Having initiated coverage on 20 stocks last year, bringing the total coverage to 299 stocks across 22 markets as of year-end 2020, the EFG Hermes Research division continues to be the region’s leading provider of in-depth, real-time market insights, guiding the Firm’s various divisions and ever-growing client base when making financial decisions. This has proved particularly invaluable considering the unprecedented circumstances seen in 2020 and the subsequent impact on global markets. The team’s ability to constantly expand its coverage and product offering, while remaining at the forefront of an increasingly competitive industry has earned the team multiple accolades in recent years, with EFG Hermes Research being named the leading Frontier Research House and the second-ranked MENA Research House in Institutional Investor’s 2020 poll.

Operational Highlights of 2020

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall market conditions, and in line with the division’s coverage expansion and product diversification strategy, 2020 saw EFG Hermes Research continue to build out its research coverage and improve the quality of its products. During the year, the division initiated coverage on 20 new stocks from key MENA and frontier markets. On the product diversification front, the division continued to tailor its offering to meet clients’ evolving needs and interests, with increased focus on fintech stocks, such as Fawry.

2020 also saw EFG Hermes Research, as a result of the pandemic, host two successful virtual investor conferences for the first time, which replaced the flagship One-on-One Conference. The first Virtual Investor Conference, held in June over a span of three weeks, facilitated more than 6,500 meetings, bringing together executives at 72 companies from 14 countries, with 480 institutional investors representing 160 institutions managing assets in excess of USD15 trillion. The second Virtual Investor Conference in September saw an even greater and more diverse turnout, with 157 companies from 25 countries around the world holding direct meetings with more than 650 institutional investors from 240 global institutions managing assets more than USD17 trillion.

The department’s unmatched ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and react to the evolving needs of its increasingly diverse client base has earned EFG Hermes several accolades over the years. EFG Hermes Research was, once again, named the top Frontier Research House and ranked second in MENA in the Institutional Investor 2020 Poll. The division continues to lead the way in terms of quality, frequency, and breadth of coverage with five analysts from the division ranking amongst the top 15 MENA analysts in the poll. Analysts from the frontier division ranked second and third in the poll for the year.

Following the introduction of MIFID II, EFG Hermes Research’s ability to stand out from its competition, thanks to its deep and comprehensive analysis, has allowed the Firm to thrive, even given the new regulatory framework. After the sell-side decoupled research from brokerage commissions for European clients, the EFG Hermes research team sells their research on an account-by-account basis to clients across Europe and the UK.

EFG Hermes Research Digital Portal

In today’s increasingly digital world, and with the acceleration of the digital transformation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, EFG Hermes understands that instant access to high-quality research products has become a necessity for investors, analysts, as well as the Firm’s other departments. As such, the department continued to work on enhancing EFG Hermes’ digital research portal in 2020, striving to further improve the overall user experience by ensuring a greater degree of personalization and access. The improved platform not only gives users access to one of the most comprehensive research libraries available in the region, encompassing all historical news, reports, and commentaries produced by the Firm’s research team, but also allows for reports to be saved and archived for a later time, while also allowing clients to tailor their mailing preferences to receive only the coverage that most interests them.

2021 Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented circumstances around the globe, impacting all markets. In 2021, the division expects a significant recovery in earnings as markets recover following vaccine rollouts. At this time of particular uncertainty, clients, investors, and analysts are looking for incisive, accurate, and timely research to help them navigate volatile markets. EFG Hermes Research is ideally positioned to capture this demand. Over the next year, the division will look to broaden the variety of its products, to provide more diversified insights for the Firm’s client base and divisions. EFG Hermes Research will start to analyze ESG for its stock coverage, which will be a consideration as to how stocks are valued. The division will continue to expand its frontier coverage, with a particular focus on Asian stocks, with an aim of reaching 360 stocks under coverage in 2021.