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First Principles

Redburn was launched in 2003. It was founded on a passionate belief in the importance of in-depth, uncompromised, fundamental research, and serving clients, particularly when augmented by high quality agency execution.

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By 2003 regulatory change (‘unbundling’) had fundamentally altered the terms of trade in research provision in favour of new entrants. The client base had fragmented. Technology reduced the cost of execution and settlement. Eliot Spitzer’s reforms in the US were taking root. The competition was not delivering the research professional investors wanted. As a new entrant, Redburn had the opportunity to create a model appropriate for the new world.

Although there was a group of clients prepared to support this entrepreneurial endeavour, there remained the risks associated with any start up. It was a tense moment in the new office on December 12th 2003 waiting for the first order: 8am came and went; 8:05, 8:10, 8:15 …and then it arrived: “Sell 65,000 Nokia” and we were off.

The founders built a team of like-minded souls, professional colleagues with similar standards, values and priorities. They were, intrinsically, partners.

Partnership remains at the heart of the business today. In the legal sense, we moved Redburn from an LLP structure to an incorporated model in 2014, but the partnership culture remains. Indeed, we consciously protect it. We think there is tremendous value in participating in growth through ownership. Broad ownership allows a company to build success and brand over time.

We admire and seek to emulate premium, successful brands in other industries based on human capital, which have retained their distinctive character and ethos. Our brand must reflect the quality and integrity of our work.

Redburn has built a business of scale in both Equity Research Services and Execution, a European specialist with offices in London, New York and San Francisco. London is the centre of our Research Service. Our analyst and sales teams share a passion for equity stories and ideas, for challenging the orthodox and consensual, and for innovation. We benefit from not being a bureaucratic giant. We relish the freedom to write what we want, when we want. We are liberated by a model that has no restriction beyond the need to get our hands dirty, to be interesting, insightful, thought-provoking and to have conviction in our research. Our over-riding motivation is to help our clients.

This entrepreneurial approach has led to product innovation, which has been rare in the equity research market. The Redburn Review, Soapbox, Thinking Allowed and our Expert Access programme are all examples of positive differentiation. Redburn has also fostered innovation in execution, where our relative size has been supportive to our competitiveness and capacity to deal with minimum market impact.

Redburn does not have a monopoly on talent. Our different priorities and culture help to explain why our analysts produce fine work. They are unencumbered by corporate demands. They have bespoke editorial resource. Redburn’s team is driven by the progress of its peers, the nirvana of a potent idea or first class execution for our clients.

We think about the research business in a different way to most and embrace chaos as much as order. Talented people need space to be creative. We seek to provide an argumentative, challenging and innovative environment. We accommodate eccentricity and accept the associated management challenge. We run our business in a non-hierarchical way. Most of all, we aim to be commercial and edgy, intellectually and technologically, but simultaneously cerebral and respectful.

This is Redburn’s story. We believe Redburn offers something special, challenging, stimulating, fun and rewarding, both for our people and our clients.