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Analyst firms should notify vendors about staff changes

Especially vendors with scheduled briefings, consulting days, or key projects by analysts  who submit their resignations

Analyst relations (AR) professionals are sometimes blindsided in the final preparations for a long scheduled briefing, analyst summit, or analyst consulting day (aka SAS) to discover that the analyst had submitted his or her resignation several weeks before. Worse yet are situations where the vendor has just conducted a briefing only to learn days later that the analyst has just left the firm. Either way it is bad for AR who now has to scramble to change plans and could experience the wrath of executives who perceive that AR just wasted their time by being uninformed.

For a variety of reasons, analyst firms are reluctant to admit that an analyst is leaving the firm. However, these reasons are insufficient for withholding critical information from AR teams who work hard to facilitate the flow of information from the vendor to the analyst firms. It is not appropriate for the firm to arrange a last minute substitution without talking to the vendor. It should be the vendor’s decision whether to continue with the interaction as planned, change it or cancel it.

Bottom Line: Analyst firms should develop a policy and process for notifying vendors with scheduled interactions immediately upon receiving the resignation of an analyst.

Questions:

Analyst Firms – Do you have formal policies and processes for notifying AR teams when an analyst resigns? Do you think it is acceptable for soon-to-be departed analysts to continue to conduct briefings? Why?

AR – Have you experienced problems with scheduled events when you were not notified about analyst resignations? Do you think that firms should notify you immediately when a relevant analyst resigns? 

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3 Responses

  1. Carter

    Great post as ever.

    What’s particularly galling is when an analyst has resigned and is moving to a vendor.

    I have briefed analysts who have email me a few days later to say “my last day in the office, off to your competitor now.” When challenged, the analyst always says “my employer told me not to say anything.”

    Some analyst firms seem to have no respect for their clients.

    But then some analysts could be more adamant about protecting their professional integrity.

    There’s a few firms (and individuals) that know how to behave – but it tends to be the boutique firms that care more about being trusted in the market.

    Cheers
    David

  2. Hi David, Thanks for the comment.

    Oh, when an analyst leaves for a competitor and you just briefed them is the worst! That would always send executives ballistic. What analyst firms don’t realize is that this behavior hinders AR’s ability to get execs and other domain experts to interact with the analysts.

    I agree that boutiques do a better job on this issue, just part of why all buyers of analyst services need to broaden their pool of firms to buy services from.
    – – –
    Hmm, I wonder if there is something the AR community can do about this? If people send in specific examples of analyst firms letting/insisting analysts continue with briefings even if they are going to a competitor SageCircle will post the information. Perhaps we can use public shaming to get this practice to stop.

  3. Carter/David,

    Really good points you make – but will they ever change? I guess the analyst firms will always argue that they choose not to communicate analyst departures for competitive/commercial reasons. I know when I left my last analyst job before jumping across to AR I got very frustrated with my firm for not communicating to vendor clients about my departure. Indeed I believe they left it until well after had left. What I did do (against their will it has to be said) was communicate my departure to those clients that I had the best relationship with in a diplomatic manner that didn’t leave my firm with too many awkward questions either. I guess in summary as an AR person you have to hope that you have good enough relations with the analysts you deal with regularly in the hope that they will deliver you good courtesy and let you know about their departures.

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