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Merrill Lynch is top for research

Merrill Lynch has been nominated top fund manager for research by 156 finance, corporate communications and investor relations directors in a survey by Consensus Research International

When it comes to public relations for corporate assignments, the survey found that Financial Dynamics is the most highly rated consultancy followed by Brunswick.

PricewaterhouseCoopers emerged as the top accountant, with KPMG in second place. Slaughter & May was voted the top legal firm ahead of

Freshfields.UBS Warburg was top last year but came second this year in the 17th annual broker survey by Consensus.

The survey, which concentrated on fund management analysis. ran from last November to January. Merrill Lynch took 27 per cent of the vote and UBS Warburg took 22 per cent.

Schroders Salomon Smith Barney got 16 per cent and jumped to third spot from 10th place last year.

Consensus Research International director Russell Bell says: “The key to Merrill Lynch&#39s success this year appears to be strength in depth across a range of sectors.”

The survey examined specific research qualities, including working relationships, analysis, understanding of the market and clients&#39 company and reports.

UBS Warburg again took the top position for working relationships and understanding of the client&#39s company, with 14 per cent of the vote in both categories. UBS Warburg was the leading investment house for corporate financial advice on equity markets, with 22 per cent. Merrill Lynch took 21 per cent.

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