As investors return to the Asian equity markets after a long
dry spell, a new champion was crowned in Institutional
Investors sixth annual
All-Asia Sales Team ranking of the regions best sales
Credit Suisses Asia ex-Japan equity sales group ranked
best overall in the 2017 survey of money managers and buy-side
analysts, jumping up three spots from last years
fourth-place finish and beating out competitors including
Morgan Stanley, which slid to third after back-to-back
Voters singled out Credit Suisse as having the best
understanding of client needs, being the most proactive about
facilitating access to its research analysts, and overall
fostering high-quality relationships with investors. Albert
Park, Credit Suisses head of Asia-Pacific equity sales,
says the firm has prioritized maintaining a presence across the
different Asian markets, even as a challenging
environment for sales has put pressure on investment banks to
For the last several years, investors had largely spurned
emerging-markets equities, including the stock markets in Asian
countries such as China, India, and South Korea. Recently,
however, investors have shown renewed interest in these markets
a trend Park calls overdue.
Its good to see investors and fund flow coming
back into emerging markets, he adds.
In addition to money flowing back into Asia in general,
certain sectors have also gotten a boost over the past year,
notes Chris Hunt, head of Asia-Pacific equity distribution at
UBS. Specifically, he points to a shift by investors toward
more cyclical sectors, as well as technology-related
Still, Hunt says, the brokerage industry is shrinking
though he adds that the firm has continued to invest
selectively in its sales efforts, for example the recent
buildout of UBSs China onshore advisory offering, as well
as a number of changes to ensure a more seamless
and client-centric coverage model.
The investments paid off in this years All-Asia Sales
roster: UBS claimed the No. 2 spot, edging ahead of last
years third-place finish. The sales team earned praise
for its overall quality of service and responsiveness, as well
as its effective communication of Asia-Pacific research.
The top five was rounded out by Citi and CLSA, which each
climbed two spots, to fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Angus Richardson, Citis head of Pan-Asia cash sales,
attributes his firms rise in the rankings to the sales
teams ability to deliver high value for our clients
in a timely manner.
Like Hunt and Park, however, Richardson says the industry
has become more competitive, particularly as clients
advisory budgets continue to come under pressure. As a result,
he suggests, the regions brokers will be forced to
consolidate as top global brokers take on a larger share of the
Its been quite challenging, Park agrees.
All investment banks have been trying to be as efficient
as possible in Asia-Pacific and globally.
For Credit Suisse, Park adds, becoming more efficient has
meant embracing new technologies and electronic execution
platforms. Its also expanded its client coverage to
appeal to a broader audience than traditional long-only
clients, including high-frequency traders and exchange-traded
funds, as well as quantitative funds.
To be a top sales franchise today, you need to be able
to do well across the mix of clients, he says.