The Institutional Investor China Research survey (in partnership with Caixin) determines the best-in-class of sell-side research teams and provides valuable qualitative market feedback from market participants on optimising the provision, acquisition and consumption of Research Advisory services across China. Performance analysis on the data output allows in-depth comparative analytics which can be used for strategic business decision-making.

This year’s survey included five new sectors as well as a new macro category, Thematic Research, allowing asset managers to recognise value at those firms that can combine research from several sectors and assist investment strategy that may not be specific to a single stock or market. In total, voting took place across 29 sectors.

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.

We were pleased with the response rate for the survey, despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. The survey results reflect the opinion of 3,621 portfolio managers and analysts at 891 institutions.

Selection Criteria

To select the members of the China Research Teams, Institutional Investor solicited opinions of directors of research and investment professionals at asset management firms with a commission and/or a research wallet of at least US$100k and who are recognized as using sell-side research advisory services. 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 assets under management in the sector and the rating awarded. This created the 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 (13 July 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.

Sales & Corporate Access

In addition to Research, voters are invited to rate firms on both Sales and Corporate Access criteria at the firm level only. Voters could rate up to seven firms in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan Sales then assess each firm on several sales criteria. For Corporate Access, voters could rate up to seven firms in seven regional categories. The top 10 tables for Sales and Corporate Access were produced based on aggregated AUM-weighted points.