Regulation in 2018 forced European investors to pick and choose between their research providers. 2020 is showing who chose correctly.

“The value of research has never been seen to be more important than over the last few months,” said Charles Hall, head of research at Peel Hunt.

Peel Hunt, which specializes in U.K. equity research, was among the many firms impacted by MiFID II — a European rule that required brokers to sell research as a separate product, rather than offer it alongside execution and trading services.

When the regulation went into effect at the start of 2018, it caused investors to “cut back on a lot of material they didn’t need,” Hall explained. But it also revealed what research was considered the most valuable — a distinction that has become essential as investors have grappled with the effects of a global pandemic.

“We have thrived through the MiFID period,” Hall said, adding that Peel Hunt’s customers have more than doubled since MiFID II went into effect. “Investors’ overall spending may have come down, but they want to get value for their money.”

The uncertainty and volatility wrought by Covid-19 has further cemented Peel Hunt’s status as the foremost purveyor of insights on U.K. small- and mid-cap stocks...

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