Corporate Access Had to Be
Reinvented This Year. Investors
Say JPMorgan Did It Best.
JPMorgan leads the 2020 ranking of America’s Top Corporate
November 17, 2020
In a year without business travel or in-person meetings, one corporate
access provider has stood above all the rest.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. was voted the No. 1 firm in Institutional
Investor’s 2020 ranking of America’s
Top Corporate Access Providers. The ranking was based on
the opinions of buy-side money managers and corporate respondents, who
separately voted for their favorite corporate access providers.
Last year, the two groups were split: Institutional investors
preferred Bank of America Corp., while corporates favored JPMorgan.
But this year, as the coronavirus pandemic forced corporate access to
move entirely online, investors and corporates were unanimous in
voting for JPMorgan as 2020’s top corporate access provider.
Joyce Chang, managing director and chair of global research at
JPMorgan, spoke to II about how her firm has reinvented its
corporate access offerings for an all-virtual world, and why she
thinks at least some of the changes are here to stay.
“The important thing is that the rising second wave shows us that the
pandemic is not ending any time soon,” Chang said by phone Monday.
“Even though we’ve had good news on vaccines, no one is assuming that
in the first half of 2021 you’ll be able to do live events.”
That means at least seven more months of video conferences and virtual
meetings with industry experts and corporate executives. At JPMorgan,
Chang said they are focused on featuring a variety of different
speakers and making content as accessible as possible, keeping in mind
that most investors now have calendars packed with Zoom calls.
“We’re in this for the longer haul,” Chang added. “We have to plan for
at least the first half of the year to be more of the virtual format,
which means we need to continue to make virtual meetings and
conferences more accessible to people in different time zones who may
not have as much time.
With web conferences, for example, Chang said JPMorgan has moved from
hour-long, one-on-one discussions to panels of four or five experts
who are asked to give their key points in five minutes.
“We’ve learned a lot about timing and how to keep [investors’]
attention,” she added.
Another key feature has been making video streams available for
replay, so that investors can watch them on their own schedules. As
one example, Chang said that JPMorgan’s annual IMF conference — which
attracted 2,800 registrants this year in its virtual format — has
since been replayed by about 4,500 people.
“We used to do this event with 1,200 people live with Chatham House
rules,” Chang said. “Now 2,800 people can sign up for the virtual
event, another 4,500 can log in afterward to listen to replays, and
we’ve been able to adjust timing to accommodate different time zones.”
These advantages — scale and flexibility — are why Chang sees at least
some elements of virtual corporate access staying in place, even after
Covid-19 vaccines have been widely distributed.
“As we start to go back to live events, they’re not going to be the
same,” she said. “People will want the flexibility and the option to
have it suit their schedule and the model will likely be a hybrid
Institutional Investor LLC.