The financial industry has roots that go deep and wide—according to Wikipedia, the first prototype banks date back to around 2000 BC with loans to farmers and traders who carried goods between cities in the Middle East.
Today, thanks to demographics and technology, financial industry sub-sectors are among the ten industries on the cusp of technological disruption, according to the Forbes Technology Council.
LAC Group has been providing research and intelligence services, along with spend management services, to financial and insurance clients for many years. This article will focus on some of the people doing competitive intelligence (CI) and market intelligence (MI) research and reporting in our Moncton, New Brunswick location. Located at the leading edge of North American time zones, the Moncton team gives our clients throughout the US and Canada a jump-start on the business day.
Market intelligence for banking, insurance and other financial sectors
The team in Moncton creates and delivers customized CI and MI briefings and reports that cover a wide range of topics for our clients, such as:
- Blockchain, cryptocurrency and other disruptors
- Fintech and Insurtech technology developments
- Demographics and socioeconomic trends
- Merger and acquisition opportunities and due diligence
- Finance and insurance regulations and reforms
- Niche markets like Islamic finance or high-risk business insurance
The finance industry is large and diverse, serving both consumer and commercial customers. It is also a complex, highly regulated industry, and as mentioned already, one that is undergoing fundamental change. Keeping track of so many moving parts is a challenge, even for large companies with good internal tools and resources.
According to Senior Researcher Caterina Corazza,
“Some of my work depends on the client’s objective and whether they want in-depth analysis or tactical intelligence. The longer think-pieces can help the client frame their strategy, and can also be repurposed into white papers. The shorter tactical pieces can help the client set specific targets, namely for business development. And they might just want us to see what trends we can identify in a short timeframe.”
Now that we’ve shared some of the factors that often drive a financial services or insurance company’s decision to work with LAC Group, we’ll share some of the researchers, analysts and editors that focus on finance.
Meet some of the team working in finance and insurance
Barry started as a retail planner and regional consultant for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce or CIBC, conducting location analysis for new branch and ATM locations and consolidations. At LAC Group, he researches and prepares market intelligence briefings for financial and legal clients, writing in-depth research projects on a variety of subjects such as wealth management, private banking, IPOs, digital banking, cybersecurity, regulatory environment, fintech, online brokerages, REITs and other real estate finance topics, corporate lending and structured finance.
Like Barry, Caterina brings her experience and credentials to both financial and legal clients. She was called to the Law Society of New Brunswick in 2012 and worked for the provincial securities regulator in different capacities, including policy coordinator and legal counsel. Her financial research experience includes general business research, corporate finance and securities regulation. She holds degrees in both journalism and law from the University of Ottawa. Like many Canadians, Caterina is bi-lingual in French and English and she completed her law degree in French.
With a history of working in the information services industry, Kevin has financial services research experience in banking, investment funds, insurance, taxation and regulatory trends. He is a media and communication professional, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Université de Moncton, a Master’s Degree in English Literature from York University and a Doctoral Degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Western Ontario.
As Senior Editor and Team Lead, James gathers and interprets market intelligence and reports on the digital footprint and online presence of organizations within finance/insurance and other sectors like manufacturing, transportation, technology and healthcare. His prior experience includes client research and social media monitoring for Salesforce.com and the Government of New Brunswick. His educational background includes a degree from St. Thomas University in journalism and english and pre-master’s degree preparation at the University of New Brunswick.
Ken has years of research experience in finance, insurance, real estate and legal services, and he is also an award-winning freelance arts and entertainment writer for major newspapers and online publications.
Jack has 10 years of experience in the legal, financial and health sectors, including bespoke research services for major global law firms and pharmaceutical companies, as well as Canadian public sector entities. His industry work has run the gamut from A (agriculture) to nearly Z (wholesale trade), and some of the research he does includes local and federal regulatory topics, banks, wealth management, private equity, hedge funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. Technology topics include fintech, AI, blockchain, digital transformation, data and analytic. Jack holds a BA in English from Mount Allison University and certification from the Fuld Gilad Herring Academy of Competitive Intelligence.
Rachel’s work includes market intelligence and both traditional and social network media monitoring for clients in the financial and legal services industries, as well as the agricultural sector. With a background in journalism and experience in marketing, copywriting, graphic design and other communications skills, she delivers the right information formatted for client reporting and publishing needs. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Thompson Rivers University.
Merrell is responsible for LAC Group’s intelligence products and services and all the teams in Moncton. He has over 25 years of experience providing strategic planning and policy support to business leaders and senior government officials, having served as a senior advisor to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and as deputy staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Why journalists are so good at market intelligence
You may have noticed that many of our researchers and analysts come with journalism degrees and experience, which we have discovered to be an excellent foundation for market intelligence and most other information needs. Trained journalists are:
- Superior at framing and asking the right questions to get the best answers.
- Accustomed to meeting deadlines and remaining on-topic.
- Skilled at finding and reporting on the most critical, relevant information.
- Innately curious, aware and objective.
Finance and insurance are not the only sectors this team gets involved in. Ultimately our expertise is finding relevant information and delivering actionable intelligence to help our clients strengthen and demonstrate their own expertise. Our cross-industry, diverse topic experience enables us to deliver a more complete picture to our clients.
When it comes to market intelligence research and monitoring, these team members had an interesting variety of assignments and experiences:
- A deep dive into Star Wars lore for a campaign a client was doing with Disney, to make sure they would know what they were talking about.
- Assignments that touch on bigger societal questions, like elder fraud, which takes discipline to stay on target and break down big questions into smaller questions.
They are curious, engaging, well-rounded people:
- James Harvey is a published artist whose work has been incorporated into five non-fiction books.
- Ken Kelley had a band in his teens and early 20’s called The Monoxides, which toured Canada and parts of the U.S. and performed with bands like Our Lady Peace and ZZ Top.
As one of the newest members of the team, Rachel Storr says,
“The team at LAC Group in Moncton is a diverse group of individuals who are also somehow very like-minded, mildly neurotic in a good way and incredibly dedicated to what they do. I’ve only been here for six months but in some ways, I feel like I’ve worked with these people for years.”
The finance / insurance industry is a critical sector of both the US and Canadian economies:
- Big GDP contributor in both countries and a major part of US services exports.
- Employs 8.7 million people in the United States and over 831,000 in Canada.
This sector is also important to LAC Group. Our clients in banking, insurance and other financial services have benefited from our research and intelligence expertise and our spend management expertise, helping them leverage information for tactical actions and strategic decisions.
Learn more by clicking on the related links below, or contact us to answer your specific questions or discuss your needs.