When is an equity analyst not an equity analyst? Apparently when they work at Lehman. That’s because Lehman is moving some analysts to the trading desk and calling them “desk analysts”. No, they don’t do home furnishings, but they do call clients and flog analysis.
Why do it? Lehman says it is making the change to better service its best clients. Unlike normal analysts, these desk analysts can give on-the-fly recs, don’t publish research, and aren’t bound by new SEC dislosure regulations.
While a cynic would call this a way to end-run regulation, I think it an overdue change. Let’s stop pretending that equity analysts can operate in a some rarified world separate from how their income is generated (i.e., trading). Analyst are salespeople. Always have been, always will be.