Alternative data platform Earnest Research has hired Gerson Lehrman Group’s former North American head of financial services business development, Andrew Robson, as President and Chief Revenue Officer.
Robson joined leading expert network GLG in 2004 to help build its Consumer Goods & Services Research Practice. After three years he moved into sales, acting as a sales manager for most of his career at the expert network.
“After 12 great years at GLG, I had an incredible opportunity to join a company that is empowering investment and corporate professionals with real-time insights into the consumer economy,” said Robson in a written statement. “I’m excited to join Kevin Carson, Matthew Senatore, and a very talented team at Earnest to go after what we believe is an enormous opportunity.”
The firm also hired James Besselman Jr., a former salesperson from expert network Coleman Research, as Director of Business Development.
Earnest Research operates as an alternative data platform focusing on consumer-related information such as credit and debit card transactions and electronic receipts from a panel of millions of consumers, mapping the data to consumer, internet, and TMT companies.
Venture capital firm Greycroft Partners led a $3.5 million Series A investment in the firm in 2014. Founder Kevin Carson started the company in 2011 after working as a Managing Director at hedge fund Lone Pine Capital for eight years, focusing on consumer and industrial sectors. Earnest Research was originally launched as Great Bridge Corporation, before being rebranded in 2014.
Robson’s hire, along with that of Besselman, signals that Earnest Research is gearing up its sales effort. Both new hires are mainly experienced in selling to financial services firms, suggesting that this will be the emphasis for short-term growth. Nevertheless, Earnest Research has ambitions to sell to consumer companies as well as the financial sector.
It is no coincidence that the new talent comes from expert networks, which have been flourishing since 2012 as insider trading concerns have waned. It is also telling that successful salespeople from two major expert networks have decided to join the big data bandwagon.