New York – Primary Insight, which was spun out of JP Morgan in April, announced the opening of offices in London and Shanghai. The moves signal the firm’s new owners’ commitment to invest in the business, highlighting the competitive nature of the current expert network landscape.
In addition to the new offices, Primary Insight also recruited Fany Feng, who was previously with Thomson Reuters, helping to recruit China- and Korea-based experts for Reuters Insight. It is not clear if Thomson Reuters will replace Fang and her team since the future of the firm’s expert network is under review.
The Hidary Group, which financed the lift-out of Primary Insight from JP Morgan, is no stranger to expert networks. Jack Hidary was a founder of Vista Research. The financing of new offices underscores the Hidarys’ seriousness in expanding Primary Insight.
The expert network industry is going through a turbulent period as expert networks are aggressively seeking to expand market share. Over the last few months we have seen Guidepoint Global purchase Vista Resarch, DeMatteo Monnes partner with LinkedIn, and Gerson Lehrman target small hedge funds through Merlin Securities’ prime brokerage.
It is a challenging period, but one with significant opportunities. The traditional clients of expert networks, hedge funds, are renegotiating fees aggressively. This creates top-line pressures, but at the same time customer loyalty is reduced and it is a good time to gain clients for those networks willing to compete on cost. At the same time, usage outside the financial markets by corporations and consulting firms continues to grow, creating expansion opportunities for expert networks of all sizes.
Now Primary Insight is making a statement, not to be overlooked in the current free-for-all. If the current moves are any indication, Primary Insight plans to be one of the winners from the current expert network melee.
Primary Insight Opens Offices in London and Shanghai
New York, August 10, 2009 – Primary Insight, LLC, a leading provider of expert network services to institutional investors globally, announced today that it has opened offices in London and Shanghai. Headquartered in midtown Manhattan, Primary Insight will now be able to provide ground level support to its clients in the UK and Asia.
Co-founder and Managing Partner Leighton Thomas will divide his time between NYC and London in order to focus on Primary Insight’s European growth. “With 25% of our current client base in London, it was only a matter of time before we made a permanent commitment to be on the ground in Europe”, says Thomas. “Having a London office immediately helps us better service our existing clients, and affords us the ability to effectively explore new markets such as Frankfurt and Geneva.”
The Shanghai office will be headed up by the Managing Director of Asia, Fany Fang, a seasoned veteran within the expert network industry. Said Co-founder and Managing Partner David DeRose, “The addition of Fany and her team has provided Primary Insight’s clients with an instant value-add to their research needs in Asia, with specific focus on Chinese and Korean markets.”
Led by industry veterans DeRose and Thomas, who remain at the helm of the company, Primary Insight completed a Management Buyout from J.P. Morgan on April 1, 2009, with a strategic investment by The Hidary Group.
About Primary Insight
Primary Insight, LLC, built within Bear, Stearns & Co. in 2006 and spun out of J.P. Morgan in 2009, provides institutional money managers access to a diverse, global network of experts across all industry sectors. Primary Insight differentiates itself through the delivery of fresh, non-commoditized experts who have had limited exposure to the investor community. Primary Insight employs a custom approach in servicing investors, thus emphasizing quality over quantity in order to track down the most appropriate experts for each investor call. Primary Insight currently serves top institutional investors in the US, the UK and Asia. Please contact Primary Insight at www.primaryinsight.com