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- Asset managers will ensure a price discovery process has been undertaken to identify benchmark market pricing for research in as granular a level as possible. Categories considered should include both coverage areas as well as levels of service and analyst access.
- Asset Managers should have full, demonstrable understanding of alternatives available in the market for each significant Provider in terms of cost, quality and suitability. Trials of research providers can be part of this process, but trials will remain place only for as long as absolutely necessary to ensure an understanding of the value of the potential commercial relationship. This would be expected to last under 3 months unless there is particular documented reasoning for the nature of a service requiring a longer time frame.
- The pricing of research products/services and levels of service provided by banks and Independent Research Providers (IRPs) will be assumed to be unconnected to any other commercial relationships that may exist. Asset managers must be free to consume the highest quality research at the best price without any distortions from ancillary services that may not benefit the client paying fees or commissions for research.
- Pricing and service levels may fluctuate depending on the calculations made by providers in terms of potential growth at each asset manager, but will not be dependent on the size of the relationship in separate business lines. Equally asset managers will not expect greater access to IPO allocations or other unrelated benefits to research, due to the size of their payments to a bank for its research products.
- Contract best practice will include standardisation of terms and conditions which asset managers will accede to from research providers. All agreements involving payment from the RPA will need to be confirmed in writing each calendar year.
- In the instance where the value of a research provider’s product is specifically linked to an individual analyst, negotiation will be undertaken to explore the ability to opt-out of an agreement in the event that the analyst ceases to produce the purchased product for the research provider.
- Provision can be made on a quarterly basis for funds to be reallocated either within existing providers or to an additional set of providers in the case of unpredictable research requirements.
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