Index provider | Winner Merrill Lynch

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An index must be predictable, fair and transparent, and once those criteria have been met, all index providers need to worry about is the USP, or unique selling point.

In the case of Merrill Lynch, which has been voted best index provider in the Credit survey for the third year running, one obvious USP is its share ownership relationship with Bloomberg. Access doesn’t come any easier, and ease of use along with reliability of the Merrill Lynch index system are big plus points in the eyes of fund managers

“If you are managing money against an index you have to be certain of its reliability,” says Bernard Hunter, fixed-income director at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. “That is why Merrill is good – it is easy to download, robust and it works.”

Joseph Nehorai, from quant analysis and portfolio strategy at Merrill, says the Bloomberg relationship is one of several advantages enjoyed by the bank. “In Europe internet access speeds have traditionally been too slow and reliability has not been great so delivering via Bloomberg is an advantage.”

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