Corporate event data vendor, Wall Street Horizon, recently reported that the number of Wall Street oriented conferences, roadshows, analyst meetings and company conference calls dipped by close to 10% during 2022 when compared to the previous year.
Wall Street Events – December 2022
According to data provided by Wall Street Horizon, the total number of Wall Street related events during December 2022 plunged 40.6% to 441 events from the 742 events recorded in November. However, when compared to December of 2021, the number of events fell 29.6% in December 2022. The total number of Wall Street related events that took place in all of 2022 fell 9.93% to 6,786 events compared to the 7,534 events which took place in 2021.
When you take a look at the underlying types of events that took place in 2022, it reveals less weakness in the number of meetings and events sponsored by brokers and investment banks. For example, the total number of bank and industry conferences held in 2022 rose 5.4% when compared to the previous year. This compares to the number of analyst meetings or investor days which slipped 5.4%, while the number of company travel or roadshows which surged 19.6% in 2022 compared to 2021.
It is interesting that public company management cut back sharply on the number of conference calls with institutional shareholders in 2022 to levels below those held before the pandemic. The total number of company conference calls held in 2022 plunged -41.3% to 1,289 calls from 2,197 calls held in 2021. In fact, the number of company conference calls held in 2022 fell below 1,500 calls – the average number of annual company conference calls held in the few years before the pandemic.
Although we are now passed the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the number of sell-side sponsored conferences, roadshows, and analyst meetings held during 2022 was lower than any recent year other than 2020. This fact could create some anxiety on Wall Street that buy-side payments for sell-side research in 2023 could remain depressed as a result.
In addition to the impact associated with the lower number of Wall Street events in 2022, buy- side firms have also found existing events to be less valuable than those held before the Covid- 19 pandemic. As we have written about in the past, many asset managers have complained that many of the Wall Street events held in recent years have been much less valuable than those held before the pandemic due to the lack of scarcity as attendance at most virtual events was not limited. Others argued that increased attendance at events held in the past few years meant that the questions asked by some attendees was extremely basic, making these events a waste of time for more experienced buy-side analysts. Also, some asset managers complained that the lack of networking available at physical events made virtual events inherently less valuable to buy-side analysts.
Consequently, most asset managers contend that sell-side banks and independent research firms should continue to temper their expectations about how much the buy-side will pay them in 2023 for access to their conferences, roadshows, and analyst meetings.