On November 24th, the 15th annual top analyst and awards ceremony was held in Shenzhen, where the most outstanding research team for 2017 was announced. During what is now considered to the Oscars of the capital markets in China, GF Securities received outstanding recognition as the best research team in China. New Fortune also awarded GF Securities with fourth in terms of most influential institution, and fifth for their international coverage. The chairman of GF Securities, Mr. Sun was in attendance, and fully participated in the prestigious ceremony.
In terms of research coverage across different industries, individual top analyst awards were given to 6 people from GF Securities, and top research recognition for their research regarding macro economics. GF Securities was nominated for 24 different industries, the most for any investment bank, and received top honors in 17 industries. This has been the best result historically for GF Securities, representing the strong research strength by the "PhD Legion".
This annual event and ceremony was hosted by the prestigious New Fortune magazine, publishing the most credible capital market rankings throughout China. This year had 44 securities firms participating, represented by more than 1400 analysts and sales managers. There were 658 research teams competing across 34 different industries and sectors, with intense competition as 22 of the sectors had 20 potential winners per award.
Mr. Li, the general manager from GF Securities research and development department expressed his thanks to New Fortune for putting on such a successful event. He also thanked all of the institutional investors for their continued support. GF Securities has always maintained high standards for quality and independent research, and will continue to carry this spirit of excellence forward as the economy continues to develop. Research will continue to support major national trends including advanced manufacturing and the development of a high functioning society. On one hand, we will continue to specialize in macroeconomic research, strategy and metals, while continuing to expand our expertise into other areas. The GF Securities brand influence will continue to grow as we create value through professional, compliance minded, and relevant research services for the capital market needs of China's next new phase of growth and development.
GF Securities has always been strong when it comes to covering mutual funds, insurance, insurance management, private equity, asset management, national social security plans, national investments, banking, and QFII related industries. During the first three quarters of 2017, GF Securities held more than 20 major research and discussion forums and events in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The broadcasting reach and audience were quite large, with more than 4900 research articles, 330 teleconferences, more than 500 surveys, with an overall service growth of nearly 20%. GF Securities also hosts weekly talks focusing on strategy, macro economics, and 5-8 featured industries. From January of 2016, there have been more than 87 editions as of November 2017, focusing on recent market trends and investor areas of interest.
GF Securities has 173 research and development personnel, with 136 full time research staff, with more than 98% possessing a masters or doctorates degree. The main components of the team are comprised of analysts, sales and QFII team members. The main specialties covered are macro, strategy, financial engineering, with industry focus on energy and materials, industry and transport, IT, finance and real estate, consumer and health, and overseas coverage, covering a total of more than 30 different areas.
In addition to the outstanding research awards GF Securities received throughout 2017, they have also made great strides in other areas as well. GF Securities received second place for its insurance management fund sell side research, and institutional research coverage. For the team and individual awards, they receive 9 first places, and 4 third place awards. During the 11th crystal globe awards (2017), GF Securities received 26 nominations, 17 awards, and 7 first place awards, with an overall placement of top research team throughout China.