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Asset managers reduce bank research spend ahead of MiFID II

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There has been a distinct shift of research budgets away from the top nine investment banks, according to an analysis of the readiness of asset managers for the research unbundling rules coming into effect in January 2018.

The survey from RSRCHXchange shows just 13 per cent of respondents are expecting to pay for research from all of the largest banks and 72 per cent expect to use research from less than five banks.
The dominant market share of the global investment banks is likely to come under pressure with 67 per cent of respondents expecting these banks to constitute less than 60 per cent of their research spend going forward.
The survey was conducted towards the end of last year by polling company Survation, who canvassed the views of 234 respondents, representing over 200 firms and USD15 trillion of AUM, making this the biggest survey of its kind.
Overall, fund management firms did not expect research budgets to fall dramatically. Some 42 per cent expect their firm’s research budget to remain the same in the next two years and 26 per cent expect budgets to rise.
The asset management industry has significant work to do in order to comply with MiFID II unbundling requirements, but firms are planning on early adoption. Around half of the respondents who expressed a view expect to be compliant by the middle of 2017. Setting and regularly assessing a research budget was seen as the biggest challenge to complying with MiFID II (37 per cent), while assessing the quality of research was the next largest concern (23 per cent).   
Even at this stage, 50 per cent of respondents are undecided on how they will pay for research under MIFID II. Some 38 per cent of those who did express a view on how they will pay for research said they would be paying from their own P&L.  
Jeremy Davies (pictured), co-founder of RSRCHXchange, says: “The landscape of institutional research is shifting and asset managers are reviewing and adjusting their working practices to keep pace. Some of the results of this survey will come as a surprise to the industry, especially the decline in research spend with the big banks.
“At RSRCHXchange we have anticipated significant changes in the institutional research space and have set up an aggregator that can handle research procurement and consumption in a MiFID II-compliant way. We are pleased to see the market voting with their feet, as over 1,000 asset management firms signed up and around 185 research providers posting their research notes and subscription content to our platform.”

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