As the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid II) has fueled discussion on the value of research following requirements for firms to unbundle costs, the research space has undergone significant changes, and market players have had to rethink strategies and invest in innovation to remain competitive. The vendor that has come out on top in this area is Fitch Solutions—named Best Research Provider for its breadth of coverage and team of senior credit analysts.
Fitch Solutions provides global debt market research and macro intelligence via its Fitch Connect platform, data feeds, and a ratings and research web portal. This extensive offering benefits from Fitch Ratings’ local market presence with 1,100 analysts in 50 offices across 24 countries.
It has been two years since Fitch launched Fitch Connect, which combines Fitch Financial Fundamental Data, ratings and research. The offering helps firms embed research more intuitively into their workflows and can boost productivity by enabling investment managers to filter research. By allowing users to easily identify research related to their portfolios, investment managers can avoid wasting time on lengthy and irrelevant documents. “It’s not a one‑size‑fits‑all. It’s different horses for different courses,” says Ranjit Tinaikar, president of Fitch Solutions.
Fitch Connect has grown from 60 users when it launched in 2016 to 6,000 users now. The extensive coverage and platform provided by Fitch led the judges to label it “the top dog in the space” and to hail it as an “excellent research provider with increasing coverage, in particular in more difficult to evaluate markets.”
In 2017, Fitch added country risk intelligence from BMI Research to Fitch Connect, which includes data for 209 markets, with a strong focus on emerging and frontier markets, along with 10 years of quarterly historical data, reports and forecasts, daily briefings, and more than 1,200 quarterly country risk reports. “We cover emerging markets that others don’t, and we satisfy a need that no one else has,” says Tinaikar.
With a rapidly changing market, this focus on content enhancements and helping clients increase productivity will continue to top the agenda for Fitch. Fitch Connect is already servicing clients who have made the transition to machine‑processed—rather than manual—research, and the next step is to improve search capabilities in the platform. “I think you’ll have a very different research industry five years from now,” says Tinaikar.
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