Corporate access firm joins research provider ahead of MiFID II changes

Apr 18, 2016
<p>CorporateAccessNetwork and ResearchPool offer combined equity research and corporate access deal</p>

The latest in a series of developments around corporate access and research sees the Phoenix IR-owned CorporateAccessNetwork join forces with financial research platform ResearchPool.

The move was announced by the companies as ‘the first digital solution combining equity research and corporate access’, offering users of either service direct access to the other ‘without having to pass through an intermediary’.

‘Through links developed between the two platforms, investors conducting research on a listed company are able to quickly access financial research on the given company and link directly with its management,’ say the firms in a joint press statement.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority began looking at the use of dealing commissions to pay for corporate access and research back in 2013, while Europe’s wide-ranging MiFID II rules will place even more pressure on the issue, with a number of online platforms offering alternative options.

‘As of January 3, 2018, it is anticipated that the costs borne by the customers of investment management firms to have access to research and corporate access will be decoupled from brokerage commissions, thus improving transparency with better disclosure to customers and reduced conflict of interest,’ state the companies.

‘We’ve seen a clear change in the behavior of the buy side since the start of this year,’ Adrian Rusling, co-founder of Phoenix-IR, tells IR Magazine. ‘Since the beginning of 2016 we’ve been averaging 100 requests per day.’

The numbers indicate that companies of all sizes are exploring alternative corporate access options, he adds, with ‘924 institutions (which is a huge number) having made requests to meet with 1,855 companies so far. The CorporateAccessNetwork platform has now processed more than 56,000 investor requests since its creation a couple of years ago.’

Interestingly, Rusling says around 55 percent of the requests are for access to North American companies, despite the big corporate access changes happening in Europe. Roughly 40 percent of requests are for meetings with European firms.

Talking about costs, Rusling explains that buy-side users of the CorporateAccessNetwork pay nothing, while companies pay €100 ($113) per month for the basic service, making the platform ‘genuinely affordable for everyone, even those with [seemingly] no IR budgets,’ he says. ‘The research on ResearchPool is priced on a variable unit basis depending on the value of each piece.’

Recent developments have also seen the publication of the long-awaited delegated acts for the new MiFID II legislation as well as the announcement that Oxford-based Woodford Investment Management will pay research costs out of its own pocket and offer a detailed fund fee breakdown – the first firm in Europe to make such a move.

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