The co-head of Marex Spectron’s Independent Research & Commission Management Group has left to become a sales intermediary for independent research firms and specialist data providers. London-based Edward Blad has formed Independent Research Forum (www.independentresearchforum.co.uk), which will represent 20 independents at launch.
Unlike the various research distribution platforms which have been launched in Europe and Asia, Blad believes that old fashioned selling remains the best way to distribute research: “Whilst it is evident that markets and regulatory developments are leading to independent – as opposed to broker-driven – research services gaining irreversible traction, the preference for establishing personal relationships rather than technology driven equivalents will continue to be the most productive way to provide access to independent research,” he said in a recent interview.
The firm is currently representing a range of independents, including macro research, policy research, forensic research, short ideas, channel checkers, expert networks, and event-driven research. Blad developed relationships with over 1,000 independents over his career and is confident that he can source suitable research for any buy side client interested in expanding their use of independent research.
Blad has been distributing independent research since 2007, when he joined Eden Financial’s Independent Research unit, the predecessor entity to Marex Spectron’s Independent Research group. Eden Financial’s unit was founded by Jamie Stewart, who ran Instinet’s independent research distribution operation from 1999 to 2002. Stewart is a Senior Advisor to Independent Research Forum.
Unlike Marex Spectron’s Independent Research & Commission Management group, which is paid through the commission trading of its buy-side clients who seek independent research, Independent Research Forum will be paid through revenue sharing with independents.
Blad’s buy-side contacts are primarily Europe-based, but also include large global firms. Some of the independents he represents are US firms seeking to expand their European distribution. Independent Research Forum also plans to organize events to showcase independent research.
The dictum ‘research is sold not bought’ still holds true. Research is still sold through relationships not through online shopping carts.
Like other dedicated sales specialists serving independents, Independent Research Forum will work on a success basis, meaning that it only gets paid when it makes a sale. Unlike other outsourced sales firms, Blad does not necessarily require an exclusive relationship. We understand his commission rates are also lower than most outsourced sales firms.