New York – Businessweek is reporting that another top ranked analyst from a bulge bracket firm has left to form an independent equity research shop. This time the analyst is Jeffrey Sprague, formerly of Citigroup Inc. Mr. Sprague cited the feeling that Wall Street should go back to its roots and “create a new culture of small firms with partners that have skin in the game” as his reason for leaving Citigroup. He also feels that the focus should be more on the clients.
Mr. Sprague will be joined by Nicole Parent, formerly of Credit Suisse Group AG in forming their new research firm, Vertical Research Partners LLC, which will be based in Stamford, CT. Ms. Parent left Credit Suisse in April of 2009 and feels that larger firms “are far more bureaucratic today, and they’ve lost sight of the fact that what’s important is the client”.
Research at the firm will be headed by Mr. Sprague and the firm will cover 16 companies to begin with, including such names as General Electric Co. and 3M Co. The firm is expected to have coverage up and running in six to eight weeks and has plans to expand its coverage to over 20 names in capital goods and to add teams covering industries such as aerospace, materials, and machinery in the future.
Mr. Sprague and Ms. Parent have worked together in the past, when Ms. Parent worked on Mr. Sprague’s research team from 1996 to 2000. Ms. Parent will not have any research responsibilities at Vertical Research but will instead be focused on running the day-to-day operations.
The move by Mr. Sprague is part of an ever increasing trend which Integrity Research is following closely. One does not have to look very far into our archives for similar stories as just over a week ago, Integrity wrote about how Francois Trahan recently left ISI for a job at independent firm Wolfe Research.