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The Best Institutional Investor Databases of 2021

By: Gui Costin

Originally posted on January 08, 2021
Last updated on April 27, 2022

With the start of a new year comes the promise of new goals, new plans, and starting all over again on meeting quotas and closing deals with your firm. 

It’s as daunting as it is exciting. 

Here at Dakota, we know how difficult it can be, setting meetings and knowing who to call on, and how time-consuming it can be to research and handpick those people. We’ve done it for years ourselves, which is why we know how important it is to have a constantly growing total adjustable market (TAM). But more than that, it’s important to have a way to keep track of all your contacts, so that you never run out of people to call.

An institutional investor database does just that: they give you a source of accounts and contacts, so that you can spend your time calling the right people rather than searching for them. 

We have nearly twenty years’ experience in the investment industry, and have raised over $35 billion since 2006. In that time, we’ve also created our own database: Dakota Marketplace. So, as institutional investor database providers ourselves, we wanted to share our expertise by putting together a list of the top five institutional databases to consider as 2021 takes off. 

Don’t worry, we didn’t put ourselves on this list. 

We know that the best choices are informed choices, and want to use our experience to arm you with all the information you need to move forward with a product that will best serve your firm. 

In this article, we’ll highlight five of the best institutional investor databases on the market, and what makes them stand out. By the end of this post, you’ll have a solid foundation as you schedule demos and make a database choice for your team.

Money Market Directory

Money Market Directory is a well-established database with over fifty years of business under their belt. Their services help industry professionals find prospects, identify sales opportunities, and build relationships using market data.

They have over 82,000 Institutions, 68,000 Pension Plan Sponsors, and 14,000 Endowments/Foundations, and Tax-Exempt Organizations within their platform, giving institutional investment sales people plenty of information to use as they start their outreach. 

Who is Money Market Directory a good fit for?

Money Market Directory is a good fit for investment sales people who need a wide selection of data, or are just getting started in the industry and want to get a sense of what’s out there.


In their own words, Preqin helps firms keep up to date on market movements with comprehensive data on institutional investors, fund managers, and service providers, and for each fund and transaction across all major asset classes. With over 35,000 firms, 65,000 funds, 18,000 investors, Preqin offers a robust dataset designed specifically for alternative investment professionals.

Who is Preqin a good fit for?

Preqin is a good fit for a private manager that is focused on the institutional side of the industry, and who is not marketing to RIAs or MFOs.

Discovery Data

Discovery Data helps companies grow their business in the financial services and insurance industries through data and analytics delivered through cloud-based applications, CRM integrations, and data-driven marketing and market insights. 

They offer a wide variety of data sets. On a weekly basis, millions of data fields are added, updated or verified and made available through data subscriptions and specialized services, including a web application, data hygiene projects, CRM add-on applications, and market insight.

Who is Discovery Data a good fit for?

Discovery Data is a fit for anyone selling a product to RIAs. That product could be anything from software to insurance to investment management. Discovery Data is also a fit for anyone who wants a large dataset that enables them to do their own research. On the fundraising side, more intermediary and institutional retail salespeople marketing to financial advisers and RIAs will benefit from a partnership with Discovery Data.

IC Research Institute

Since 2014, IC Research Institute has established itself as an independent provider of market intelligence data services on institutional investment consultants. They help make information more accessible, with systems that work around the clock and worldwide. In their own words, the IC Research Global Database is designed and powered from experts for experts.

Who is IC Research Institute a good fit for?

IC Research Institute fulfills the needs of sales people looking for a lot of data on a global scale.

RIA Database

RIA Database provides comprehensive profiles, data, software and analytics. More than 500 organizations rely on RIA Database data and marketing solutions to help them raise assets, and operate more efficiently. Their web-based software allows sales teams to sort, search, save and download leads easily. New data is collected by an in-house team, and collected through events, with the database getting updated every week, and maintained as part of the subscription.

Who is RIA Database a good fit for?

RIA Database would be a good fit for anyone looking for data that is updated and added to regularly. It is also a fit for smaller teams who do not have the time or resources to do a lot of data maintenance in-house. 

Which database is right for you?

This depends on what your team is looking for. Are you looking for a large quantity of data? If this is the case, then something like Money Market Directory, or IC Research Institute may be a good fit for you. If you’re looking for a database that is updated regularly, and don’t have the ability to do data maintenance in-house, then RIA Database might be the one for you. 

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