Policy Research Go-Round


New York – The new owner of Washington Research Group, Concept Capital, announced yesterday that it has hired two policy analysts from rival Potomac Research.  Potomac Research had hired away two other analysts from WRG last November, months before the Stanford Group went into receivership.   Such is the frenetic world of policy research, as investor demand for insights on Washington has boomed.

Concept Capital announced yesterday that Teddy Downey and Chris Krueger joined the firm, focusing on political strategy and event-driven Washington research.  We take ‘event-driven’ to mean that the analysts will help risk arbitrageurs understand the likelihood that pending mergers will get regulatory approval.   Teddy Downey is the son of former congressman Tom Downey, a New York Democrat who is now a lobbyist.  Through family connections, he has extensive congressional contacts such as Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, and Chuck Schumer.  Downey worked for Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group as a Washington analyst for three years before co-founding Potomac Research last year, where he hired Krueger.

The addition of Downey and Krueger brings the number of policy analysts at WRG up to 12.  When Concept Capital first announced it was hiring WRG staffers, it claimed 15 analysts but only listed 8.  It is still claiming 15, but the deficit is shrinking.   One of the founders of WRG, Greg Valliere, appears unwilling to rejoin his former colleagues at Concept Capital.  Valliere and Lyle Gramley recently joined Soleil Securities to be Soleil’s Washington research team.  Downey’s addition helps to fill the hole left by Valliere’s defection.

Meanwhile, Potomac Research’s analytic staff has been cut in half.  There is one healthcare policy analyst, Paul Heldman, who joined Potomac from WRG last November.  The other analyst, John Mendelson, is a highly ranked technical analyst based in New York.  Potomac Research was funded a year ago by Atlantic Media, the holding company for The Atlantic magazine and other media properties owned by David Bradley.   Presumably, Potomac will be hiring to rebuild its analytic staff.

In an earlier blog, we jokingly remarked that Washington is the new capital of research.  Maybe it’s not a joke…  Integrity Research is currently working on a ResearchFocus report on policy research providers, due out this fall.

The press release is below:

Concept Capital Expands Washington Research Group, Further Strengthening Political Strategy and Research

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Concept Capital, a leading institutional broker and total solutions provider for global investment managers, today announced two additions to its institutionally ranked Washington Research Group. Teddy Downey and Chris Krueger have joined the firm and will bring their unique experience and Washington contacts to the research team.

Downey and Krueger will focus on political strategy and event-driven Washington research. With their arrival, Concept Capital will also formalize its practice of exclusive “Washington Days” for clients in its key sectors.

Concept’s Washington Research Group is a 15-member policy analyst team with a 35-year history of providing institutional investors with insights about the impact of U.S. policy on their investment decisions. The team aims to be the professional investor’s “one-stop shop” for all things Washington.

“Having Teddy and Chris on board will add a macro-political dimension to our Washington research, and will provide clients with unique access to Washington decision-makers,” said Concept Capital Markets CEO Robert Moore.

Downey has spent his entire career immersed in Washington politics, including working on presidential campaigns, for a political consulting firm, as an analyst for FBR Capital Markets’ Washington Policy Group, and most recently as the founding-member of a policy research team at Potomac Research, where he hired Krueger.

Krueger’s experience is also in politics, including working on a major election-year project for the Center for U.S. Global Engagement and spending several years as senior staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration as the chief liaison to the other standing committees and House Republican leadership.

About Concept Capital: (www.conceptcapital.com)

Founded in 1995, Concept Capital is a leading institutional broker and total solutions provider for global investment managers. Concept Capital provides a full suite of prime brokerage services, proprietary research, fund administration, real-time risk management, and portfolio analytics. Concept Capital also provides an experienced hands-on institutional trading desk for traditional buy-side customers, hedge funds, and registered investment advisors. Concept Capital specializes in providing clients with experienced, in-depth market knowledge combined with advanced proprietary systems, enabling clients to quickly launch their businesses in the most cost effective manner possible. Concept Capital is headquartered in New York City and has offices in Greenwich, Conn., Garden City, NY, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Boca Raton, FL. Concept Capital is currently a division of SMH Capital, Inc., member FINRA, SIPC. Concept Capital is forming an independent broker-dealer and, once approved, will operate as an independent company, of which Sanders Morris Harris Group Inc. will be a minority shareholder.


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