The 40th annual Thomson Reuters Extel survey put an end to a 12-year run for UBS as the leading pan-European brokerage firm for equity and equity-linked research. UBS was ousted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch which had ranked second last year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch also topped the latest Greenwich Associates US Equity survey for share of commissions received, although not in research quality.
As Thomson Reuters noted, UBS is still a major power in European research: “With UBS running second, the firm has far from gone away, and in fact is in 2013 placed in the top two forthe 18th successive year – more of a dynasty than a streak.”
Independents continue to do well in the Extel survey. Redburn Partners goes from strength to strength, moving up to the 16th position from 18th in the overall rankings. Autonomous Research ranked in the top 25 research firms used by hedge funds (as did Redburn). Absolute Strategy Research also fares well on the Extel survey, placing in the top 10 of the economics and strategy segment, up from 13th last year.
In discussing the survey results, Thomson Reuters Extel noted that corporate access remains a high priority for asset managers, despite pushback from the UK regulatory authority on paying for corporate access with client commissions. According to Extel, the regulatory scrutiny has not lessened demand for the service: “The appetite for access, to better understand risk and opportunity – to make better decisions in short – has never been greater.”
The survey results were based on the votes of 2,200 buy-side firms, 2,500 analysts, and nearly 1,000 of Europe’s largest quoted companies.