As MiFID II's deadline approaches rapidly, global buy side and sell side firms race to insure that they are meeting the new regulations before January 2018. Open questions remains as to what degree U.S. based financial firms will be impacted by these new European regulations. This week Bloomberg News in "Wall Street Poised to Get a Key SEC Reprieve Over MiFID" discusses an important aspect of current SEC regulations for sell-side firms wishing to independently price research for their global clients.
Our discussions with clients highlight the challenges faced by hedge funds and other buy side market participants in deciding how they will approach the coming unbundling of research. Firms with a European Union presence are actively considering mandating independent payment for research even in the U.S. This could cause a sea change of research and independent research in the U.S. in addition to the forthcoming changes in the EU. One of the positive impacts for the buy side of research unbundling is greater transparency into research costs. The aforementioned Bloomberg New article mentions that in one large sell side institution's European operations "has asked some clients to pay $30,000 a year for access to basic research and conferences it organizes". With this price transparency for even basic market research, the market will be better able to value and price independent alternate market research data.
This improved valuation and pricing will insure that the global buy side is positioned to capitalize on the rapidly evolving global use of innovative, unique and actionable datasets to drive alpha, portfolio construction and risk management.