Brokers directory a working tool
By S. J. OH
TWO years after starting the first comprehensive directory of brokers in the region, Philip Jay is still without a big-name backer.
And the independent publisher of Asia Pacific Securities would not have it any other way.
''It is tacky and devalues the whole thing; to have a sponsor's name on the cover is nasty,'' he said.
In the long run, the sponsoring publisher or brokerage could have interests different from simply supplying a comprehensive list of brokers' names and numbers, he said.
Going solo has its advantages.
Mr Jay has the freedom to move quickly on new ideas without being bogged down waiting for approvals.
Philip Jay Publishing is funded by unspecified private backers and advertisements.
''Stockbrokers do not traditionally advertise. This gives them a low-profile way to support the industry.'' The directory gives brokers information on Hong Kong players as well on the regional activities of international firms.
''It can inspire the big players to find the local list of who is doing what. It is a communications tool.'' There are 5,000 copies printed annually, with most subscribers coming from Europe and North America.
The handbook contains commentaries as well as market overviews, with Mr Jay in direct charge of editorial content.
The second edition of Asia Pacific Securities contains more than 2,500 names and contact numbers of brokers.
The first took five months of research and resulted in a 288-page publication. The directory made a profit in its first year.
A second publication, the 130-page China Securities Handbook , took more than eight months to compile.
After hiring a translator, Mr Jay contacted mainland stockbroking firms before visiting the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges.
By next year, Mr Jay expects to publish two more handbooks on the region's hot spots, indicating one on Vietnam may be in the works.
Mr Jay had been working for a British-based financial trade publication and was looking to market the magazine in Asia.
To his surprise, he found stock exchanges had no updated, accessible list of brokers.
To answer the need for detailed information, he decided to compile the handbook.