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What fund managers want research

They throw 80% of research straight into the bin; regard sell-side analysts as reactive and herdlike; and suggest that brokers see small hedge funds as being more valuable clients than major asset managers. So is there anything about brokers’ research that fund managers actually like? A panel of investors give their views. By Graham Field.

To discover what investors really think of sell-side research, Global Investor gathered together a panel of leading fund managers to air their views on specific questions related to the quality of brokers' research in Europe.

A number of large houses with extensive in-house research capability - such as Fidelity and Putnam - declined to take part on the grounds that they do not use outside research.

Those who agreed come from a mixture of houses, positions, traditions and experience.

They are:

Dominic Baker,European fund manager at Scudder Threadneedle Investments; Ella Brown, European portfolio manager at JP Morgan Investment Management; Jeff Currington, head of European equities at Morley Fund Managers; Dan Eison, European fund manager with Baring Asset Management; Mark Ferguson, co-head of research at Goldman Sachs Asset Management; and Chris Woods, chief investment officer of State Street Global Advisers.

GI: To what extent is research tailored to the fund manager's needs?

For the most part, the assessment on this point was broadly positive. Several investors say that they find the sell-side responsive to requests for special pieces of research and, as Morley's Currington observes: "Generally we find they are quite willing to do something specific.

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