Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Boston Baked Beans

Canaccord Adams is holding its Annual Summer Seminar in Boston this week. The best and the brightest of Boston’s asset management community are in attendance but there are no baked beans on the menu.

The small-cap sector is not necessarily the focus of the conference, yet there are plenty of management teams from smaller companies at the podiums in the six presentation rooms. Two companies from the Crystal Equity Research coverage universe are presenting: Click Commerce, Inc. (CKCM: Nasdaq) and Fuel-Tech, N.V. (FTEK: Nasdaq).

It is not necessarily my intention to plug Canaccord Adams, but their willingness to open the doors to independent analysts deserves some mention. (Maybe they just missed me with the fly swatter.) At any rate, it is clear that there have been changes in the investment industry in general and the securities research environment in particular. Canaccord has strong stable of good analysts, but that strength belies the overall reduction in the number of wire house analysts and the significant increase in independent analysts.

During the first “break out session” I attended at the conference, a portfolio manager complained about the lack of research coverage for that presenting company. The name of the game for accumulating research coverage is exposure. So Canaccord’s willingness (accidental or otherwise) to open their event to independent analysts speaks well of the firm’s consideration for their investment banking and asset management clients.

1 comment:

David J. Phillips said...

re: portfolio manager complaining about "lack of research coverage."

Despite the best attempts of the S.E.C. to rebuild the 'purported' wall separating research from banking--unless the targeted company(ies) are in the market for capital dollars, doubtful that [any] Wall Street firm will bother to offer research coverage. Rhetorical--but again--who pays the bills for Wall St. firms: Research or Banking?

Ergo--there will always be a role for third-party research--But, who's going to pay their bills, too?

David J Phillips, Publisher