According to efinancialcareers.com, UBS and Citibank recently made some significant staffing moves within their European research businesses to better position the firms for the pending changes associated with MiFID II.
New UBS Hire
Recently UBS hired Pinar Ergun, CFA as Executive Director and head of its European food and household and personal care (HPC) equity research team located in London.
Prior to taking on her new role at UBS, Ms. Ergun spent three years at Merrill Lynch as a research analyst covering Consumer Staples where she ranked in the top 3 of HPC analysts in the Institutional Investor’s 2016 survey. Previously, Ergun spent two years at Sanford Bernstein as a Senior Associate covering Consumer Staples and was part of the number 1 ranked II and Extel team in this sector. Before her stint at Sanford Bernstein, Ms. Ergun spent a little less than 3 years as a consultant at FTI Consulting focused on corporate valuations.
New Citibank Hires
Citibank also recently added some key members to its European equity research team. Citi purportedly hired Charles Armitage as a European aerospace and defense analyst. Armitage previously worked as an equity analyst for 5 years at UBS, 9 years at Merrill Lynch, and 2 years at Lehman Brothers. Additionally, Armitage worked for 3 years on the buy-side at Putnam Investments covering global aerospace & defense, European cap goods and European building materials companies.
In addition, Citibank recently hired Raghav Gupta-Chaudhary as an automotive research analyst. Prior to being hired by Citi, Mr. Gupta-Chaudhary spent 5 years as a research analyst at Nomura most recently covering the automotive sector and before that covering the retail food sector. Previously, Gupta-Chaudhary spent 3 years as a Senior Associate at PwC.
The writers at efinancialcareers.com believe that the primary reason for these new hires is the new research rules that are expected to be rolled out in January of 2018. MiFID II will eliminate tying client commission flows to the amount paid for sell-side or independent research, forcing asset managers to independently value and pay for the outside research they use.
We agree that many investment banks will try to bolster the experience and quality of their research teams in an effort to justify direct compensation for their research. However, we also suspect that the high cost of hiring experienced research analysts will force some sell-side firms to pick and choose which sectors they want to focus on. Consequently, we would not be surprised to see some regional and boutique investment banks shedding research analysts as they eliminate some sectors to focus on the ones that they will provide both research coverage of and investment banking services to.
Consequently, we believe that post MiFID II there will be fewer investment banks that choose the costly model of providing waterfront coverage. UBS and Citibank are possibly two of the firms that might choose to stay the course with broad research coverage and investment banking services.