Mastering Change in the Investment Research Business


New York, NY – The team at Integrity Research Associates has written extensively about the dramatic changes that have been experienced by the financial services market in recent years, and more specifically the investment research industry.  Given the plethora of developments that rocked the industry in 2008, it looks like 2009 is shaping up to be a year where extensive changes will continue at sell-side, buy-side, and alternative research firms.  It is clear that this change will result in both winners and losers.  The real question, is “How does a firm take advantage of these changes?”

The following article was written by AQ Research discussing how many of the issues related to this topic will be presented and discussed at their upcoming New York conference, called Mastering Change in the Investment Research Business being held on Tuesday, January 13th at the Roosevelt Hotel.
The equity research industry is clearly heading into a period of unprecedented change. The factors causing this are an interesting debate, but we believe some of the more significant to be:

  • the impact of fund managers reduced profitability and leverage leading to commission declines
  • unrelated flaws in the investment banking model leading to significant headcount reductions across the industry
  • ending of the Spitzer settlement money
  • a general lack of trust between participants as events and revelations layer on top of each other, most recently the Madoff scandal

But the industry has proved able to bounce back from reverses in the past, and still employs a lot of creative, intelligent and adaptable people. Additionally the activity is acknowledged to have a role in market efficiency, and regulators are keen to preserve it as a correcting mechanism on listed companies.

As the industry struggles to regain its level, this can also be seen to be a once-in-a-generation opportunity for those who can correctly position their firms now. But what are the factors that managers should take into account on both the buy & sell side?

  • What the client of the future will value and what products/services will command a premium
  • What the competitive landscape will look like in 2015
  • What companies are doing now to master change to generate superior performance
  • Must have, “recession-proof” research to help you through 2009
  • How successful platforms like iTunes®, eBay® and Google® are being applied to create new research delivery models built for efficient access, speed and price transparency

These are some of the themes that will be explored at the forthcoming third AQ Research conference to be held in New York City on January 13, 2009. The conference is being presented in conjunction with Bloomberg Tradebook, and more details are available at


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