A quick review of the Equity Research analyst’s job…
In this article, Louis DETALLE (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole Program – Master in Management, 2020-2023) explains what an Equity Researcher works on, on a daily basis.
What does Equity Research consist in?
The objective of equity research is to make buy or sell recommendations on stocks to advise investors on their asset allocation. In doing so, the Equity Research team will closely monitor certain stocks to see if the stock is outperforming or underperforming. In doing so, they will closely monitor the share price and sell their monitoring as a service to determine whether to buy or sell a share.
This equity research service is therefore sold to investors in the financial markets to provide them with a comprehensive financial analysis, as well as advice on whether to buy or sell particular securities. The analysis report presented by an equity analyst is used by investment banks and private equity firms to evaluate the company for an initial public offering (IPO), a leveraged buy-out (LBO), alliances and others. Therefore, all these investors constitute clients of Equity Research teams.
Most banks have Equity Research teams such as Societe Generale Bank, UBS, BNP Paribas, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Citi for instance. In short, equity research analysts are mainly employed by investment banks (BNP, Citi, Barclays, etc.), investment funds (KKR, Blackstone, Bpifrance) or asset managers (BlackRock, Vanguard, Amundi).
An equity research analyst is specialised in a specific sector such as automotive, aerospace, healthcare, telecoms and biotech. The advantage of doing that is that the banks will have extremely complementary profiles that will be able to deal with the analysis of many companies of the same sector. They will have the benefit of hindsight trough building their knowledge of comparable companies. The analyst will often even develop a special expertise on a particular company, which he or she will follow closely.
What does an analyst in Equity Research work on?
As explained above, an equity research analyst will follow the release of sector or company specific information to write a note for subsequent use by the clients as part of their investment strategy. Therefore, the work of the equity research analyst will be primarily information research, reading quarterly financial reports, and press releases which may provide information on the company’s performance to date compared to expectations. The analyst will also look for information on upcoming mergers and acquisitions (M&A) or divestment transactions, the announcement of new partnerships or possible disposal plans.
As for the sectoral notes, the analyst will delve into the reading of documents from the major international institutions for all the data relating to global and entire sectors.
Once this research work is completed, equity research analysts proceed to forecast results through financial modelling: they use historical data to understand how the results were obtained and they confront these historical performances with the constraints of the future environment in order to anticipate how the company will perform. This modelling will enable them to forecast short-, medium- and long-term stock performance and the behavior to adopt in order to make the most of it.
This work will therefore be carried out in the form of a synthesis and by drafting studies for investors and reacting to specific news items.
Finally, a last type of task will consist of answering clients’ questions by telephone during morning meetings in order to give them recommendations for the day.
Why do Equity Research jobs appeal so much to business school students?
First of all, it should be noted that this profession combines corporate finance skills with financial market experience, which is rare! Indeed, the Equity Research analyst will carry out various financial analyses which will be used to issue trading recommendations on the financial markets. A financial profession in such a situation is rare, which is a first strong argument.
In addition, it is the dynamic working environment that investment banking constitutes that attracts young graduates. Equity Research is marked by a culture of high standards and maximum commitment, with highly responsive teams and extremely competent colleagues. Working in a high-powered team though quite small teams enables an analyst to quickly gain knowledge on a sector or a client.
The position of Equity Research in front of clients also makes the job really interesting because the Equity Research Analyst is at the core of the clients’ investment strategies. Because as we have seen together, such a job requires the ability to manage theoretical models and market trends in order to give clients a good insight of what is to expect for the day. For that matter, an Equity Research career can be very challenging and gives plenty of responsibilities, and this is what young graduates seek for.
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▶ Louis DETALLE A quick review of the ECM (Equity Capital Market) analyst’s job…
▶ Tanmay DAGA My experience as a sell-side equity research analyst
About the author
The article was written in November 2022 by Louis DETALLE (ESSEC Business School, Grande Ecole Program – Master in Management, 2020-2023).