The Future of Equity Research: A Strategic Analysis of Investment Firms
Business Administration, Management, and Operations
Finance and Financial Management
Equity Research (ER) is a fundamental sector of the financial services industry, responsible for producing and selling informational content for investors to make more profitable investment decisions. In January 2018, a cost unbundling regulation was enacted in Europe, decreasing the industry’s appeal to investors. This paper investigates the effects of MiFID II on the strategic decisions of Equity Research providers in the US. By performing a qualitative analysis through interviewing eight industry insiders, the key variables of analysis were coverage (number of stock recommendations) and analyst count for ER firms. Using a fixed-effects regression over a 48-month period (before and after MiFID II), this study finds a positive association between industry coverage and analyst count on research providers. This result, I argue, could be related to the unintended consequences of the European regulation on the US industry, allowing US firms to gain competitive advantage and thus increase coverage and staffing.