Overview

Morgan Stanley dominated the 2018 All-America Trading Team.

The firm snagged the top spot in all three of the survey’s main categories, holding onto its first-place finishes in electronic and high-touch trading while leapfrogging above Credit Suisse and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in portfolio trading.

This year’s All-America Trading Team was decided by over 350 buy-side traders and other investment professionals at asset management firms investing in U.S. equities. Institutional Investor asked these pros to rank the best firms at trading and execution services across three main categories: electronic trading, high touch trading, and portfolio trading.

In electronic trading, firms were judged on access to large electronic blocks of liquidity, customized trading algorithms and support, pre- and post-trade cost analysis and execution consulting, among other attributes. In this category, ITG placed second after Morgan Stanley, and BofA Merrill Lynch came in third.

Meanwhile, in the high-touch trading category, the top firms were recognized for their appetites for risk trades, access to large- and small-cap block liquidity, and ability to minimize market impact, among other attributes. J.P. Morgan ranked after Morgan Stanley in this category, while Goldman Sachs placed third.

For portfolio trading, firms were selected based on their ability to offer easy trade reporting, insightful research, and transparent trade execution. Here, Bank of America Merrill Lynch placed second after Morgan Stanley, while Credit Suisse was No. 3.

The voters were also asked to rank the top firms across three sub-categories: market structure insight, research, and consulting; overall flow insight, trends, and market structure; and special situations coverage, which includes merger arbitration, spin-offs, activism, and distressed assets.