Page 1 of 2

2011 All-America Research Team

The world economic crisis has accelerated the globalization of finance — at least in the eyes of many investors. Asset managers that once focused primarily or even exclusively on the U.S. have been compelled to look beyond its borders not only to keep abreast of developments overseas that could affect American markets — the Arab Spring and Europe’s sovereign-debt debacles, among others — but also to avail themselves of better opportunities that exist in other countries.

“Our clients, particularly the larger ones, are global,” explains Noelle Grainger, J.P. Morgan’s head of U.S. equity research. “They might not be investing truly globally, but they have to think about issues globally, and it’s important to make sure that we’re driving our strategic initiatives in that direction as well.”

This broader focus applies to corporations as well as countries. Stuart Linde, head of global equities research at ­Barclays Capital, offers one example. ­“Consumer staples is a big global business,” he says. “If you’re covering General Mills, if you’re covering Kraft, you need to know what’s going on at Nestlé. If you’re covering P&G, you need to know what’s going on at Unilever,” he explains, comparing U.S.-­based consumer goods companies with their European peers.

There’s another reason, notes Stephen Haggerty, head of Americas equity research at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research. “The U.S. is becoming a more mature market,” he observes. “Our economic growth rate is not going to be off the charts for the foreseeable future, given what has to happen to restructure the U.S. economy. It’s harder to find alpha if you are just looking at the U.S.”

To deliver the kind of research that clients find most helpful, analysts covering U.S. stocks are working more closely these days with their counterparts in Hong Kong, London and around the world. The researchers who outperform all others when it comes to providing the perspective that money managers require can most often be found at J.P. Morgan, which leads the All-­America Research Team for a second consecutive year — but by a very narrow margin. J.P. Morgan captures 40 total team positions, six fewer than last year and only one more than the two firms that tie for second place: BarCap, which repeats at No. 2 despite a loss of four positions, and BofA Merrill, which rises one notch even though its total drops by three.