London: Fund managers will have to pay about $2,500 for an hour-long, one-on-one meeting with some of Morgan Stanley’s equity analysts once Europe’s markets in financial instruments directive (MiFID) II financial rules kick in, according to people with knowledge of the plan.

The fee is on top of the annual rate Morgan Stanley plans to charge some clients for basic access to its equity research portal once the regulations come into force in January, the people said, asking not to be named as the negotiations are private. The bank also quoted a small client $25,000 annually for five users for basic equity research access and five total hours of analyst time, another person said.

The price tag for meetings makes the time of a Morgan Stanley analyst more valuable than even a top commercial lawyer — the hourly rate for a partner at a prestigious London law firm can be as much as £1,100 ($1,450), according to one analysis last year. The one-on-one meeting prices can vary depending on the seniority and ranking of the analyst, the people said.

With less than three months to go before the European Union’s revised MiFID kicks in on 3 January, investment banks are still haggling with their money-manager clients about how much to charge them for research and advice. Under the revised rules, analyst notes and other services must be paid for separately from trading commissions.

A Morgan Stanley representative declined to comment. Prices have varied widely by bank as the industry struggles to value analysis that was typically distributed for free. The cost quoted to clients also depends on the size of a firm and the level of access sought.

McKinsey & Co. estimates investors will slash more than $1 billion of spending as they become pickier about what they pay for, with most only willing to fork out for analysts with the best track records. An equities analyst working at an investment bank or brokerage in London is paid about $455,000 including bonus annually, according to data compiled by Emolument.com. That’s based on remuneration for a managing director.

UBS Group AG is proposing to charge clients about $40,000 a year to access basic equity research, according to people with knowledge of the plan. Barclays Plc. is also pricing its read-only European research at about $40,000, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. is suggesting as little as $10,000 a year, the lowest price to emerge so far for analysis of stocks, people familiar with the pricing have said.

Morgan Stanley chief financial officer Jonathan Pruzan has said that the world’s biggest investment banks may emerge as winners once MiFID II takes effect — the company’s status as the biggest equities trading firm gives it an advantage as asset managers trim the ranks of trading counterparties they use. Bloomberg

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