The Top Global Research Firm of 2016

This year’s No. 1 firm prides itself on its macroeconomic research and reigns supreme for a sixth year running.


The day after U.S. voters shocked the world by electing real estate mogul Donald Trump to the White House, Bank of America Merrill Lynch hosted a series of macro-oriented conference calls that were a big hit with investors. A whopping 9,000 people dialed in to hear BofA Merrill’s sell-side analysts explain what might lie in store for their portfolios.

The bank is Institutional Investor’s Top Global Research Firm of the Year for a sixth year in a row, having amassed 225 positions across the 11 research team surveys we published in 2016. J.P. Morgan returns to second with 211 spots, but both tower above their rivals. Morgan Stanley again places third with 151, followed by UBS with 142 and Citi with 117.

Since the global financial crisis, macroeconomic factors such as geopolitics and interest rates have become the key drivers of stock market performance. Candace Browning, BofA Merrill’s head of global research, has responded by building up the firm’s macro research team after Bank of America and Merrill Lynch & Co. merged in 2009. “We’ll see what the future holds, but I can tell you right now there’s a lot of client interest in our macro views,” Browning says. •