Striking out for the sectors
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Striking out for the sectors

Some of the bigger players in European equities reckon the single currency isn't a major driver of the sectoral approach - they were heading that way long ago and the real goal is to look at sectors globally. As Emu approaches, though, smaller local brokers will have to adapt to the new ways or go under. Some will sink but others will survive on specialist knowledge, particularly of small and mid-cap companies. Julian Marshall and Sudip Roy report.

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Considering that the European single currency is billed as an event of dramatic and historic proportions most equity fund managers are remarkably relaxed about it. Mark Pignatelli, head of Baring Asset Management's European team, says their preparations were complete a long time ago. "We changed our investment process three years ago in anticipation of this. We already have, if you like, a euro-friendly process."

David Ballance, a European fund manager at Threadneedle Asset Management, concurs: "The financial markets decided that Emu was a done deal 15 months ago," he says

For brokers too, the move from country research to a pan-European sector approach was begun long ago. Charles Scott, managing director and head of European research at Morgan Stanley, says: "We were the first to organize ourselves on pan-European sector lines and we've worked that way since 1991. The way we're set up at the moment is we have pan-European sectors with some UK specialists as appropriate. We don't have country research and we don't have a separate UK research department."

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