Be It Resolved, Analysts are Worthless

The following email from the head of global equity research at HSBC (my long-ago employer) to London analysts is being called, at least in the U.K., crass and demotivating. I have to confess, I don’t actually find it all that troubling: More than a few analysts that I used to work with could have used some tough talk:


I am receiving calls of complaint from the sales and trading desks in London on a daily basis about the lack of product in London. We have dropped from what was already an unacceptably low average of around 30 pieces of research a week accross [sic] Europe – to a number that is less than half this average. Moreover, the mix – as I have indicated earlier – has become predominantly worthless flashnotes.


No good analyst needs to be pushed like this – most are self motivated and interested in driving their external market values. As tram [sic] leaders and managers, you have to take responsibility for you [sic]  teams and for their motivation and production levels – this is what we pay you for.

As I look at the department today I have no concerns about meeting budget expectations at year end – one reason for this view is that many of tour [sic]  analysts, and team leaders do not deserve to be paid this year.

Take some responsibility and push your teams. With the success we are having with Bangalore – we have no excuses with regard to resource.

I am in London on Thursday and Friday of next week and am happy to talk this through in more detail with any of you. I am also available early Monday morning and some times on Tuesday by phone as I travel to and
from Mumbai.



  1. I think you are missing the colonial angle here…telling people in UK, India is working better? Risky way to try and motivate…

  2. Richard says:

    I read this as, “do a better job, or I’m moving your job to Bangalore”

  3. Stephen says:

    What did the memo-leaker hope for: sympathy? Woe are we poor multi-millionaires, forced to deliver to minimal expectations of any industry?