It seems obvious: If you want to succeed in equity sales, pick up the phone.
But according to the leaders of the 2019 All-Brazil Sales Team, this requirement extends beyond just the buy-side analysts and institutional investors who make up the sell-side’s clients.
“Picking up the phone applies not just to clients but to our own research [team] as well,” said Ashley Farrar, head of U.S. equity sales at BTG Pactual. “[It is this] constant dialogue that allows us to consistently and effectively deliver product in a way that is meaningful to our client.”
It may also have helped propel the Brazilian bank from last year’s third place finish to the No.1 spot in Institutional Investor’s eighth annual ranking of the country’s best generalist sales squads. The ranking was based on responses from 450 investment professionals at more than 300 institutions managing approximately $119 billion in Brazil equities.
The rest of this year’s top-10 leaderboard saw further movement, with not one firm occupying its same standing from 2018 — for better or worse. Second-place finisher UBS rose from No. 4 last year, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. jumped from seventh place to third. Bradesco BBI, last year’s No. 2 firm, fell to fourth place.
The 2018 winner, Itaú BBA, did not actively participate in this year’s survey, but still placed in the top five.
[II Deep Dive: BTG Pactual Wins Again in Brazil]
Participants in the survey were asked to rank generalist sales teams based on sales attributes such as quality of service and understanding of client needs. The final scores were calculated by weighting responses based on Brazil equity assets under management.
In addition to this AUM-weighted leaderboard, and in line with other II surveys, a new top 10 debuted this year which emphasized the commissions paid by each voting firm. When the results were weighted by commission bands, BTG Pactual remained the No. 1 firm, followed by JPMorgan in second. Bradesco BBI took third, while UBS claimed fourth place. Itaú BBA again came in fifth.
According to Farrar, effective sales teams are those that take the time to listen to clients and wholly understand their investment mandate. This means recognizing that unless clients are specifically focused on Latin America, they do not spend that much time on the region.
“In a best case scenario, they allocate 15 to 20 percent of their time to LatAm if they run a [global emerging markets] portfolio — and far less if they have international or global mandates,” Farrar said.
“One size does not fit all and tailoring research ideas/product to their investment mandate/style/horizon allows you to add value beyond having great research,” she added. “Often times, less is more, if it is impactful.”