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Corporate governance gets Deutsche boost

Deutsche Bank is set to offer tailor-made corporate governance research on FTSE 350 companies before the end of the first quarter of 2004. Aimed at fund managers, it offers systematic analysis of corporate governance issues at top companies, providing further context for the financial numbers.

Morley Fund Management, which is outspoken on corporate governance in the UK, welcomes Deutsche's research. Ian Richards, head of governance and public policy at Morley, says: "It's the first time we're seeing a systematic look at analyzing trends in governance with trends in performance."

The research offers fund managers an additional tool in assessing one component of a company's risk profile that can then be incorporated into stock selection. "It allows you to come up with a risk assessment of an overall portfolio and specific stocks," says Richards.

At the beginning of last year Deutsche set up its dedicated research team, currently four people based in New York. It includes an equity strategist, an ex-fund manager from Deutsche Asset Management, a consultant auditor and a new graduate.

In July, the team put out a research book entitled Beyond the numbers on US companies. Gavin Grant, director in the corporate governance research group at Deutsche Bank, says: "We wanted to go beyond the numbers and give an assessment of each company's corporate governance practices and standards."

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