NatWest wins top rankings

NatWest Securities has emerged a clear winner in the first Reuters rankings of investment analysts covering the largest 350 companies in the UK. The broking house yesterday scooped three of the four main prizes.

The three highly-polished, antique silver salvers won by NatWest were for best overall sales, the best sector team, and the best overall research. Smith New Court won the accolade for best execution on share deals.

The rankings were compiled by Tempest Consultants, which surveyed three industry groups. They comprised almost 800 analysts and specialist salespeople in the City, the heads of the UK's largest managers of equity funds, and all finance directors of the largest 350 companies, accounting for 93 per cent of the £708bn value of the stock market.

Stephen Parker, a director of Tempest, said: "We have analysed out the data with a preference for weighting by funds under management.

"The result is a report which represents a first step in benchmarking the changing needs and responses of all three main industry groupings."

The Reuters survey draws interesting conclusions from the results.

Chiefly, it says that there is arguably more change under way in the UK securities market than at any time since Big Bang in 1986.

Driving forces behind the changes are technology, and a mixture of increasing regulation and deregulation with the prospect of more to come.

However, the report shows that the fund managers, finance directors, analysts and salespeople differ in opinion and approach to the way forward for the securities industry.

Fund managers' ranking of brokers' research

1 NatWest Securities

2 BZW

3 Kleinwort Benson

4 James Capel

5 SG Warburg

6 Smith New Court

7 UBS

8 ABN-AMRO Hoare Govett

9 Goldman Sachs

10 Credit Lyonnais Laing

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