2015 we started to build up all of the support functions such as HR, Legal, Accounting and so on, which up until then had been somewhat neglected in the mayhem of building the business. This of course required more people and we soon needed to rent an additional floor.
In 2017 we continued our expansion, but this time overseas, opening our Toronto office in order to better service our North American clients.
Acquisition of our IT partner
The reliability and continuous development of our index calculation platform is essential for our business. Integrating the technology activities more closely will allow us to work even more effectively on refining our IT backend and evolving for the future. With this in mind, we proceeded with the acquisition of our former IT partner in Berlin, laying the foundation for further growth.
Moving to Asia
Due to the high demand for index and ETF services solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, we decided to expand our business and strengthen our local presence in Asia by opening a sales and operations office in Hong Kong.
Strategic Investment in Minerva Analytics
Quality governance and sustainability data, research and analytics as well as voting technology and services solutions are areas of increasing importance to all asset owners and asset managers. Hence, it was only logical that Solactive took a strategic stake in the UK-based European governance and proxy voting firm in May 2019.
The partnership not only significantly amplifies Minerva’s global presence, but it also helps Solactive to provide more quality choices in the ESG market.
Published in the EU Benchmark Register on 9 April 2019, Solactive achieved registration as benchmark administrator under the European Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) with the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) well before the end of the transitional period of 1 January 2020. The registration underlines Solactive’s commitment to high standards in the benchmark administration in order to foster the quality, reliability and integrity of its benchmarks.
Expanding Engagement in ESG Data Providers
In February 2020, Solactive placed a strategic investment into the Frankfurt-based scientific climate data start-up ‘right. based on science’, thus expanding its engagement in the space of innovative ESG data providers. First indices, utilizing right.’s data, are currently under development. right.’s X-Degree Compatibility (XDC) Model calculates the contribution of an economic entity to climate change until 2050 under various scenarios. Results are expressed as a tangible °C value. F
Acquisition of Minority Stake in Green Financial Technology Platform Spark Change
Solactive’s engagement in ESG Data Providers continued by the acquisition of a minority stake in green financial technology platform Spark Change. Spark Change aims to broaden access to the previously hard-to-reach carbon emissions market by providing exposure to the value of physical carbon emissions allowances through green financial products.
Solactive Announces 50 Million EUR Growth Equity Investment from Summit Partners
2021 kicked off with a 50 Million EUR growth equity investment, which Solactive received from Summit Partners. The investment will help support Solactive’s continued global growth as the company expands its product offering and presence worldwide and further builds upon its proprietary technology platform, infrastructure, and global team.
With more than 250 talented people representing over 46 nationalities now working at Solactive, we’ve become an established player in the market. What we have not become is part of “the establishment”, because we’ll continue to shake things up and challenge the status quo.