07.18.2018
By Shanny Basar

Research Aggregator Adds Analyst Access

RSRCHXchange is building out the research services it provides by adding the ability to schedule, book and buy time with analysts on its marketplace and aggregator for institutional research as new regulations transform the industry.

Jeremy Davies, co-founder of RSRCHXchange, told Markets Media that Analyst Time is the platform’s biggest new feature to date.

“We spent a lot of time working with clients and felt full integration was very important to make workflows more efficient,” Davies added. “For our providers, some are more cost constrained now and using digital communication effectively is one way to manage to tighter budgets.”

He continued that Analyst Time has a scheduling element so clients can search in the analyst directory or from research notes; select their availability and confirm slots. In addition, calls are recorded so there is a full audit trail for compliance, operations or finance.

Jeremy Davies, RSRCHXchange

Jeremy Davies, RSRCHXchange

“Payment, dialling into the call or hosting webinars is all integrated within the platform which makes the process seamless and efficient for both sides,” Davies added.

A recent survey by RSRCHXchange found that nearly two-thirds, 63%, of buy-side firms are taking fewer meetings since MiFID II went live and one reason is confusion over pricing.

MiFID II, the regulations that went live in the European Union this year, requires fund managers to either pay for research themselves from their P&L or to use a research payment account, where the budget has been agreed with the client. Asset managers can designate a third party to administer the RPA on their behalf but still have to track their consumption of research and assess its quality.

Davies said: “We have just under 1.5 million pieces of written content on the platform and this service completes the picture. On average, time is priced at about three to four times that of written research.”

All the research providers on RSRCHXchange can provide analysts and Davies expects that around 80% will quickly use the new service. Research providers will also be able to market and sell specific research related events on the platform, such as roadshows and conferences.

The future of investment research looks radically different from the last 40 years as asset managers do more in-house according to a recent study from consultancy Greenwich Associates, which was commissioned by Thomson Reuters.

Richard Johnson, Greenwich Associates

Richard Johnson, vice president in Greenwich’s market structure and technology practice, said in the report: “The regulatory, technological and competitive dynamics at play will create threats and opportunities for market participants in every part of the spectrum. Financial information systems and other vendors have an opportunity to assist the asset management industry in this transition by making sure portfolio managers and investment analysts have the necessary data and tools at their fingertips.”

Even though MiFID II only applies to the EU, it is having global implications as many US asset managers with European operations have unbundled globally.

“We have 375 research providers on the platform and should increase to around 450 by the end of this year,” added Davies. “In terms of client growth, Asia has been a big area of growth recently. In the US, we are in a really good position with small and medium-sized firms and the journey for the biggest firms takes a bit longer.”

Smartkarma, an Asian provider of independent investment research, launched Premium Services globally in February. This includes analyst calls, corporate access, financial modelling and bespoke research.

“Once compliant, clients can easily work with all Insight Providers across the network, without any fear of inducement, a key requirement for MiFID II,” said Smartkarma in a statement.

Corporate Access

This month Ipreo, the financial services technology, data and analytics provider, realised its 2018 Corporate Access Report, which surveyed corporate issuers.

Nearly three quarters, 71%, of respondents said they always or usually use banks to organize their corporate access events.

“Consistent with prior years, respondents are generally satisfied with the services the sell-side provides in support of corporate access events; however, satisfaction levels lack conviction: for every five respondents reporting satisfaction in various service areas, only one reports high satisfaction,” added Ipreo.

The report continued that Ipreo has received numerous reports from clients and other sources that several global institutions are asking issuers to arrange meetings directly with them, both in MiFID jurisdictions and globally.

“The post-MiFID II landscape is clearly in a high state of flux,” added Ipreo. “This year we captured the baseline – stay tuned.”

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