If you want to join a team of talented researchers, Lehman Brothers could be the place for you: The firm's researchers lead Institutional Investor's annual ranking of U.S. research analysts. The magazine attributes their success to a hands-on, detailed approach to their work.
Such attention to research fundamentals is a trend the magazine sees returning to sell-side research in the wake of stricter regulatory oversight and research cutbacks up and down Wall Street.
"The work of these analysts is characterized by dogged, independent, sharp-eyed analysis that takes with generous portions of salt the proclamations of CEOs and CFOs," writes II's Justin Schack. "It demands extensive fieldwork and attention to the interests of investing clients above all else. Often it also entails considerable personal courage and legal risk." For example, David Maris, who covers specialty pharmaceuticals for Banc of America Securities, is being sued by a company he rated "sell."
This is the fourth year Lehman's led the rankings. Citigroup is the biggest mover in this year's survey, jumping from fifth place to second. Merrill Lynch dropped one notch to third, while Bear Stearns & Co. and UBS held steady in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Morgan Stanley's drop from the No. 3 spot to ninth marks the first time in more than ten years the firm has failed to finish in the top five.