Credit research poll 2001: The truth about sell-side research

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As the European credit market has grown in the past two years, banks have struggled to position themselves to capitalize on the opportunity. In a bid to win much more lucrative underwriting business than high-grade, frequent issuers ever offered, they have poured money into credit research, importing staff from the US, where credit analysis is a long-familiar concept, and plundering the rating agencies for talent. But the response from investors has been mixed. While sell-side credit analysts may offer a convenient shortcut to essential facts and figures about a company, fund managers are quick to highlight their lack of independence. In a volatile credit market, buyers of credit bonds are doing more of their own analysis in-house. Still, brokers insist that this doesn’t mean their role is under threat.