If you work in equity research in Europe and you're worried about your future following yesterday's revelation that UK investors are already spending £180m a year less on the collective output of people doing your job, you might want to take a long hard look at the career path of Martin Young, the ultimate equity research survivor.
Young, who has been knocking around in utilities equity research in London since 1995, has just taken his fifth job in 10 years. As of this month, he is a research analyst at South African bank Investec.
For a man who was previously head of utilities equity research at Nomura and a managing director in utilities equity research at RBC, taking a job as a mere research analyst at Investec might seem a retrograde step, but Young has long sailed ahead of the market. He escaped Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein for Citi long before the former culled its equity researchers. He escaped Nomura for RBC well before the Japanese bank got cold feet about its European equities business. And he got out of RBC before the full force MiFID II hit. If you work in equity research, Young looks like something of a bellwether for an enduring career.
Young spent the past two years as head of investor relations at Ofgem, the UK government regulator for gas and electricity markets, where he created a new investor relations strategy. Now he's back on the sell-side, writing what he describes as, "thought-provoking differentiated research on single stocks, as well as sector thematic pieces."
Young may remain at his new Investec job for a while. But if MiFID II makes things worse still, he can always revert to investor relations where demand for equity research experience is a healthy constant. Other researchers should watch and learn. - This is how you keep an equity research career afloat for over two decades.
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