Bank of America Merrill Lynch Is No. 1 in Emerging EMEA Sales
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Bank of America Merrill Lynch Is No. 1 in Emerging EMEA Sales

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Morgan Stanley repeats in second place; UBS leaps into the top three.

No sales force provides better service to asset managers that invest in emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa than Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which extends its winning streak on Institutional Investor’s Emerging EMEA Sales Team to a fourth year.


Why BofA Merrill? “That’s a relatively easy question to answer,” quips one buy-side backer. “It is the combination of very good research — both at the top-down, macro level and the bottom-up, company or sector level — as well as the daily inputs about particular news or reports or even trading.”


This portfolio manager praises Sam Calder for his responsiveness “whenever I ask some hard questions — or even some easy ones.”


Unless instructed otherwise, we keep confidential the identities of survey participants and their firms to ensure their continuing cooperation.


“We particularly like Sean Johnstone, who heads [technology, media and telecommunications] specialist sales,” affirms another satisfied client. “Sean is very driven, knows the companies well and has great insight into his clients’ thinking and positioning. Unlike other salespeople, he can depart from only reciting the analyst view to give a rounded view that encompasses positioning, sentiment, fundamentals and so on, and deliver tradable action.”


Morgan Stanley lands in second place for a second straight year. “The sales team at Morgan Stanley always provides a consistently high level of service and takes care to make sure that they leverage the work of their first-class research team,” reports Matthew Hickman, a senior analyst on the emerging-markets team at American Century Investments.


“I particularly appreciate Morgan Stanley’s South Africa team and the daily report that they send out,” attests another investor. “It provides a focused overview of the main events and developments in South Africa and neighboring countries and at companies operating there. I find it very thoughtful and interesting.”


Tatiana Volochkovich, who advises on Russian stocks, was named TIM Group’s top equity research salesperson for Europe in 2015 — her trade recommendations beat the local market by 8.36 percentage points, on average. With a track record like that, it’s not surprising that multiple clients step up to sing her praises.


“Tatiana Volochkovich possesses a rare skill for a salesperson. Being a former research analyst, she can put together smart thematic summaries on various market-relevant subjects,” observes one ally. “Morgan Stanley does not offer big investor conferences but instead provides thematic field trips — macro, TMT or retailing and e-commerce — where they show us their great access to public as well as private corporate clients.”


“I really appreciate Morgan Stanley’s sales team, especially Tatiana Volochkovich’s,” says another. “First, they cover daily events in brief, adding sales and trading teams’ flavor to dry research notes. Second, they help with additional support such as dividend tracking and the sales team’s top picks, which can differ from the research team’s. Third, they arrange meetings with companies and analysts, which I find very helpful in my investment process.”


Adds a third fan: “Morgan Stanley sales supports us very well. Tatiana Volochkovich has her own reasonable views and promotes good ideas on the Russian equity market overall.”


Other survey respondents also single out specific individuals for special commendation. Among the comments we hear:


Ian Doyle “stands head and shoulders above his peers for his ability to distill vast amounts of research reports into what is most relevant to our portfolios in a timely manner.”


David Sohnen “is helpful in an undercovered area. He brings his own buy-side experience to bear when fleshing out long and short ideas.”


UBS leaps two places from No. 5 to finish in the top three for the first time since this ranking was introduced, in 2012.


Leonid Kouperschmidt does a great job of keeping us aware of company meetings and conferences that are relevant to us,” notes one loyalist. “We particularly like UBS’s annual Russia Corporate Day in Boston and their South Africa [event] in New York.”


Elliot Blake is fantastic — super responsive and helpful,” cheers another. “Plus, their research is well written.”


II asks participants in the broader Emerging EMEA Research Team survey to tell us which firms provide the best sales support to asset managers that invest in the region. This year we received responses from more than 500 buy-side analysts and money managers at some 320 institutions that manage an estimated $300 billion in emerging EMEA equities. Roughly 79 percent of the people who cast votes in the research team survey, representing 86 percent of the participating buy-side institutions, answered our question about the best sales teams.


For information about how we compiled this ranking, click on Methodology.


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