In a ‘Difficult’ Year, This Was Wall Street’s Top Trading Team

Institutional Investor’s All-America Trading Team is back again this year, featuring a repeat performance for some of the region’s most lauded providers.

Morgan Stanley has once again placed first for overall trading and execution in the annual ranking of Wall Street providers. The ranking is based on the views of buy-side traders and other investment professionals who rated their top trading and execution teams across four main categories: electronic, high-touch sales, portfolio/program, and Delta One/ETF.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. maintained its overall second-place finish, while Goldman Sachs climbed one position to third. BofA Securities took fourth, and Jefferies Group rounded out the top five.

Investors appear to have stayed loyal to their favorite execution providers during a challenging past year for U.S. trading.  “2022 has been a difficult trading environment given the largely downward trending markets,” said Shaun Fallon, head of Delta One trading for the Americas at Morgan Stanley. “Overall, volumes have remained robust relative to 2021 levels on the back of geopolitical uncertainties and inflationary/economic pressures.”

Fallon said clients’ main concerns continue to be centered around finding liquidity in difficult markets, which Morgan Stanley worked hard to address this year. “When it comes to finding liquidity, we want to be top of mind, from providing algorithmic wheel solutions to delivering on high touch block trading capabilities back to our clients,” he said.

The firm topped the high-touch sales trading category as well as overall portfolio/program trading. In both of these categories, Morgan Stanley was followed by Goldman Sachs in second place, and JPMorgan rounded out the top three. 

In the Delta One/ETF category, JPMorgan placed first. Morgan Stanley was second in this ranking, while BofA Securities placed third. In electronic trading, Jefferies was voted into first place, followed by RBC in second and JPMorgan in third. 

Morgan Stanley’s Fallon credited his firm’s 2022 performance to a “focus on providing a consistent, seamless experience across execution channels and [having] experts in our Delta One execution seats that can deliver a best-in-class offering back to our clients.”

In a competitive space, Fallon said that his firm’s culture not only helps differentiate its offering but also contributes to fielding a top trading team. “We ask our teams to put clients first and work with their colleagues to deliver the best of the firm to every client,” he said. “For us, those aren’t just words — we try and instill those values in everything we do.”

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