ANALYST OF THE YEAR
IT TAKES strong-minded individuals with deep knowledge of the sectors they cover to make calls that challenge popular thinking, but the five thinkers on CITY A.M.’s shortlist for Analyst of the Year have won respect for going against the grain – whether being sane on the Glencore IPO or criticising the Bank of England’s interest rate policy.
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As global head of metals and mining equity research at Standard Bank Group, Peter Davey advises on investment opportunities across the global mining landscape, particularly mining companies with exposure to Africa.
Davey joined the mining equity research sector following a ten-year career as a mining engineer in the platimum and gold mines of South Africa, and has built his reputation as a leading authority on the metals and mining industry through his research coverage of diversified mining companies such as Anglo-American, BHP-Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.
More recently, Davey stood out from his peers as one of the few independent and “sane” voices on the Glencore IPO.
HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS
The former chief economist at New Star joined Henderson in 2009 following the merger of the two firms, where as chief economist he supplies the Henderson fund managers with economic analysis and forecasts.
Simon Ward has become known as one of the City’s leading monetary economists through his 25-year career making calls on the money markets, with recent forecasting successes including being correctly pessimistic on UK inflation and forecasting this spring’s slowdown in global growth.
Ward, who has been openly critical of the Bank of England’s policy of holding rates at rock bottom, has also made a name for himself through his well-followed Money Moves Markets research blog.
Jeffrey Currie, the global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, has power few analysts command, with his authoritative calls on oil reputed to move prices.
Currie joined Goldman in 1996 as an associate following several years teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in macroeconomics and econometrics at the University of Chicago, and is known for framing his forecasts in the minutiae of market dynamics.
Currie is also unafraid to challenge popular thinking on commodities: he refuses to buy into the peak oil thesis, for example, and believes there is no bubble in the gold price. Currie has advised government agencies in the US, Europe and Russia and his PhD thesis won the Zeliner Thesis Award.
Kevin Cammack is one of the sages of the construction sector, an analyst steeped in the industry’s lore, who has documented the changes in the building and construction world since the 1980s.
Over his long career at brokers including Credit Suisse, Chevreaux, Merrill Lynch and Kaupthing, Cammack has stuck to the fundamental belief that analysts need to understand what a company does day to day to be able to provide complete insight, which is why he reportedly knows how to mix concrete and build bricks.
Thanks to his longevity and depth of knowledge on the history of the construction firms he analyses, the Cenkos Securities equities analyst has been “consistently brilliant on the housebuilders” such as Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, says a contemporary, earning him the reputation of “the analyst’s analyst”.
Jenny Barker has earned a reputation as one of Europe’s most accurate chemical analysts over her 17-year career covering the sector at firms including UBS and Lehman Brothers. In her current role as managing director in Nomura’s European chemicals team, Barker combines her academic background as an economist with her experience working in the chemicals industry to identify companies where strategic changes are not yet recognised in the stock price.
Barker enjoyed early successes with Hoechst and Rhône-Poulenc and made a strong call on BDF last summer, which is one of the five stocks she has on her watch alongside Akzo Nobel, DSM, Lanxess and Clariant. She is currently keeping a close eye on Dutch firms DSM and Akzo Nobel, where she believes the stock prices are underestimating the non-chemical businesses that generate the majority of profits.