Author: Maha Khan Phillips
Gillian Elcock is Founder and Managing Director at Denny Ellison
Gillian Elcock discovered her entrepreneurial spirit fairly early in her career. After almost a decade working in equity research in both the US and UK, Elcock decided to launch her own company, offering bespoke research to asset managers. She set up Denny Ellison in 2010, providing analysis on individual firms, sectors, and themes. “I’ve had a longstanding passion for research, and I wanted to do something entrepreneurial,” she explains.
The firm has now expanded beyond research, providing comprehensive training programmes to junior analysts as well. “It’s really about helping people who are early in their careers and offering them a structured programme to get up to speed and accelerate their development,” Elcock explains.
Elcock grew up in both the Caribbean and in London. After completing a master’s degree in computer science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she realised she was more interested in the business, rather than the science world. A conversation with a friend in New York who was working in equity research led her to decide this was the career for her. She attended Harvard Business School, and worked with Fidelity over the summer. In 2001, she began her first fulltime role in investment management, as an equity research analyst at Putnam Investments in Boston. In 2005, she relocated to London, where she became a senior equity research analyst at Insight Investment, before launching her own firm in 2010. The same year, she published her book How to Get an Equity Research Analyst Job: A Guide to Starting a Career in Asset Management.
Eight years later, regulation has put pressure on the research business, which Elcock acknowledges. “MiFID II is very important for the sector and we are still digesting it. It is providing some challenges for research providers, including independent research providers, who are facing pricing pressures. Firms will have to focus on what their clients value, and what they are willing to pay for. For us, we do bespoke work so we are well positioned, but we can’t become complacent, we have to deliver what our clients need.”
Outside of work, Elcock has been volunteering with the Society since 2012. She has supported the Research Analysts Special Interest Group, the Careers and Membership Committees, the SIG Council and the Content and Networks Steering Committee. She is now taking on an even wider role at CFA UK, by joining its Board. “I enjoy contributing to the Society, and I hope that, on the Board, I can make even more of an impact, and help with new initiatives and new challenges, while learning a lot as well,” she says.
Elcock has been named a finalist in the Investment Analyst of the Year category of the Women in Investment Awards 2018. “It would be great to see more women and more people of diverse backgrounds entering the industry. It can be a great career for many people. It would be good to see more role models of diverse backgrounds, and I think it makes sense to embrace flexible working. At Denny Ellison we’ve been able to attract some fantastic women who came back to the workforce after having children,” she points out.