SBC Warburg tops investment analysts survey

SBC Warburg has toppled NatWest Securities in the All Sectors League of the 1997 Extel Survey of Investment Analysts, another blow to the investment banking arm of NatWest which recently lost its chief executive, Martin Owen.

SBC Warburg, which saw its five-year winning streak ended last year with a drop to third place, came top this year by a comfortable margin. NatWest Securities slipped to second position and was hotly pursued by Merrill Lynch which made an impressive leap to third place from sixth last year.

In the UK Sectors League, SBC Warburg again stole first place from NatWest Securities, which moved to second position.

HSBC James Capel dropped from second place in 1996 to fifth in the 1997 All Sectors League. UBS retained its fourth position, while BZW slipped to sixth from fifth place last year.

Dresdner Kleinwort Benson stayed at seventh and ABN Amro Hoare Govett keep its eighth place. Goldman Sachs International regained votes and moved back to ninth, displacing Morgan Stanley International, which finished 10th.

The results of the 24th annual Extel Survey were announced at a luncheon at Guildhall in the City of London yesterday. Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, presented the awards to the winning analysts.

For the fourth year running the 1997 All Stars rating for the top-ranked UK team went to Fergus MacLeod's Oil, Integrated team at NatWest Securities. HSBC James Capel's pharmaceutical analysts, led by Andrew Tivenan, won the top- ranked European sector team, weighted by market capitalisation and the leading economics/ strategy analysts, weighted by funds under management, was the BZW Equity Market Strategy team led by Richard Kersey.

The votes for a top individual analyst once again went to Fergus MacLeod of NatWest Securities. Runner up is Charles Burrows who covers the engineering sectors for HSBC James Capel.

Demand for electronic research on the Internet is gathering momentum, according to Extel. "Seventy-six per cent of the fund managers responding this year say that they are using on-line research, compared with 60 per cent in 1996," an Extel spokesman said.

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