Going for broke
THIS year's annual fund management survey of best Hong Kong equity broker research has thrown up the same winners as last year, but there is a much bigger fight than before going on for the runner up slots from third to eighth.
Everybody seemed to be in the dark at times during the past 18 months on the Hong Kong stock market.
Those brokers with good presentation and, more importantly, with a strong message that they were prepared to boom in the downturns, as well as during the up times, got taken seriously by fund managers.
What is the right recipe for getting into the top rankings then? A key factor has to be the commitment of the organisation - either the owner, if it is a bank, or the proprietor - towards merchant banking and broking. Total commitment is needed and this commitment must extend to doing these businesses in Hong kong and the Asia-Pacific.
It goes without saying that a pretty powerful resource base, in terms of data and professionals, is needed to produce the work.
This work needs to be presented in a fashion that does not bore the pants off the clients. Most research goes in the bin.
The really important factor, which is the make or break of a house, is the sales desk. If the sales desk does not sell the research product day-in day-out, then the head of research might as well pack his bags.
Equally the research, therefore, has to have relevance to the sales desk's day-to-day needs, and it has to have a credibility that is easy to get across on the phone on a bad day in Central with a crackly international direct dial line.
Increasingly, broking operations are moving their top research analysts into sales desk as fund managers' demands for information and specialist knowledge continue to grow.