Buy-Side Firms Intensify Focus on Measuring Trading and Research Costs, According to TABB Group

First of three-part annual U.S. Institutional Equity Trading Study reveals an unprecedented drive by buy-side firms to implement new technology as they face increased regulatory scrutiny

NEW YORK & LONDON--()--Compliance with global regulatory regimes and market structure changes is leading traditional asset managers and hedge funds to take a holistic approach to measuring trading and research costs. Uncovering trends and drivers from interviews with 100 U.S. buy-side head traders, TABB Group has published part one of the 12th annual benchmark study, “US Institutional Equity Trading 2016: Buy Side Emancipation or Purgatory.” The report examines buy-side firm’s top initiatives, commission wallets, execution channels, broker lists and unbundling of trading and research costs.

Report co-authors Sayena Mostowfi, a TABB principal and head of equities research, and research analyst Valerie Bogard, explain that in conjunction with a shift in regulatory focus from exchanges and broker-dealers to buy-side institutions, a European regulation is set to fundamentally transform buy-side businesses in the U.S. TABB’s study found that due to the global nature of operations, client demand and competitive forces, 66% of buy side firms interviewed for this year’s study will be impacted by MiFID II, up from 38% last year.

The regulatory focus in anticipation of MiFID II has served as a catalyst for further data collection and operational transparency that is forcing buy-side firms to improve their measurement of explicit costs and market impact in order to prove best execution practices. According to TABB, the solution to these challenges in the new global ecosystem is the adoption of new technologies that can support these efforts. In this year’s report, 45% of participants listed technology changes as their top initiative in 2016, with 20% specifying implementing new TCA providers.

“As the buy-side improves measurement processes and explores the ability of new technology to collect, measure and analyze their broker lists, it is likely that existing broker lists will become even more concentrated,” says Mostowfi. “With approximately one-quarter of the broker list already receiving three-quarters of buy-side commissions, increased focus on core brokers will contribute even further to this trend. As our research finds, one-third of asset managers and nearly one-quarter of hedge funds expect to decrease their broker lists in 2016.”

TABB explains that though the mechanics of these changes are overwhelming for many, leading buy-side firms see technology advancements and cost pressures as an opportunity for growth, whether through utilization of automated tools to source liquidity and/or roll-out of quantitative funds to complement traditional business strategies.

In part two of the study series, TABB will examine trends related to block trading, capital usage, conditional orders, and the role of EMS/OMS for buy-side traders. The final report in the series will analyze buy-side firms’ top brokers in terms of commissions, execution quality trends and areas for market structure improvement in the new era of full disclosure.

The 29-page, 20-exhibit report is now available for download by TABB’s Research Alliance equities clients and pre-qualified media at https://research.tabbgroup.com/search/grid. For more information or to purchase the reports, contact info@tabbgroup.com.

About TABB Group

With offices in New York and London, TABB Group is the international research and consulting firm focused exclusively on capital markets, based on the interview-based, “first-person knowledge” research methodology developed by Larry Tabb. For more information, visit www.tabbgroup.com.

Contacts

TABB Group
Casey Sheets, +1 646-747-3207
csheets@tabbgroup.com

Release Summary

First of three-part annual U.S. Institutional Equity Trading Study reveals an unprecedented drive by buy-side firms to implement new technology as they face increased regulatory scrutiny

Contacts

TABB Group
Casey Sheets, +1 646-747-3207
csheets@tabbgroup.com