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A Level Playing Field for Investment Research? Challenges facing the buy-side, sell-side and independents

Held on Tuesday, 24 October, 6pm.

With support from Euro IRP


  • Jane Fuller (CSFI)

  • Philip Augur

  • Chris Deavin (Euro IRP)

  • Jonathan Ford (FT)



The market for investment research is not a normal one, where customers – in this case asset managers – choose what they need from a range of transparently priced providers. History has linked the funding of research to stock-broking, corporate finance and trading. Regulators have acted to limit conflicts of interest, to encourage the emergence of independent providers and to separate payments for research from trading fees. 

MiFID II is supposed to complete that separation by banning the use of unpriced research by banks and brokers as an inducement, or bribe, to asset managers to attract trading flows and fees. Cue menu pricing for everything from sectoral expertise for equity investing, credit insights for fixed income and macro-economic commentary for asset allocation? Not yet. Meanwhile, with MiFID’s January implementation looming, a price war has broken out for written research, alongside some eye-watering asks for access to star analysts.

All this is happening against a background of cost-cutting by asset managers as they face downward pressure on fees, particularly as money flows into passive, index-trackinng, funds. 

Jane Fuller, Co-director of the CSFI and the report’s author, will present the findings. To help lead the debate we are delighted to welcome: 

  • Philip Augar, author and commentator on finance, whose books include 'The Death of Gentlemanly Capitalism’ and 'Chasing Alpha'. He has written for the FT and other publications, and appeared on BBC radio and television. Previously, he spent 20 years in the City, including as head of NatWest's global equity and fixed income division.
  • Chris Deavin, Chairman of Euro IRP and Global Head of Sales for TS Lombard, an independent research provider specialising in macroeconomic and political analysis. Previously, Chris led the development of the Equity Research business for Morningstar in EMEA and Asiapac, from 2013 to 2016, joining from S&P in 2007. 
  • Jonathan Ford, City Editor of the FT and author of a weekly column about business and finance. Jonathan returned to the FT in 2010 as Chief Leader Writer, having left in 2000 to co-found BreakingViews, a source of independent commentary on markets that was later bought by Reuters. 

Jane interviewed several people from the buy-side, sell-side and independent firms for the report, and some will be in the audience to help provide a range of views.

If you (or a colleague) would like to join the discussion, please call the CSFI on 020 7621 1056 or email alex@csfi.org. Wine and sandwiches will be available.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton