Slow and steady to the top

Investment Bank’s research unit has been named Top Global Equity Research Firm of 2017 taking the top spot in the ranking of the renowned financial US magazine Institutional Investor.

20 Mar 2018

Juan-Luis Perez, Global Head of Research, aims to provide our institutional clients with evidence-powered answers to pivotal questions through a structured framework that connects the dots across sectors, regions and asset classes.

Just four years ago, the UBS Equity Research was at number seven in the Institutional Investor’s ranking. But a change in the way they approach research has resulted in climbing steadily year on year, and today they are number one and the world’s largest sell-side team of experienced primary research experts.

The ranking, based on votes by buy-side analysts and portfolio managers, is an important distinction for sell-side analysts and research teams. Clients voted for their preferred research analysts and teams in each region. Collectively, this resulted in UBS holding 162 leading positions across the world, ahead of more than 270 other sell-side firms competing in the polls.

What caused this success? “While others cut back, we’ve continued to invest in research,” says Juan-Luis Perez, Global Head of Research, adding that the results of the survey “underline the progress we continue to make and the strength of UBS’s global equity research franchise, our analysts and differentiated research platform.” One thing is certain, having top-ranked analysts globally is key because they are in the best position to identify the research questions that matter the most to investors.

Collaboration, innovation and determination

The mission of UBS Research is to provide question-driven, evidence-based research to leading institutional investors globally. UBS Research analysts now work together with primary research experts from the UBS Evidence Lab to uncover new evidence that helps validate their views. To address the questions that matter most to our clients, the UBS Evidence Lab team applies the appropriate research methods from their toolkit of quantitative market research, digital footprint analysis, geospatial analysis, data science and statistical modeling. Whatever the question, they find a method to tackle it – even if it means tearing down an electric car, as they recently did to assist a group of over 30 UBS Research analysts.

While others cut back, we’ve continued to invest in research.

Juan-Luis Perez

In practice, this means that UBS Research analysts, economists and strategists have adapted the traditional scientific method in their coverage of almost 3,000 stocks as well as other asset classes and economies around the globe. More than 2,000 of the reports published by the UBS Research every year now include evidence from UBS Evidence Lab. They aim to give our institutional clients new ideas based on new evidence – and a structured framework to connect the dots across sectors, regions and asset classes.

It’s all about new ways of thinking

For this reason the success of the Investment Bank’s research unit is born out of the division’s clear, concise and focused strategy based on delivering excellence and working in partnership. What the UBS Evidence Lab has also successfully done is marry the classical analyst-driven security evaluation with innovations in investment research. “We are trying to develop a new culture where both types of research are respected,” says Barry Hurewitz, Global Chief Operating Officer of Research, hinting at how challenging it is to innovate something as long established as research. “The secret is not data, it’s not even the analysts. It’s creating new ways of thinking,” Barry Hurewitz explains.

In the industry-recognized poll, UBS holds 162 leading positions across the world, ahead of more than 270 other sell-side firms.


A million female programmers

“Creating a shared future in a fractured world,” the theme at the 2018 World Economic Forum, could also be the title for Mariéme Jamme’s life story.

As one of UBS’s Global Visionaries and founder of the inspirational project “iamtheCODE,” Mariéme puts her energy, charisma and experience into mobilizing governments, businesses and investors to train girls and young women in STEAMD subjects (science, technology, engineering, applied mathematics and design). Her goal is for a million female programmers to have been trained by the year 2030. “If we want to bridge the digital divide and create the next generation of digital leaders, we urgently need a new and bold vision for access to education for girls,” says Mariéme, referring to the over 65 million girls who are prevented from going to school.

How UBS supports the movement

Her plan is driven by her own traumatic experiences as a girl. Growing up in rural Senegal, she was given away at an early age and spent several years in care before being trafficked to Paris. She didn’t go to school until she was 16. “iamtheCODE” is her latest project building on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This is where UBS comes in. UBS is supporting Mariéme and other inspiring thought leaders through its Global Visionaries program, launched in 2016. “UBS puts its staff and business experience at the service of the Global Visionaries in the form of mentoring, social media campaigns, contacts with ultra high net worth clients and media partnerships, in order to publicize their stories and support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” says Simon Smiles, CIO Ultra High Net Worth Clients, UBS Wealth Management.