CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets shoots straight in to first place in Institutional Investors debut All-India Trading Team ranking, which is based on the opinions of analysts and money managers at buy-side firms that acquire Indian equities research from multiple brokerage houses. Citi claims the No. 2 spot, followed by Morgan Stanley at No. 3.
CLSAs integrity in India trading and their understanding of the markets make them very valuable for us, says one Hong Kongbased fund manager. (The names of those surveyed and the institutions they work for are kept confidential to ensure their continuing cooperation.)
Another buy-side enthusiast notes that the firm continues to build out its offerings and make upgrades despite the low trading environment.
Thats a question of cause and effect, explains Mumbai-based Mihir Doshi, who oversees CLSAs four-member crew. The firm was one of the first to offer direct market access in Asia including venues in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand and tailors its algorithms to meet multiple needs of various types of investors, Doshi says. Given the increase in use of electronic trading, the challenge is to constantly show and prove to clients that our execution in highly liquid stocks is better than what one achieves through DMA.
One U.S.-based backer praises the teams customer service. Theyre pro-active and helpful, especially when it comes to block trades, this investor says. I feel like theyre really looking out for my needs.
And they are, Doshi affirms. We are an agency-driven brokerage, therefore were not influenced by internal proprietary trading book or corporate finance requirements, he says. Also we have the ability to source blocks and execute trades with minimum impact.
Clients are similarly enthusiastic about Morgan Stanleys squad of 14 six in execution, five in equities cash sales and three in derivatives sales, all of whom are based in Mumbai under the direction of Parag Gude. They provide a full range of services soup to nuts, declares one supporter. And theyre very professional.
Adds one Singapore-based backer: Theyre prompt, theyre reliable, and theyre accurate. In short, they deliver.
And they plan to keep on doing just that, Gude says. Over the past year Morgan Stanley has invested a lot in technology to improve algorithms for better price discovery, he explains. Plus, we have a strong technology team that supports our dealing system. Having an in-house-developed system, as opposed to vendor systems, helps us reduce recovery times at times of failures, and this gives us an edge over the competition.
Another advantage? Theyre global. Thats a big plus especially these days, says one U.S.-based portfolio manager. Their distribution network is second to none.
One client sums up the firms strengths with three examples: Good flow, timely execution, competitive risk pricing.
II asked participants in the 2012 All-India Research Team survey to choose up to four firms whose trading services they feel outshine all others. We received responses from nearly 260 individuals at some 180 institutions that collectively manage roughly $100 billion in Indian equity assets. Thats about 47 percent of the people representing 59 percent of the firms who cast votes in the research team survey.