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Market Brief: Expert Networks

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So called ‘expert networks’ have grown substantially over the past fifteen years; so much so that the marketplace might be considered fractured. While there are some large, long-term players in the market including GLG (Gerson Lehman Group), which defined the segment in the early 2000s, there are now many more recent entrants.

This short report identifies 40 networks you may want to consider to expand your network, consulting activity and build your profile.

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Market Brief: Expert Networks

  1. 1. Market Brief: Expert Networks Information Media Partners May 2020
  2. 2. 2 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 Expert Joining In So called ‘expert networks’ have grown substantially over the past fifteen years; so much so that the marketplace might be considered fractured. While there are some large, long-term players in the market including GLG (Gerson Lehman Group), which defined the segment in the early 2000s, there are now many more recent entrants. With the rapid development of the gig economy there has also been a smudging of the distinction between ‘expert networks’ and ‘consulting marketplaces’. The ‘expert network’ typically addresses short, discrete business questions whilst the ‘consulting marketplace’ delivers longer-term, project-based engagements. Unless full-time work prevents it, there is no reason not to join the two types of organization. Both support the matchmaking aspect of consulting by introducing specific expertise (from the consultant) to a particular business need (the project). When they first came on the scene, platforms providing expert network engagements tended to define them as brief, telephone-based interactions which were over and done with quickly. That model is still relevant but, as more companies recognize the benefits of ‘on-demand’ experts, they are not always thinking in terms of one-hour increments any longer. This is good news for consultants and business executives looking to leverage their skills, knowledge and expertise. I’ve participated in many “expert” engagements over the years and I’d like to have done more. So, to understand this market a little better, I undertook this research. It is not a complete survey but for anyone (at least in my network) new to this industry, it will provide useful insight and links to some of the larger players. Many of the expert companies – big and small – have obvious but self-serving objectives to unlock knowledge from around the world to help their clients’ businesses make better decisions. But individual experts can also benefit by extending their networks, building their reputations, and even conducting different types of work outside their specialty while still drawing on their skills and expertise. If this is similar in concept to online matchmaking, perhaps I need to make my profile a little racier
  3. 3. 3 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 In my own experience, several phone consults have resulted in short market research engagements. While many types of companies seek advice from experts, I have found they tend to be mainly investment banks and private equity firms seeking specific information to support investments under consideration. It can be difficult to understand the client’s context without a relationship and I’ve sometimes had difficulty understanding the relevance of a client’s line of questioning. That said, I have always enjoyed these sessions. Most of the firms on the attached list are broadly international in scope, although some do concentrate on specific geographic areas (such as the Gulf states or SE Asia, for example). And many of the larger firms cover a broad range of industry segments, having a large inventory of varied experts to support that coverage. While I have seen some fracturing in the market there is also a lot of overlap from experts joining multiple platforms. Signing on to additional networks was one of my objectives and I am sure many others have also followed the same strategy. Occasionally, the expansion of membership on these expert platforms may not always be advantageous. While it may be ‘anecdata’, right after I joined GLG in the mid-2000s I had a regular stream of consultations but, over time, as GLG got bigger and bigger, my referrals waned. I have not done a GLG consult in more than three years. If this business is similar in concept to online matchmaking, perhaps I need to make my profile a little racier. Signing up When a consult is undertaken, the timing is often very precise and the client will not ordinarily pay for any prep work. You should take that into account when you set your rate. Recently, one call I had was booked for 45 minutes (which is what I would have billed for); however, the call was logged on their network platform at 42 minutes and that’s how my bill was calculated. The attached list includes ‘traditional’ expert network companies like GLG and also consulting firms like Catalant, which features longer-term There has also been a smudging of the distinction between ‘expert networks’ and ‘consulting marketplaces’
  4. 4. 4 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 engagements and projects which can take a few days to a few months. If you are considering this type of work, and do not have a full-time job, then I encourage you to look into these networks and sign up. About this market report: For this report, I relied on each company’s web presence, my own experience on the platform and, in some cases, actually working with these networks. I also paraphrased some of the company’s marketing information in my descriptions to profile the business. This is not a comprehensive list of expert networks, but it is representative of the primary market participants as well as their methods of operation. Michael Cairns Email: michael.cairns@infomediapartners.com Tel: 908 938 4889
  5. 5. 5 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 Information Media Partners Michael Cairns established Information Media Partners in 2006 as a boutique strategy consulting firm focused on the information and education publishing segment. The work conducted by the firm includes product development, corporate development, sales management and corporate reorganizations. We work with established businesses, private equity owners and potential acquirers. Examples of our work include: ▪ Reorganized and re-focused a $25 million software and professional services company by aligning business operations with client priorities; implementing internal collaboration tools and project management standards; re- building executive team to focus on effective and efficient management ▪ Led vendor assessment and selection process for large-scale back-office transformation project with a top-tier global publishing company ▪ Defined a new business strategy for a large non-profit association and advocacy group, expanding their business model into global markets to leverage their core knowledge and expertise across a broader market ▪ Directed an information technology capability review at a large international advertising holding company. Completed over 200 interviews in 15 international offices and multiple focus group sessions to define the operational ‘gaps’ between existing agency capabilities and those necessary and important for client delivery by region ▪ Conducted a sales management effectiveness review for a global software company and defined six key project initiatives to improve sales effectiveness, market development and account management We approach our client engagements in a standardized, logical manner to create the best environment to identify key business drivers, administrative and logistical road blocks and product or market definition issues. Our investigative approach leads to better insights into your business and supports the development of workable solutions and recommendations for success. Visit the Information Media Partners website for more information.
  6. 6. Expert Networks: Market Research Project Information Media Partners 6 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 Name & Web Address Description of Business Offices Features Alpha Insights AlphaInsights is a professional service company employing several hundred professions in offices around the world. Operating more as a 'knowledge services company' than as an 'expert network,' they specialize in understanding the specifics of client briefs and applying the right experts to each 10-15 minute phone engagement. Client project managers pre- qualify every expert for each call and present background information to the client in advance of the call. Project managers reach out to relevant experts who can address the specific requirements of particular engagements. San Francisco, New York, London, Hamburg, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo Invitation-only network. Case studies. AskVisory AskVisory is a 'marketplace' where experts and organizations can network and source consulting opportunities. They provide access to 'millions' of experts and the company uses AI to identify the right expert for each engagement. Clients have a compliance engine to help manage compliance across companywide projects. Experts may register to join and participate on a 'leaders’ panel' via LinkedIn. Not specified Clunky UE consultant platform “Leaders Panel” allows request and accept consulting requests. Atheneum Atheneum is a global expert platform and research firm connecting consulting firms, investment houses and corporations with relevant experts. Leveraging innovative technologies including a proprietary expert platform, the company can help their clients de- risk business transactions, provide insight and custom research. Eight industry verticals, 5,000 sub-specialties, 70% executive experts, 450,000 experts. Berlin, Hong Kong, London, New York, Shanghai, Lahore, Santiago, Munich, Seoul, Tokyo Very simple process Request bio not full CV. No link to LinkedIN Global services in 40 languages. Business Talent Group Business Talent Group (BTG) provides on-demand consulting services to a wide variety of industries including phama, biotech, ecommerce, insurance, consumer goods, energy, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, life science, media, entertainment, government, private equity, retail, services, and technology. BTG is more oriented to providing medium-to-long term assignments and projects rather than 'phone' or SME assignments. Los Angeles Detailed profile including project citations and work experiences. Newsletter. Opportunities on site. Capvison Capvison provides 'knowledge services' to financial institutions, consulting firms, global enterprises and high net worth individuals with services including expert consultations, primary research, market surveys and on-demand meetings and conferences. Services New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Munich, General T&Cs. Apply to join as advisor.
  7. 7. Expert Networks: Market Research Project Information Media Partners 7 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 include expert consultations, conference development, industry research, custom client services. 300,000 advisors, 400+ employees, Suzhou, Shenzhen Catalant Catalant is a marketplace for consulting help and support counting more than 30% of the Fortune 100 companies as clients with project-based consulting. Catalant is on the forefront of the trend of building agile business operating models that allow companies to scale staff up or down depending on requirements. On the site, member consultants can scan 15 pages of project opportunities and complete a project proposal for those where there is a fit. Catalant takes compliance and security seriously and is the only company profiled here which requires MFA. Boston Lists opportunities on site. Has MFA. Clarity Clarity is an advisory and expert marketplace connecting entrepreneurs with business advice, market research and skills development. Industries supported include SaaS, e- commerce, education, real estate, restaurant and retail. Clients use the site to look up experts and arrange a consultation. Experts build their profile and establish their consulting rate. Web based Conference call-based platform matching experts with party. Per-minute fees. Coleman Colman connects clients directly with industry experts to get answers to their most critical questions. Colman has more than 11,000 customers at investment companies, consultancies and corporations. Colman believes that expert experience provides a unique world view. Consultations are by phone or in person. Compliance framework. Set own rate. Referral program. Recently launched expert relationship platform (ERM) for clients. New York, Raleigh, London, Hong Kong, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles Has project lists. Platform easy to use and intuitive. Deep Bench Founded by MIT, Deep Bench connects clients with advisors to access insights and help build clients-specific expert networks. This 'expert matching platform' enables organizations and consultants to offer on-demand expert knowledge. Deep Bench licenses their expertise matching and management software. Advisors can respond to projects directly on the Deep Bench site. Boston List of projects. Advisor agreement. Import Linkedin Profile. Newsletter. DeMatteo Research DeMatteo Research provides research services to the investment community. Products include forums, consulting network, targeted conference calls and 1:1 consultation. Advisors must pass a compliance check. New York General T&Cs. Apply to join. Dialectica Dialectica is a knowledge-sharing platform that connects the world’s leading investment and corporate strategists with industry specialists across every sector and every region to address their information gaps. Clients’ work include on-demand knowledge supporting growth strategy, due diligence, organizational design and market assessments. Athens, London More of a consulting firm with employees, not expert network.
  8. 8. Expert Networks: Market Research Project Information Media Partners 8 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 ENG Expert Network Group (ENG) provides institutional clients with industry and operating experts to aid investment decision making. ENG specializes in experts not available on other services. Experts include C-level executives, doctors, researchers, distributors, resellers, suppliers, manufacturers, customers and many others. Their experts understand the dynamics and high-level trends of their industries. Consultations include phone/online, in- person meetings, long/short-term engagements, panel discussions, board appointments, field visits and deal source arrangements. New York, India, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Taiwan Activity dashboard. Compliance checking. Estasheer Estasheer is a ME-focused network of on-demand experts with deep industry consulting and operating experience. Aided by a smart platform, Estasheer works with clients on defining and scoping their business needs and engaging them with the right consultants from their global, pre-screened network. Dubai Mostly Gulf states countries. Expert Connect ExpertConnect helps institutional investors, private equity firms, corporations and professional service firms make better decisions. The ExpertConnect software can be used to connect internal employees to each other and externally to help customers. Consultants are leading experts in their industries and clients are typically seeking advice on products, services and developments specific to the consultant’s industry. Consultations are typically phone, on-demand, in-person meetings, seminars, private or small group facilitated meets and surveys. Charlotte, NC Activity Dashboard. Link to LinkedIn. Tutorial required, Q/A for compliance. Expert Engine Expert Engine Advisory Services connects business, technical and legal professionals to over 10,000 rigorously screened peer-recommended experts in over 30,000 areas of science, engineering, medicine/healthcare, regulation and business. Some may find their T&C restrictive. New York, Minneapolis, London, Manchester, Melbourne, Sydney, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore T&C agreement has to be terminated in writing. Client restriction for one year after termination. ExpertView ExpertView provides research services to investment managers, M&A practitioners and corporate executives by combining primary research with expertise from active industry participants. Consultations range from single one-on-one telephone conversations through channel-check research and full summit reviews. ExpertView members have engaged as interim specialists on a range of projects from M&A integration through digital product launches to international market expansion programs. London Register by emailing details (for approval). Future Minds The FutureMinds platform enables clients across the globe to quickly and effectively achieve their work objectives by leveraging the services of people who are subject-matter experts. Clients are provided with quick, up-to-date industry/sector-specific information and genuine, first-hand insights on research topics from carefully selected experts specific to the client request. FutureMinds is also engaged on medium- to long-term assignments including part- No location identified. No principals included on web site. No client citations/ references.
  9. 9. Expert Networks: Market Research Project Information Media Partners 9 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 time and flex-time work. Additionally, FutureMinds also provides hiring services including contractual and full-time hiring. GLG GLG may be the best-known expert or "knowledge marketplace". The company claims more than 700K experts and employs more than 2,000 staff. It recently received $50mm in investment to fund technology and growth. Consultants must pass annual compliance testing regardless of engagements or they will be removed from consideration. Austin, Beijing, Boston, Dublin, Gurugram, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York (HQ), San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo T&Cs, Compliance. Global Wonks A "GlobalWonk" is an international professional with deep expertise and fresh perspectives on a country, industry or market. GlobalWonk (the company) has created an on-demand network of experts who bid on the research projects and work collaboratively with other consultants and the client to fulfill objectives. For the consultant, GlobalWonks provides a marketplace to reach new clients, a community for professional development and a solution for managing administrative hassles like drafting contracts and chasing payment. Consulting opportunities on web platform. Washington, New York, Abu Dhabi Activity dashboard. Guidepoint Guidepoint connects subject matter experts with global clients to provide business insights and perspective, enabling clients to stay informed and make better business decisions. Engagements include typical phone consultations, 150+ monthly moderated insights events, surveys, data analytics and services and litigation services including expert witnesses. The company recently acquired expert network InnoSquared. Boston, New York, San Francisco, Dusseldorf, London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo Good activity platform but no project listing. Newsletter. Inex.One Inex One reinvents the expert network industry. The Inex One platform, improves how businesses learn and share knowledge around the globe. Clients use Inex One to work efficiently with multiple expert networks in one dashboard, storing call notes, transcripts and files. New York By invitation.
  10. 10. Expert Networks: Market Research Project Information Media Partners 10 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 Infollion: Business Research Hyper- market Infollion (on-demand experts) enables clients to leverage insights and perspectives shared by expert advisors to stay informed and make better decisions. Their "PexPanel" matches the services of experts (including ex-CXOs and top professionals) without hiring them full time. Services are available via subscription (pre-purchased consulting hours), calls/online meetings, private conferences, master classes, tours and location visits and workshops. The company also facilitates longer-term project staffing and for-hire services. Milwaukee, Gurgaon, India Profile and activity platform but no project list. Insight Alpha Insight Alpha is a primary research firm focused on finding relevant experts dedicated to providing institutional investors with access to leading industry professionals in India and South East Asia. The company serves 2,000+ clients at large global investment firms, consultancies, corporations and governments. New Delhi, Jakarta, Singapore, Mumbai, Tokyo, Durham, NC, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hanoi Activity platform includes open consulting assignments. Lynk Lynk experts share invaluable insights and amplify their reputation with world-class clients. More than 630,000+ CEOs, executives, engineers, and consultants have joined Lynk. Engagements include calls, webinars, in-person meetings, seminars, research, on-site engagements, media exposure and corporate training. Not clear how to join. Lynk use the term ‘knowledge as service’ to describe their positioning. Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Mumbai, London, Shanghai, Toronto, Manila, Hyderabad No clear way to join. Maven Maven connects researchers with knowledgeable professionals for short and paid interactions including telephone consultations, electronic surveys, face-to-face meetings, extended consulting projects and workshops. Case study examples. New York Activity platform and open consulting projects listed. Industrial and manufacturing focus. Mosaic Mosaic Research Management is a New York City-based provider of technology, customized recruiting services and proprietary data subscriptions to fund managers who value proprietary research. Mosaic Advisors offers an invitation-only opportunity to consult with clients of Mosaic Research Management on select engagements. New York Email to join. Network of Experts Network of Experts is a global organization of industry professionals and subject matter experts. Clients are generally professional investment managers and other decision makers who seek to better understand current issues and trends in a specific industry. Very old website. Newtonx Newtonx has two main product lines: Expert Calls and Expert Surveys. Expert Calls are similar to the traditional expert network offering of companies like GLG. Expert Surveys use the Newtonx expert community to address specific questions or a set of questions across a New York By invitation.
  11. 11. Expert Networks: Market Research Project Information Media Partners 11 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 wider universe of experts. Clients can use this facility to gauge or define trend information such as technology spending in specific areas such as ERP spending. Noble Insights Noble Insights is a primary research firm that connects information seekers with the most sought-after, respected and informative experts in their respective fields at a cost significantly below the competition while maintaining the highest compliance standards. New York Send info via email to join. Sample projects. Nordic Knowledge Partners Nordic Knowledge Partners provides investment and advisory teams with deep insights to inform strategic decisions through its Expert Interview Offering and M&A Insights platform. Copenhagen By invitation only. On Frontiers OnFrontiers provides a vetted expert on any topic ready to embark on your project within hours. OnFrontiers builds and maintains a vibrant expert network to support their client engagements. This approach enforces productive and efficient work while increasing client competitiveness. Consulting areas include: Business development, strategy, operations, due dilligence, technology assistance and human resources. New York Compliance Review. Activity platform. Patina Solutions Patina works with clients to execute on key projects and initiatives, address open executive positions and develop talent. More like an employee referral and traditional consulting business. New York Weekly newsletter. Presans Presans is a network of six million scientists and technologists tackling the most complex industrial challenges to solve problems, craft innovation strategies or lead specialized tech watches. Presans has created a proprietary industrial “open innovation” platform which enables the firm to leverage big data, their network of experts and international team of fellows (ex-CTOs). Paris Activity platform and list of open projects on site. Primary Insight Primary Insight is led by industry veterans with superior market knowledge. The company pioneered the bespoke primary source research process providing live, one-on-one phone consultations.They facilitate confidential conference calls between experts and clients and in- person meetings anywhere in the world. Segments include oil & gas, BPO, insurance, ATV, medical device, hardware/software. New York, Hong Kong ProSapient The ProSapient platform enables clients to interact with industry experts from around the world. Whether you need to speak to fast food CEOs or consulting oncologists, ProSapient facilitates these conversations allowing you to gain powerful insights to support your research. ProSapient uses proprietary tools including AI and transcription of all calls to augment research projects. UK-based & global Activity platform but no open projects. Sign-up by invite. Scholars Strategy Network The Scholars Strategy Network is an organization of university-based scholars who are committed to using research to improve policy and strengthen democracy. The Scholars Strategy Network is dedicated to building a nationwide culture where research regularly informs policy at every level of government. Cambridge, MA, & Local 'chapters' in many states. Membership Apply to join. Must be a peer reviewed scholar.
  12. 12. Expert Networks: Market Research Project Information Media Partners 12 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 Third Bridge Third Bridge primarily provides private equity firms, hedge funds and strategy consultants with the information required to understand the value of their investment opportunities. The company believes that expert knowledge depends on a fundamental understanding of markets and key drivers impacting specific market segments. Third Bridge enables this through private consultations and exclusive content drawn from interviews with industry specialists. Third Bridge only contacts its specialists when a relevant opportunity arises. New York, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai Compliance check. Request Link for profile build to become a “specialist”. Trustfolio Trustfolio (Mercurr) matches entrepreneurs who are expanding their business abroad with the best and most relevant local experts. Trustfolio helps entrepreneurs find relevant contacts who share their culture and speak their language. Paris, Hong Kong. Website is in French. Vancery Vancery is a 'professional exchange' connecting industry experts and decision makers. Unlike traditional expert networks, Vancery's members connect anytime, anywhere and on their own terms. The Vancery platform provides tools and community benefits for facilitated opportunities for knowledge and discovery. Vancery helps business leaders address issues and challenges and learn from each another. New York Activity platform and networking function. No open project list. Veritux Veritux is an exclusive global community comprised of the best independent professionals across fields that include management consulting, investment banking, design, healthcare, and data science. Veritux connects the world’s top independent professionals. To qualify for membership, independent professionals must be one of the following: • an alum of a top consulting firm, investment bank, private equity firm, data science firm or design/innovation firm • graduate of a top professional school • former executive with an industry-leading reputation • an expert demonstrating exceptional thought leadership The Veritux community is led by the team behind Umbrex, a global community of independent management consultants that is composed primarily of alums of McKinsey, Bain and BCG. The Veritux mission is to create opportunities for independent professionals to meet, build relationships, share lessons learned and collaborate. New York Weekly newsletter with project opportunities+ help and support, + useful links. Wonder Wonder is a global research service of more than 6,000 analysts available on demand for project-based research across a wide range of segments and functions. A project can be kicked off via their interactive website which enables anyone - from individuals up to Fortune 500 companies - to gain knowledge when they need it. Wonder accepts applications to join their network and are seeking researchers with prior experience in a professional or academic setting. Brooklyn, NY Researchers earn between $15-18/hour. Newsletter. Xperiti Connect Xperiti serves industry leaders such as the Boston Consulting Group, Sphera Funds and Pontifax utilizing machine-learning technologies to build an automated expert network designed to reduce the time and cost of traditional solutions. Xperiti's post-call, pre-call and real-time call analysis introduces three layers of technology to help experts manage conflicts and enable clients to implement their own protocols. New York
  13. 13. Expert Networks: Market Research Project Information Media Partners 13 Expert Networks Research Report: Information Media Partners 2020 Xperts Council Xperts Council is unlike conventional expert networks because they do not rely on databases, operating more like a search firm in determining in detail the project task or need and then launching a search for the right adviser under tight deadlines. London, Paris, Porto Activity platform. No list of open projects. Newsletters. Yegii Yegii provides expertise on demand, sourcing both expert teams and expert knowledge from a global pool. Yegii's insight discovery platform contains ranked knowledge assets in several key industry verticals: Energy, Finance, Healthcare and Tech. The rankings are done by a combination of in-house Yegii editorial review and crowdsourced expert review among Yegii's members, which include experts, consultants and corporate clients. Yegii also provides a more tailored service where companies can run competitions among Yegii's experts to help resolve their business challenges. Cambridge, MA, Brussels, Oslo. Activity platform. Zintro Zintro is a business network that connects clients with experts for consulting engagements ranging from a half-hour phone consultation to multi-month on-site engagements. The network has almost 40,000 experts. Zintro will supply the same or better experts and service levels as other Expert Networks at 30-75% of the cost. Boston Activity platform. List of open projects.