JPMorgan Chase & Co. was voted the best sales firm for a third straight year in Institutional Investors annual ranking of Latin American equities sales teams.
The bank continued its reign in regional equities sales as others fell to the competition in this latest survey of buy-side analysts and money managers investing in Latin America stocks. Local investment bank BTG Pactual jumped to No. 2 from No. 6, while last years second place finisher, Bank of America Corp., dropped to No. 10 in the 2017 survey.
Respondents rated firms based on characteristics such as research communication, idea generation, and overall quality of service. JPMorgan scored highly across multiple attributes, with voters taking a favorable view of its specialty services and quality relationships with clients, as well as the global context provided by the firms salespeople for Latin America portfolios.
Camila Penna, JPMorgans head of Latin America equity sales, said her team regularly leverages the firms position as a large, global investment bank by working with counterparts in other regions. We work hard, as a team, to partner and add value to our clients, she said.
Rodrigo Goes, who leads BTG Pactuals equity sales and trading, attributed his firms success to its veteran sales team. IIs survey found the bank was valued for its understanding of client needs and accessible research analysts.
When you look at our team, its generally more senior than the industry average, he said. We stand out as being more experienced, more seasoned.
Credit Suisse Group placed third in IIs rankings, rising from seventh in 2016. Itaú BBA, which ranked third last year, dropped to fifth place in 2017.
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Although many firms have downsized in the wake of tough market conditions and the rise of regulations focused on unbundling sell-side services, Goes said BTG Pactual has benefited from its partnership structure, as many of the sales team members are partners in the firm.
We have a lot less turnover, he said. We havent really changed the headcount or experience of our overall team.
Emerson Leite, director of Latin America equity research at Credit Suisse, similarly pointed to the longevity of the firms sales team as a key trait. In IIs survey, the firm was rated highly for its quality of service, intensity and responsiveness.
What differentiates us from the crowd is that we have a very consistent team that, for the most part, have been working for Credit Suisse for a long time, Leite said. In spite of bad market conditions, weve been able to keep a stable team of people with years of market experience. Having a team thats been together for a long time makes a lot of difference.
Leite also highlighted the importance of an on-the-ground, local presence, saying that Credit Suisse has sales teams in Mexico and Brazil.
More and more, clients have access to a lot of information, and what they really want is someone who can interpret that information and give a more articulated view of what is happening out there, he said.
BTG Pactual is expanding its Latin American presence for this very reason, making a significant investment in Argentina, according to Goes.
It was sort of the only missing piece to our service offering, he said. Up until a few years ago, we still werent quite sure which direction Argentina was headed, but as it became increasingly clear that things were looking up we wanted to have people there.
Beyond its Brazil headquarters, BTG Pactual already had a large presence in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. Goes said the Argentina office is still subscale relative to the countrys potential, but expects it to become a substantial source of value for the firm and its clients.
Our philosophy is that unless you have people on the ground youre not going to be able to provide value-add information services, he said. Thats our MO we want to have locals working locally, people with significant contacts and significant experience who are actually living what the markets go through. Anyone trying to understand these markets from New York is going to be way behind.