Lehman Brothers' fixed-income research is the best on Wall Street, according to investors who voted in Institutional Investor's 13th All-America Fixed-Income Research poll. The firm scooped first-place finishes in 14 categories, including investment-grade, distressed and asset-backeds, marking the fifth straight year it has taken the top spot in the poll.
Lehman beat out J.P. Morgan, which finished a close second in the final medal count but won top billing in five fewer categories than Lehman did. Credit Suisse First Boston, last year's second-place finisher, dropped a spot to third this year.
The poll was the buzz of the fixed-income research community, even though some market participants try to downplay the importance of the rankings as a popularity contest. Still, they acknowledge a blue ribbon certainly doesn't hurt come bonus time. "It's definitely a factor in bonuses," said one official, although he declined to speculate on how it might affect his own paycheck.
Ravi Mattu, global head of fixed income research at Lehman, said the poll is an important window into where the firm stacks up against its rivals. "We absolutely view it as a qualitative input into how our analysts are doing." He added the results are one factor taken into account for compensation, but stressed the poll does not offer a complete picture of the services analysts provide for investors because for example it does not measure efforts on quantitative portfolio strategies. Still, "it's certainly a report card of the strength of the franchise," he added.
|Fixed-Income Research Rankings|
|Credit Suisse First Boston||3||2|
|Banc of America Securities||10||11|
|Source: Institutional Investor|
For complete results of the poll, head to II's Web site (www.institutionalinvestor.com).