Morgan Stanley’s head of European internet research has just moved to Hong Kong for an investor relations role

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It’s not supposed to happen like this. Investment banks are slimming down their equity research ranks, but top-ranked senior analysts in hot sectors are the stars that attract client dollars as MiFID II’s ‘unbundling’ takes hold.

Maybe Edward Hill-Wood, managing director and head of European internet research at Morgan Stanley, didn’t get the memo. He’s just left the investment bank in London for a role as investor relations director at pay-TV and e-commerce company Naspers in Hong Kong.

Hill-Wood’s departure comes after a long tenure at Morgan Stanley and a long time in TMT research in London. He joined Morgan Stanley in April 2004, so spent just over 13 years there before his departure in April. Before this, he worked as a media analyst at Citigroup.

Under MiFID II, investment banks are being forced to separate the costs related to equity research, rather than bundling it together with other trading charges.

The result has been the decimation of their research ranks, but (some) senior analysts are still being looked after. Some, according to reports, are able to command $10k for a single phone call, or even $28k an hour with a client. Even if this is not the case, banks have restructured their teams around senior analysts supported by a cadre of juniors.

Hill-Wood’s move to investor relations is not unusual among equity researchers looking for a change of scene, however, and most taking this route have stuck close to their sector of expertise.

Recent moves include Will Draper, formerly head of Telecoms research at Mirabaud Securities, who became director of investor relations at BT, James Collins, a retail research analyst at Stifel Financial, who’s now head of investor relations at J Sainsbury in the UK and Richard Burden, a managing director in insurance research at Credit Suisse, is now head of investor relations at Zurich Insurance.

More recently, Ben Sherman, who was head of European advisory distribution at UBS, joined medical transportation firm Ambulnz, in a business development and investor relations role.


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