2020 marks the second year of running the survey and for the publication of the survey’s commission-weighted results. The commission-weighted approach accurately reflects how the buy-side values and rewards the sell-side for their research advisory services.

This year’s survey included 16 sectors, with the addition of the Economics sector and an expansion of others into more granular sub-sectors (for example, Financials was further sliced into Banks, Insurance and Specialty & Other Finance in 2020).

Changes are underway for how research is valued, consumed, and paid for, and many asset owners across North America are adopting similar practices to those enforced in Europe to comply with MiFID II, in spite of the uncertainty around the impact of unbundling on sell-side firms in North America. The Covid-19 crisis has not diminished the appetite by asset managers for sell-side research and advisory services, and it is clear that the competitive landscape remains tight. If research and commission wallets continue to decline, selecting the highest quality firms and analysts will continue to be essential for buy-side firms to justify how they spend their client’s, or their own, research budget.

Selection Criteria

To select the members of the All-Canada Research Teams, Institutional Investor solicited opinions of directors of research and investment professionals at asset management with a commission and/or a research wallet of at least US$250k and are recognized as using sell side research advisory services For the All-America survey, we received responses from more than 386 individuals at 270 firms. The names of individuals surveyed are kept confidential to ensure their continuing cooperation.

Participants rated their top firms in each sector and then separately rated individual analysts at those firms to create two distinct rankings for each sector. A numerical score was produced by weighting each vote based on the responding firm’s commissions or assets under management in the sector and the rating awarded. This created the Commissions and AUM-weighted rankings.

Using those scores, ranks were determined. Firms/analysts are awarded a “Runner‐Up” position if their score comes within 35 percent of the third-place score in a sector. For the analyst rankings, the cut-off date for individuals is the date of the survey opening (1st June 2020).

Voters must meet strict eligibility requirements, and winners must achieve a minimum vote count. All ballots are subject to review by the Research Operations Group.