It’s a good idea that keeps cropping up. But just because it’s a good idea, that doesn’t mean banks are going to go with it.
‘Analyst Pool’ the ‘virtual investment bank staffed by freelancers’ has been drained and shuttered. Banks just aren’t interested in a floating pool of freelance M&A analysts whom they can call upon when needed.
“Unfortunately analyst pool has closed down,” says Edmond Sassine, the ex-Credit Suisse associate who co-founded the company in 2008. “We were unable to reach scale, especially because we had to be selective about who was on the platform, and it was very difficult to source projects for our analysts to work on.”
This wasn’t the first time that banks were given the option of renting analysts on a short term basis for when deals come in. Two London headhunters tried a similar thing back in 2002, and were equally unsuccessful.
Sassine attributes Analyst Pool’s failure both to problems getting SMEs to list their small projects on the website, and to analysts’ unwillingness to take contract jobs. “Bankers have egos and they couldn’t come to terms that they were out of a job and work as freelancers,” he says.
Nonetheless, we may not have seen the last of the ‘contract analyst’ concept. “I still strongly believe in the idea, but need to review the business model,” Sassine tells us.