UBS has just made a big equity research hire from BAML

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Senior equity researchers continue to churn between investment banks in London as MiFID II - and the unbundling of research from other trading costs - approaches.

UBS has just hired Céline Fornaro as a managing director and head of European industrials research. She joined from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she was also a managing director and head of aerospace and defence equity research, so the new role expands her coverage across more sectors. 

For UBS, which has been building its equity research functions over the past few months, this is a good hire. Fornaro and her team were ranked number one in the 2015 All-European research rankings by Institutional Investor and first in the 2014 Extel rankings. She has worked at BAML for the entirety of her investment banking career, having joined in December 2004. Before this, she was an airlines market analyst at aircraft manufacturer Embraer.

Most investment banks have been making an effort to hire senior research analysts in the build up to MiFID II implementation in January 2018. The regulation requires investment banks to 'unbundle' costs for research from other trading charges. The assumption is that if buy-side clients have to outline what research they're paying for, they're only going to shell out for insight that provides real value.

UBS also hired Pinar Ergun from Bank of America Merrill Lynch as head of its European food and household and personal care (HPC) equity research team in July.

Investment banks generally appear willing to sign off on the right equity research hires, despite the general hiring frost in London after the EU referendum outcome. Rufus Grantham, who last worked in the City for Nomura in 2013, joined RBC Capital Markets as deputy head of research in September, while former Nomura analyst Matt Lofting joined J.P. Morgan earlier this month.


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