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CICC Retains All-China Sales Team Crown

BofA Merrill returns in second place, while Morgan Stanley repeats in third.

From Locked ranking

Asset managers that invest in Chinese equities hold consistent views on which firms provide the best sales support: the upper echelon of the 2015 All-China Sales Team roster is identical to last year’s. China International Capital Corp. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch finish in first and second place, respectively, followed by Morgan Stanley in third. UBS and Citic Securities round out the top five.

“I am a big fan of CICC equity sales,” declares one buy-sider. (Unless instructed otherwise, we keep confidential the identities of survey respondents and their firms to ensure their continuing cooperation.) “They are more pro-active in servicing than their peers. They go beyond daily sales summaries or repeating research analysts’ views. They put in extra efforts to help clients like me understand the market with local color, get true insights into research reports and get corporate access that’s declined at other brokers. I have been impressed with salespeople doing professional translation in meetings and booking logistics and meals as last-minute requests. What a service!”

Alex Au, founding portfolio manager of Hong Kong–based hedge fund Alphalex Capital Management, is similarly impressed. “CICC’s sales team is very pro-active in coordinating corporate access and analyst meetings,” he reports. “I particularly want to give credit to their head of sales trading, Renee Wong, who has been giving us market color and trading ideas every day.”

A number of other survey respondents also single out particular salespeople for commendation. Among the remarks we received:

Jonathan Butler “consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty. Although relatively young, he is a true broker in the old sense of the world — that is, someone who watches your back, holds your hand and is happy to shine a light in the dark — which, in the Chinese stock market, is very much needed and appreciated.”

Joy Lin “has extensive experience and deep expertise in capital markets. She provides timely ideas and has been extremely responsive to my requests and needs.”

Nicholas Lu “is the best equity salesperson I have ever dealt with globally. He is very responsive and smart, and he always delivers.”

Kathy Teo and Wenting Zhang “are extremely helpful and always able to provide timely market insights.”

Natalie Wan “is an example of someone who is totally focused on client services. Every time there is a request, Natalie would focus all the resources to get it done as soon as possible. Some complex requests got done in couple of hours, versus days from other brokers.”

Wenting Zhang “is very responsive and supportive — especially in corporate access.”

The BofA Merrill crew also has its fans. “They are the hardest-working, most targeted and best idea- and solution-focused sales team on the Street,” insists Stefan-Günter Bauknecht, head of global equity research at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management in Frankfurt. “I appreciate their service culture and highly regard their value-adding investment ideas. Jessica Choi is my sales contact, and they organized a very helpful conference and reverse road show on China e-commerce and consumer trends.”

A Shanghai-based constituent says this sales force “provides all-around services, including trade execution, research coverage, investor trip coordination as well as market teach-ins.”

Yet another investor appreciates the group’s “globally integrated resources, very prompt replies and responsible follow-ups.”

A total of 27 firms appear on this year’s All-China Sales Team roster. To view the top ten, click on the Leaders link located in the navigation table on the right. Information about squads that meet minimum-vote and other eligibility criteria but do not appear in the top ten is available from the Institutional Investor Research Group. To learn more please contact Alyssa Walker at awalker@iiresearchgroup.com.

For details regarding how we compiled this ranking, click on Methodology.

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