Evercore Partners Inc. (NYSE:EVR) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Oct 26, 2017 • 08:00 am ET
the market, but clearly our absolute focus is to make sure that we're serving clients increasingly and a large number of clients.
And when we think about your investment and future hires, I think Ralph mentioned areas that may not be as strong as you like to be, whether it is sectors or geographies. What would be the biggest focus for you in terms of the opportunity set, is it non-US or is it other specific sectors?
John, you want to get that?
We've said to you before, one of our focuses has been the consumer sector and we continue to be focused on that and work hard on that. And as you know, we haven't announced a big hire there to-date. That's certainly continuing to be something we're focusing on. We are looking at Europe and expanding our breadth and footprint in Europe so we're looking at that. We continue to build our industrial business. You saw that we added Paul Stefanick. We are continuing to look at that and we feel like we've got good momentum and dialogs on that also.
Steven Chubak, Nomura Instinet.
So, wanted to start with a question on the broader equity strategy; it's a topic, it's come up on last quarter's call, it's garnered a lot of focus from investors based on some of our latest discussions. But you cited some of the headwinds relating to MiFID implementation, just general regulatory challenges, and we're seeing greater emphasis on really differentiating between platforms both in terms of research and execution quality. And Ralph, you spoke of the fact that you won a lot of awards on the research side, the capabilities that you have there are quite strong. But I wonder whether the need to complement that with a strong execution offer is still there and I was just hoping you could help us better understand how Evercore ISI's execution offering really fits into your longer-term strategy for that business?
We have a very competitive sort of execution capability, which our clients use on their own without regard to our research contribution or historically and still in the US they have the capacity to do this, have used as a way obtained for our extraordinary research capabilities. So, we have to continue to have a very, very high quality execution capability that allows clients to say legitimately that they're getting best execution both electronically and high touch. So, that will continue. On the other hand, we are not going to get into an arms race as a liquidity provider. There are plenty of large firms that can do that. We think that's a scale business, a technology business and quite honestly, a low return on equity business. And so, you're not going to see us make one quarter step more in that direction.
Just one more question from me on...
I would say also that we're an intellectual capital firm and if you talk to the leaders of major corporations and the Boards of