Sergey Dergachev, head of emerging market debt at Union Investment
The Covid-19 crisis has changed a lot. Notably, our EMD research approach has had to become much more efficient and more targeted.
We address well defined and precise questions in calls, and there is almost no "going through slides".
We have taken stronger initiative in arranging calls with analysts and companies to discuss specific topics.
Access to many excellent virtual conferences, such as IMF events or the Bank of America Merrill Lynch EMD conference has been extremely helpful, and connection with other investors has also assisted with facilitation.
Accessibility of analysts and corporate team is also high on the EMD side, every one of us is in the same boat, but desire for mutual interaction and exchange of views has improved massively between corporates and investors.
The initial fears of a communication collapse with WebEx or Skype have not materialised, and thankfully communication has run very well throughout the pandemic.
But ultimately, as an EMD investor covering EM for 15 years, especially covering so many different cultures and regions, you need personal interaction, to see physical reactions of managers, and you need to feel the development on the ground.
Therefore, I think virtual communication will bridge the gap just fine in the short-term, but in the long-term, personal communication will remain necessary and on the ground research will remain essential and at the very core of EMD investment research.