The 2014 All-Europe Research Team: Business & Employment Services, No. 1: Robert Plant & team
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The 2014 All-Europe Research Team: Business & Employment Services, No. 1: Robert Plant & team


< The 2014 All-Europe Research Team

Robert Plant

& team J.P. Morgan Cazenove First-Place Appearances: 1

Total Appearances: 2

Team Debut: 2013 J.P. Morgan Cazenove’s group of three directed by Robert Plant, 39, debuted in 2013 at runner-up and this year sprints all the way to No. 1, displacing nine-year champ UBS. The London-based analysts are “extremely accurate in their work,” one client attests. “Their recommendations are in the long run, and the key drivers are well explained,” the booster adds, “but they can also capture short-term events thanks to follow-up with managements.” They monitor 21 companies — weighing in with “comments on even the smallest acquisition and what impact it has on valuation,” reports another backer — and are positive on the sector overall. Plant, 39, and his colleagues were long-standing supporters of U.K.-based Bunzl, an outsourcing services provider and distributor of nonfood consumable products, highlighting the company’s strong organic revenue growth and merger opportunities. A recent example of the latter is Bunzl’s announcement in October that it intended to purchase Mexico-based catering equipment distributor Pro Epta. That same month, with the shares up 32.8 percent for the year to date and ahead of the sector by 21.3 percentage points, the researchers shifted course and downgraded them from overweight to neutral, on valuation. That might have been premature, however, because through year’s end the stock climbed 10.7 percent higher, to 1,450 pence, against the sector’s 7.4 percent rise. “This year we think the public sector subsector is of most interest as governments turn to the private sector to help introduce efficiencies,” says Plant. Accordingly, Serco Group, a British operator of prisons and schools and provider of transport and traffic control services, is his team’s favorite name going forward. Plant has worked at J.P. Morgan for a decade. He earned an MA in history from England’s University of Cambridge.


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