Research: What, how and for why
Every bank has one. So, too, do insurance companies, investment managers, pension funds and every broker in the land. They all profess the need for one. From the smallest, niche players to the largest, most sophisticated global investors and market intermediaries, they all make a great play for, and all have a dire need for, a researcher, a research team, an entire department, no less than a business unit. Yet so very few have a clue on how to deploy that resource and to what end.
At the beginning, it was all so much easier to say exactly what the role of research was. Not so easy today. Forty years ago, the property industry began to gather around itself a strange and odd mix of people to staff newly-created and very shiny research departments. There was no template and, as a result, you were relatively free to make the rules up as you went along. By definition, research was what you did, simple.
In the vacuum of corporate apathy, researchers did what they were taught