Even the best investment research is of little value if it
doesnt make its way into the hands of clients. The task
of delivering research in a timely manner plus answering
logistical questions and arranging meetings between investors
and corporate executives generally is directed by a
firms sales force.
Which banks sales team outperforms all others when it
comes to meeting the myriad needs of research customers? To
find out, Institutional Investor asked participants in the 2011
Latin America Research Team survey to tell us which firm
fields the best overall sales team. In a very close contest,
with less than 1 percentage point separating the top four
firms, Itaú BBA wins the pole position on the Latin
America Sales Team, followed by Morgan Stanley in second place,
BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research in third and Credit Suisse
in fourth. Results are based on responses from 527 buy-side
analysts and money managers at approximately 320 firms that
collectively manage some $409 billion in Latin American assets.
Roughly 80 percent of the people who cast votes in the Latin
America Research Team survey, representing 88 percent of the
participating buy-side institutions, answered our question
about the best sales team in the region.
BofA, Itaú and Morgan Stanley appear in the top
five in each ranking. Portfolio managers credit J.P. Morgan
with providing the best Latin American equities and
fixed-income research, but the firm tumbles to No. 7 in sales.
BofA ties for second in research and takes third in sales;
Morgan Stanley is No. 2 on both teams. The full list of winning
firms on the Latin America Sales Team appears on the right.
Clients are looking for in-depth equity research, for
angles that show a deep understanding of companies and insights
into potential drivers of earnings growth or multiple
expansion, explains Adam Cherry, Itaús New
Yorkbased head of equity sales for institutional
investors in North America. (The firm also has a team based in
London, led by Mark Fenton, that serves clients in Europe, the
Middle East and Asia, and a squad headquartered in São
Paulo, directed by Carlos Maggioli, serving customers across
Latin America.) They are particularly complimentary on
Itaús local edge in our research and sales
Indeed they are. Itaú BBAs sales teams
led by Carlos Maggioli in São Paulo and Adam Cherry in
New York combine very strong local content being
Brazils most active bank and broker with the
global reach of its New York and London desks, observes
one client. Being a Brazil-based portfolio manager, I
manage to get a sense of what global investors are thinking.
Also, they can process vast amounts of information and tailor
it to my needs definitely a top sales team for a top
One U.S.-based hedge fund manager agrees. Itaú
BBA has become one of the institutions that we consider to be a
go-to, he says. Their sales coverage is second to
none, with a team environment whereby there is coverage even
when the main person is out of the office.
Morgan Stanley clients are similarly enthusiastic about that
firms sales team. They respond promptly to any
request I send their way, applauds one Brazil-based
portfolio manager. Be it a meeting with an analyst or a
company, they always get it done very quickly.
Dario Lizzano, Morgan Stanleys New Yorkbased
head of research and sales for Latin America, oversees offices
around the globe to meet the needs of clients who invest in the
region. In equities we have 14 salespeople fully
dedicated to Latin America five in New York, three in
London, two in Mexico and four in Brazil, he says. The
firm also has a three-person equity derivatives sales team
based in São Paulo, he adds.
Clients first and foremost need to get great
investment ideas based on solid fundamental research,
Lizzano says. They need salespeople to understand their
needs and investment profiles, as well as somebody who can put
the broker resources at the service of the client. In addition,
they need somebody who can help them understand how global
fundamentals will affect countries, markets, sectors and
companies in Latin America. Morgan Stanleys strategy in
the region is to complement our strong global franchise with a
very strong local presence.
Credit Suisse follows a similar strategy. The firms
brokerage, research, sales and trading operations are clustered
under one management group co-directed by Emerson Leite
(research) and Edward Weaver (sales), both of whom are
headquartered in São Paulo. The ten-member sales team
consists of four representatives who serve clients in the U.S.
and three each serving clients in Europe and Latin America,
Weaver says. We also have a dedicated LatAm equity
derivatives force of two people based in São
Paulo, he adds.
Clients are impressed. The person in charge of our
account sends us a daily e-mail in which he summarizes not only
the main points of the day but also all the research that came
out that day and the day before, explains one
Brazil-based fund manager. This is very helpful as it
reduces the time we spend going through reports, reading only
those that really add value to our investment decision
The firms sales force goes beyond delivering research
and funneling questions to and answers from analysts.
Credit Suisse has been organizing multiple collective
meetings with company managements breakfasts, lunches
and one-on-one conferences, says one money
manager. They are always helpful.
Picking the Team
To select the members of Institutional Investors
inaugural Latin America Sales Team, we invited participants in
the 2011 Latin America Research Team survey to name up to four
firms that they feel have the best sales teams in the
We received responses from more than 520 buy-side analysts
and money managers at approximately 320 firms that collectively
manage some $409 billion in Latin American assets. Roughly 80
percent of the people who cast votes in the research team
survey, representing 88 percent of the participating buy-side
institutions, answered our question about the best sales
We weighted votes by a respondents Latin American equity
assets under management and by the place awarded (first through
fourth). The names of those surveyed and the institutions they
work for are kept confidential to ensure their continuing
cooperation. Voters are required to meet eligibility
requirements, and all ballots are subject to review.
The 2011 Latin America Sales Team was compiled by Senior
Editor Tucker Ewing, Associate Editor Denise Hoguet and
São Paulobased Researcher Milena Mazzola Moreti,
under the guidance of Managing Editor Thomas W. Johnson.