Cogent Consulting LLC announced today that a recent review of its clients, which manage a total of more than $3 trillion in assets, reveals that buyside firms are compensating broker dealers and other third party research providers for a half-dozen additional research products and services, which are more focused on particular investment strategies or portfolios:
1. Management 1-on-1s - Meetings arranged by an analyst or institutional salesperson between a company's management and a buyside investor.
2. Trade Ideas - Specific long or short stock recommendations created by institutional brokers and sent to buyside investors describing when to buy and sell and how much to invest.
3. Expert Networks - Connect investors with experts in industries of direct interest to them.
4. Analyst Telephone Calls and Emails - Where analysts provide further insight to company or industry developments or trends.
5. Custom Research - Buyside firms enlist a broker dealer or independent research provider to conduct specific research projects.
6. Investor Conferences - Traditional types of conferences where company managements make presentations and where investors can hold
1-on-1 meetings with a variety of companies, at one location.
Cogent's ResearchTrak(tm) or HedgeTrak(tm) technology is used by many of the largest institutions and hedge funds in the US and UK to conduct quarterly "broker reviews." The results of these reviews are employed to help decide on compensation paid to sellside firms and third parties for research. This compensation is typically in the form of "soft dollars" (trading commissions above those paid solely for execution), specifically designated "research commissions", or commission sharing arrangements (CSAs). The survey found that on average, Cogent's clients allocate more than 50% of their commissions for the payment of research products and special research-related services.
"The buyside appears to have redefined Wall Street research," said Robin Hodgkins, President and CEO of Cogent. "Traditional reports, which feature estimates and commentary on company developments, are just the tip of the iceberg. Historically, we have seen money managers review just one general category for research. Today, clients are asking us to set up their votes so they can review a broader combination of research products and services, depending on the buyside firm's investment approach."
Mr. Hodgkins believes the following trends have led Wall Street to view research with this new level of granularity:
* Brokerage firms and their research analysts appear to have established new roles for themselves in the post-Spitzer, post-Reg FD era.
* The SEC in the US and the FSA in the UK have clarified the use of trading commissions for the payment of research.
* New technology, such as the Trade Idea Monitor (the TIM) from youDevise, is making it easier to quantify the value of research being distributed and consumed.
* The proliferation of proprietary trading desks and actively managed hedge funds has increased demand for more and different kinds of research, and the speed at which it can be delivered.