Director of Research
Bill has extensive expertise in equity research management and is responsible for growing Panmure Gordon’s research coverage of UK growth and mid-cap companies. His previous experience includes roles at UBS and Nomura. His responsibilities at UBS included co-heading the utilities pan-European research team, where he was top ranked in Institutional Investor and Extel surveys, and a Global Coordinator of Utilities research. At Nomura he was Head of European Product Management and Deputy Head of European Equity Research.
What does it take to be successful in a research role?
There is no single route to success. I have seen different analysts enjoy highly successful careers who approach their roles entirely differently. Analysts can build their careers by playing to their personal strengths and can also come from very different backgrounds. There is no usual early career track, academic degree or typical career path for analysts.
That said, there are some characteristics common to many successful research analysts. They tend to be sceptical, rarely taking things at face value and are comfortable challenging the status quo. They are inquisitive, always inclined to dig deeper on an issue or to unearth a new angle. They are persistent, prepared to shoulder the more repetitive and sometimes mechanical – yet important – aspects of the role, like updating multiple financial models or ensuring our clients are aware of our views and recommendations.
What tools and resources does your team have access to that contributes to their research?
We use many of the usual data sources – Reuters, Bloomberg, Datastream – and other providers of sector-specific information.
The best resource is, of course, the cultivation of long-term relationships with the companies we cover and the management teams who run them. The information and insight gleaned from meeting executives, from both an individual company and wider industry perspective, is invaluable.
Another often underrated resource is the information and intelligence we access from proactive collaboration with our colleagues, both within equity research and across the other parts of our business, while always observing the relevant rules and regulations. We have an office full of experienced people with a wealth of knowledge and diverse perspectives.
What do you think makes Panmure Gordon stand out from its competitors?
At many investment banks, equity research departments can feel like small, isolated departments within a bigger machine. At Panmure Gordon, a focused business and operational model allows everyone to see clearly where they fit in and how they can make a meaningful contribution. It is also easier to collaborate with colleagues, which is vital to executing effectively.
At Panmure Gordon, there is also a visible and positive culture, which reflects the strong identity we have maintaining and leveraging the bank’s heritage along with the recent evolution of our strategy under the current management. This is increasingly rare in the volatile and ever-more impersonal world of investment banking, and – in what has always been and will remain more than anything else a “people business” – this matters.