New Equity Analyst Guidelines from AIMR

The Association for Investment Management and Research has issued new proposed guidelines for equity analysts. Some highlights:

    • Information in analyst reports must be clear and complete; facts should be distinguished from opinion.

    • Analysts must not threaten to use their research reports or recommendations to affect their relationship with corporate issuers.

    • Corporate issuers must provide access to corporate management to analysts and investors,

      Corporations must not discriminate among analysts based on prior research opinions or recommendations,

    • Companies must not attempt to influence research or recommendations by threatening to deny analysts access to company representatives or by exerting pressure on analysts or their firms through other business relationships.

    • Only those portions of an analyst report that do not contain conclusions or recommendations should be reviewed by corporate issuers

    • Issuer paid research reports must be identified as such and certify that the analysis or recommendations in the report are the true opinion of the analyst.

These are not final, and they’re all fair enough, but they’re also so vanilla that it’s hard to imagine what difference they will make. They are basically a cry to play fair, plus a protest against companies paying small “research outfits” for equity research on their own firm.