JPMorgan Chase & Co. reigns as Wall Street’s top research firm. But for the last two years, hedge funds have had a different favorite: Bank of America.

As the coronavirus spread through the United States, shutting down businesses and upending earnings expectations, hedge fund clients inundated analysts at BofA Securities, according to the bank’s head of Americas equity research, Brett Hodess.

“Typically the mix of calls is probably 60 percent outgoing, 40 percent incoming,” Hodess estimated. “It flipped this year to be more like 60 percent incoming and 40 percent outgoing — and not because outgoing calls dropped.”

The flooded phone lines accompanied a surge in readership for BofA’s research reports, as both hedge funds and long-only clients sought clarity on the crisis unfolding around them. BofA’s analysts met this spike in demand by producing more research and more analysis, publishing 10 to 15 percent more content than last year, according to Hodess.

“There are so many more things that need to be covered and talked about,” he told Institutional Investor. “Readership is up dramatically — well over 20 percent overall, and even more than that for certain hedge funds.”

But don’t just take BofA’s word for it. Trust nearly 1,000 hedge fund professionals who voted on this year’s All-America Research Team.

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