Majority of buy-side have no plans to meet brokers face-to-face in near future

Results of the Virtu Financial annual survey suggests it may be a while before buy-side arrange in-office meetings with brokers.

Over 70% of buy-siders globally have said they do not expect to meet with brokers in person anytime soon due to the ongoing pandemic, a survey from Virtu Financial has revealed.

Results of Virtu’s 2020 global commission and research survey, which polled 159 buy-side market participants globally, found that the majority have ruled out in-office meetings in the near future and will instead arrange web-based consultations with brokers and analysts.

Only 5% of respondents stated their office is currently open to visits, while less than 5% expect visits with brokers to resume in the next three months, and fewer than 20% expect in-office visits in the next six months.

More than half of buy-side respondents in the survey said they will work from home until the end of the year. Around 30% have already returned to the office and less than 10% have plans to return to the office within the next three months. Just 10% said they had been working from the office without disruption.

The results follow similar findings in research from Greenwich Associates, which revealed that just 4% of compliance professionals expect traders to return to in-house trading desks full-time in the post-pandemic world. Major buy-side houses, such as Schroders, have also embraced flexible working conditions including permanent home working.

Virtu’s global commission and research survey polled institutional investors, including mutual funds, long-only and hedge funds, across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Canada, Latin America, and the US.

In terms of liquidity and broker research, the buy-side almost unanimously agreed that access to both had not been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

A majority of 55% of investors told virtu they currently execute with between 0-20 brokers, while 20% execute with 21-40 brokers. Roughly 35% distribute a majority of trades to their top 10 brokers and 22% distribute a majority of trades to their top five brokers.