11.29.2021

Expert Networks Enter Top 20 Highest Paid Research Providers

11.29.2021
Research Industry Prepares For Unbundling

Substantive Research,  the research discovery and research spend analytics provider for the buy-side, has completed a study examining how market share is changing in the investment research industry and which firms make up the list of highest paid providers in the industry.

Substantive Research analysed research budgets of buy-side firms representing a total of $6 Trillion in Assets Under Management (“AUM”).

Highlights include:

  1. Expert networks make it into the top 20 for the first time, with GLG and Third Bridge in positions 8 and 14 respectively. It’s clear the pandemic created a surge in interest, how structural these market changes are will become evident in our next update in early 2022.
  2. Leading expert network payments per long only client rose dramatically in 2018, and continued to rise more modestly in 2020 as the pandemic created the opportunity and the focus on gaining market share. 
  3. Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and UBS retain their positions at the top of the league table – this is significant given the amount of churn going on below them, and Substantive’s analyst mapping data shows that these providers have hired/retained talent in key sectors.
  4. Research focused brokers Sanford Bernstein and Exane gain market share, whilst Jefferies maintains the material gains it has made in previous years – reflecting how investments in hiring and research quality quickly translates to greater rewards post-MiFID II.
  5. Empirical Research Partners is a new entrant to the list and is the sole representative for Independent Research Providers (“IRPs”). IRPs suffered from MiFID II, but some firms have managed to increase market share in a market where price was decreasing overall.

Mike Carrodus, CEO of Substantive Research, said: Our research shows that COVID, ESG and a growing focus on data has significantly churned market share outside the top 3 providers in the research market, and provided new opportunities for the expert network industry. On the broker side, clients are now much more astute and responsive in rewarding the providers that are investing in their core analyst teams. Long-only asset managers are also doing more and more with Expert Networks, which were once the preserve of hedge funds, consultants and private equity. This is against an industry backdrop where there is increased M&A activity within Expert Networks, with new entrants bringing AI-powered solutions to market and raising money in the process.

“The regulatory drivers that changed the research market since 2018 have now been replaced by new client demand-based drivers, and 2022 will show us a dramatically different competitive landscape as a result.”

Source: Substantive Research

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