Research Roll-ups Accelerating

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New York – As the research industry continues to roll-up, we heard yesterday that MF Global has acquired Washington Research Group, from Concept Capital.  The particulars of the deal were undisclosed. Recently, ITG purchased Majestic Research for $56 million.

It has become clear over the recent past that pure execution services were not going to be enough for buy side clients in  the “new normal” environment.  Money managers are being called upon to account for their commission spending under an ever growing scrutiny from the regulators. As a result, pure execution offers little reward going forward for the execution-only brokers. By adding research to their suite of services, Brokers can charge higher commission rates that include allocations for the services provided.

Washington Research Group (WRG) offers policy, regulatory and legislative research to institutional money managers. Policy analysts deliver investment-relevant insights across a broad range of topics, including regulatory and legislative developments in the healthcare, financial services, agribusiness, tobacco and corporate tax sectors.

WRG, founded in 1974, became part of Schwab and was merged with SoundView Technologies in 2004. It was acquired by the Stanford Group in 2005 and in February of last year, Stanford Group merged the 15 WRG analysts into its 20 person research staff, organizing the teams by sector. The Stanford Group de-emphasized WRG, marketing the research under the Stanford Group name. The WRG team maintained a separate identity, led by Ed Garlich, and was quick to explore other opportunities when the Stanford scandal emerged. Concept Capital took the reins shortly thereafter.  Yesterday, the research provider found a new home with MF Global.

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