A recent report by Civic Enterprises, funded by the expert network GLG, says that the market for expert networks exceeds $1 Bn in annual turnover. The report, titled “The Rise of the Expert Economy”, was released in conjunction with the Chatham House Future of Work conference in London on 24 May.
The report says that the market is growing rapidly, including about as many experts globally as Uber and Lyft have active U.S. drivers (1.5 million). GLG, the market leader, is said to represent half of the market at $500+ million in sales. The report also mentions the rapidly growing Alphasights, Guidepoint and Third Bridge. The latest financial filings of the UK-based Alphasights and Third Bridge are public, showing revenues of $100 million each in 2016.
These companies’ gross profits have consistently ranged from 50-75%, indicating their great value-add, and their customers’ willingness to pay for their services. Margins and customer demand is expected to stay high, partly driven by regulation. As the EU:s MiFID II regulation makes investment banks charge for their research separately (instead of bundling it with trading fees), investment funds are increasing their in-house research capacities. A recent top-story on Bloomberg quotes $1,300 as a new market-rate for expert calls.
Link to the report press release here.