Gerson Lerhman Group (“GLG”, but not to confuse with the hedge fund), the world’s largest monetized expert network, and Bloomberg Professional Services announced a high-value collaboration, enabling Bloomberg Professional clients access to more than 50,000 select GLG Council Members through the Bloomberg terminal.
According to the GLG-Bloomberg partnership page, Bloomberg Research clients will be able to combine trusted sell-side and independent research reports with human expertise. From now you, Bloomberg users can discover GLG council members, view profiles of select experts, request phone consultations, access news commentary and participate in events, including live meetings, teleconferences and webcasts.
This is a huge distribution deal for GLG, and it may very well take the company to the next level. The partnership with Bloomberg gives Gerson Lehrman Group reach into their target demographic and also validates the expert network model as an important information source for investors.
Scale is another important factor to consider. Gerson Lehrman Group has invested significant efforts into its systems and already enjoys the status of having the most comprehensive compliance framework for its clients. With a network of over 250,000 experts and more than 400 employees, the missing piece is scale, the ability to quickly ramp up the number of clients while keeping a manageable overhead cost. The presence on Bloomberg terminals gives GLG what no marketing campaign could deliver: a call to action on the screens of their addressable market and a steady stream of sales prospects.
A few dozen expert networks started in recent years with the hopes of emulating Gerson Lehrman Group’s success. But most of them, including the LinkedIn Research Network, have yet to close the gap with GLG. The GLG-Bloomberg partnership will certainly not make it any easier for them.
Congratulations to Mark and the fantastic team at GLG!
Disclaimer: I used to work for Gerson Lehrman Group in New York 2004-2007 as product manager and am a member of the GLG Councils.