Trahan Launches Namesake Portfolio Strategy Research Firm

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II-ranked Hall of Fame analyst Francois Trahan, recently announced the launch of Trahan Macro Research, a New York-based independent portfolio strategy and quantitative research firm.

New Firm Launch

Francois Trahan, a well-known portfolio strategist and II ranked Hall of Fame analyst, recently launched his latest independent research firm, Trahan Macro Research with five colleagues, including CEO Katherine Krantz and Head of Sales, Peter Rosenberg.  The new firm was registered in New York in July 2020.

Trahan Macro Research is a boutique firm focused on producing independent portfolio strategy advice and quantitative research.  As such, the firm plans to prioritize producing in-depth research and maintaining meaningful exchanges with their customers.

Trahan recently commented on the purpose of his new firm, “We are here to help investors navigate a profitable path forward in these turbulent times.  Our collective talent and experience at combining macro and micro together will give a new and broad context to our work.”

Prior to starting his new firm, Trahan worked at UBS in 2019 and 2020 as managing director of US portfolio strategy.  Previously, Trahan spent sixteen years at Cornerstone Macro as partner and co-founder; co-founder of Wolfe Trahan; executive managing director, chief investment strategist, and head of quantitative research at ISI; and, Senior Managing Director, and Chief Investment Strategist with Bear Stearns & Co.  Earlier in his career Trahan worked for Ned Davis Research and the Bank Credit Analyst Research Group.  Francois has been ranked by Institutional Investor Magazine 16 times as a top Portfolio Strategist and was inducted into the I.I. Hall of Fame in 2016 after achieving a tenth #1 ranking.  Trahan holds a Bachelors and an M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Montreal.

Our Take

Trahan’s launch of his new research firm is not terribly surprising as he has worked at independent research firms for most of his career (notwithstanding the six years he spent at Bear Stearns and UBS).  We suspect that the volatility and uncertainty of the markets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Trahan that the time is right to jump back into the pool by launching his new firm.

However, most independent macro strategists tell us that it is extremely difficult to get asset managers to pay very much for macro strategy research in today’s environment, particularly in the wake of the unbundling brought on by MIFID-II.  My guess is Trahan is depending on his brand name to help the firm attract readership and to get paid. 

While many superstar Wall Street analysts have been successful with this strategy in the past, we wonder whether this approach will work in today’s market environment where many buy-side firms have adopted strict research budgets.  My guess is Trahan will have to work a lot harder this time around to convince clients to pay him a reasonable amount for his work than in the past.  This time his team will likely have to fight to gain market share at others’ expense.  We will just have to wait and see how Trahan fares in the new market environment.

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Mike Mayhew is one of the leading experts on the investment research industry. In addition to founding Integrity Research, Mike is on the board of directors of Investorside Research Association, the non-profit trade association for the independent research industry, and a frequent speaker on research industry trends and developments. Mike has over thirty years of research industry experience. Email: Michael.Mayhew@integrity-research.com

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