Do your buy-side analysts conduct research meetings – such as management meetings, corporate access events, conferences or primary research (or expert) calls? If so, in our experience, your regulators and investors are going to ask about your recordkeeping and compliance policies and procedures related to those meetings, if they haven’t already. In this first of five series we will help outline how to quickly implement a system for Meeting Tracking and Meeting Compliance that will impress your investors and satisfy regulators while adding significant business value without requiring any analyst interaction.
Investors want to know that you have taken all necessary steps to protect the firm against rogue analysts (or other bad actors) and that you have a system for determining the value provided by your brokers and vendors – probably one of your largest fund expenses. Investors would love to hear that you’ve thought more about this than other funds. Telling investors that you’re managing these areas in Outlook calendars and an Excel spreadsheet will leave them with more questions than answers, especially when your competitors are doing more. An automated platform that keeps a record of analyst meetings and automates the review and audit procedures shows investors that you are leading the pack when it comes to this very important area of your business.
Most funds are being regulated for the first time. Show regulators a tangible system for managing analyst meetings and controlling insider trading risk to turn this potential vulnerability into an opportunity to make a great impression with your regulators. This relationship will last as long as you are in business – keeping it positive will have benefits stretching years into the future.
If you haven’t already, you’ll probably consider implementing many of the procedures we discuss in this series. Regardless of which technology you choose for the task, automating these procedures will save you the overhead cost associated with tedious manual maintenance. Systematizing your Meeting Tracking will allow you to capture analyst ratings and feedback on their meetings in under 20 seconds, giving you the insight you need to match vendor and broker payments more closely to the actual value they provide you. Avoid overpaying less productive vendors and brokers so you can properly pay the ones who do contribute to your analysts’ research process.
Improve Your Research Process
Collecting analyst feedback and ratings will allow you to quantify the value each vendor provides and take extra steps to maintain excellent relationships with those who contribute most to your research process. After a short period, you can use this feedback to easily create a Vendor Directory for your analysts. Picture an internal Yelp! that allows your analysts to see all of the vendors and brokers at their disposal and the quality of those vendors in different areas of research. If your analysts can quickly and systematically identify the better vendors in their research process, you will achieve competitive advantage in your investment process.
Complete this form to download the article as a PDF