Wall Street Events Drop 22% in 2020 thru August

Corporate event data vendor, Wall Street Horizon, recently reported that the number of Wall Street oriented conferences, roadshows, analyst meetings and company conference calls has dipped by 22% during the first eight months of 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019.

Wall Street Events – August 2020

According to data provided by Wall Street Horizon, the total number of Wall Street related events during August 2020 rose 7.8% to 331 events from the 307 events recorded in July. However, when compared to August of last year, the number of events in August of 2020 dipped by 4.6%.  The number of events that took place from January through August 2020 totaled 3,515 – a drop of 22% when compared to the same period in 2019.

When you take a look at the underlying types of events that have taken place so far this year, it shows even greater 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 over the first eight months of this year has plunged 42% when compared to the same period last year.  This compares to the number of analyst meetings or investor days which has fallen 37% and the number of company travel or roadshows which slipped 17% in 2020 compared to 2019. 

It is interesting, though not terribly surprising, that public company management has tried to keep their institutional shareholders well informed during the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in a 42% surge in the number of company conference calls held during January – August, 2020 when compared to the same period last year.   

Our Take

The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact on the number of sell-side sponsored conferences, roadshows, and analyst meetings held over the first eight months of 2020 – a fact that could create some anxiety on Wall Street that buy-side payments for sell-side research could drop as a result. 

However, as we have written about previously, the drop in the number of Wall Street events has been countered by the fact that attendance at most virtual sell-side events have been much higher than in the past.  If you combine this with increased engagement with sell-side analysts, and higher readership of sell-side research reports, you could make the argument that asset managers are likely to increase their payments for external research during 2020.