A recent post on the HFS Research blog focusses on some independent analysts as “pay to play”. It’s a useful post, but that key point doesn’t fit with our annual Analyst Value Survey, which suggests only a slight correlation between firm size and independence.
In the survey, the largest 26 firms got an average score of 58.2%, the second 26 for a score of 52.8%, and the long tail of other firms averaged 52.6%. HFS Research itself was in the top tier of the survey, scoring 73% (See more granular data, and how these percentages are calculated, on this post).
HFS Research have written a very useful post, and it’s great as a tool to help people on both sides of the industry to recognise, and push back against, pay to play and other ethical issues. But its perception that the issue is centred on the smallest analyst firms does not fit with the views of participants in the analyst value survey. These are issues that run across the spectrum, and if we think it’s only a problem with small firms then we misunderstand the source, and cure, of the problem.