Q: Give us an example of a business challenge your organization faced, as well as how you handled it?
The biggest challenge we have faced is in starting up and building a Wall Street institutional research organization from Cleveland. From a group of seven people in 2003, Longbow Research has grown in a highly competitive environment to where today we employ over 70 people with offices in Cleveland, NYC and San Francisco.
The company is now consistently recognized in all major polls as a leading sell-side research provider on the companies we cover and, as a result of this hard-earned reputation, we have been able to grow the firm’s top line in every year since our founding. We faced the challenge by attracting some of the best young talent the region has to offer, building a customer-centric culture and staying true to the principles of hard work, producing honest product and re-investing in the organization.
Q: In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ innovation to be on the leading edge?
Longbow Research is one of a small number of Wall Street research firms that have developed a supply-channel intelligence research approach to what’s known as a “bottoms-up” investment style. This approach makes extensive use of supply channel surveying and intelligence networking to assemble a unique and proprietary view of the investment merits of the 250 companies we cover.
While the majority of our bulge-bracket competitors are basing their investment recommendations on macro-economic data and analysis, our innovative approach has provided us with a differentiated product.
Being much smaller than many of our competitors, we have used this size advantage to stay nimble with innovative new ways to enhance Longbow Research’s product and, in turn, our customers’ success.
Q: What is the greatest lesson you have learned and how have you applied it?
Hire the best people you possibly can, make sure they are clear on the mission and then get out of their way. This principle is engrained deep in the Longbow Research culture and in how we operate each day. We recruit aggressively, talk a lot about our mission, share a large amount of sensitive information with employees and emphasize a high level of personal accountability in everything we do.
Q: How does your organization make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?
As a start-up, we were pretty internally focused. However, over the past couple of years, Longbow Research has become more involved in the community. Our employees have pulled together to “adopt” local families at Christmas or hold food drives at Thanksgiving. We have also been involved in providing support and mentorship to business education programs at local schools and universities. Regarding the local economy, Longbow Research is the second largest private sector employer in Seven Hills. We have hired a large number of local graduates and provided people with an opportunity to establish careers in the investments business from a Northeast Ohio platform.