No, AlphaSights Isn’t A Pyramid Scheme – From a Top Expert ($10K+ Billings)

Based on the search traffic for this website, apparently there are people concerned that the AlphaSights expert network is a pyramid scheme. I’m assuming this is some kind of silly internet trick, since judging from my own experience as someone who has billed over $10,000 through AlphaSights, they have been completely legitimate. If you need confirmation, just ask the IRS (since I had to pay tax on their fees).

So, if you’re new to working with Alphasights, here’s the overview of what they are. As an expert network, AlphaSights connects investment and business leaders with a network of industry professionals to help clients make informed investment and business decisions. They are a consulting firm that primarily helps hedge funds, management consultants, and private equity firms to gather market insights

This is not to say they don’t have their detractors. One intern complained on Reddit about the actual job of being an AlphaSights employee (not an expert advisor) as being high end call center work. And that’s pretty much correct. If you go to work for AlphaSights, get ready to pound the phone a bunch. That’s literally the business – taking a client’s research problem, figuring out what facts you need to go collect, identifying who can potentially spill the beans, and setting up the appropriate phone calls.

More like executive recruiting than management consulting. Although that may be evolving in the future, with the growing role of AI within their operations.

But for someone approached about being an expert, yes – they’re legitimate. And they’re fun to work with.

Understanding AlphaSights

As someone who has consulted with several expert networks over the years, I can confidently say that AlphaSights has been one of the easiest expert networks to do business with. They don’t waste your time with lengthy surveys or screening calls – a very high proportion of my calls resulted in interviews (much higher than GLG). Certainly much better than Guidepoint, who has been a complete waste of time as an expert (between long screening calls that didn’t result in interviews and spamming me with *survey invitations* offering $30 to $50). AlphaSights has allowed me to bill at a high rate and paid me on time.

For experts and job seekers, here’s an overview of the company, its services, and the industries it caters to.

About the Company

AlphaSights is one of the largest expert networks in the world, often regarded as part of the “big five” firms that dominate the expert network industry, which is nearly $2 billion in size. While there aren’t any reliable “rankings” for this industry, some experts consider AlphaSights to be the second-largest expert network after the industry behemoth GLG.

Services Offered

AlphaSights primarily offers professional research and consulting services. Their main focus is on providing their clients with access to relevant and timely knowledge that enables these clients to gain new perspectives and insights about their industries. In doing so, AlphaSights connects their clients with advisors and other experts who can provide first-hand industry experience and detailed explanations of market dynamics.

Clients and Industries

AlphaSights caters to a diverse range of clients and industries. Their primary clients include private equity firms, hedge funds, and other institutional investors. They also work with professional service firms (management consultants, usually strategy practices), corporate strategy and business development teams, and non-profit organizations.

As for the industries they cover, AlphaSights assists clients across various sectors such as technology, healthcare, consumer products, energy, and more. By offering their research and expertise, AlphaSights helps these clients to make informed decisions and to stay ahead in their respective fields.

Compliance and Regulations

Alphasights, as a legitimate consulting firm, must follow strict compliance and regulatory guidelines to ensure that its business activities are ethical and lawful. This is in contrast to the illegal nature of pyramid and Ponzi schemes, which operate outside of the boundaries of legal business practices. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stringent guidelines in place to prevent such illegal pyramid schemes[source] and holds companies accountable for any violations. Therefore, Alphasights must operate within the bounds of these regulations to continue its operations.

In summary, Alphasights is not a pyramid scheme because it provides valuable consulting services to its clients rather than relying on recruiting new members for income. It operates legally and in compliance with the necessary regulations, setting it apart from illegal scams such as pyramid and Ponzi schemes.

Recruiting and Employment at AlphaSights

Interview Process for AlphaSights Employees (Not Advisors / Experts)

The interview process at AlphaSights representatives includes a series of assessments to test analytical, interpersonal, and problem-solving abilities. This process consisted of multiple rounds of interviews with different people within the firm; I found this helpful as it allowed me to better understand the company culture and opportunities available.

The interview process is intended to evaluate both the job applicant’s technical skills and fit with the company’s values. (Recommended reading – the BREAD process they use for research)

Earning Potential for Experts

As an expert with AlphaSights, my earning potential depends on the demand for my expertise and how often I am matched with clients seeking my knowledge. I am typically paid an hourly rate for consultations, which may vary depending on the specific project and client. My revenue comes directly from providing valuable insights to clients, not from recruiting or membership fees.

While rates vary by market, here’s some guidance on what to charge:

  • Junior management / individual contributor – $150 to $300 per hour
  • Director / VP level perspective – $200 – $500 per hour
  • Corporate subject matter expert in a particular industry or process – usually a senior director or VP who is the clear “go to” in a specific area. Often asked to speak at industry events: $500 – $750
  • C-level “star power” experts… broad perspective & industry respect – $1000+ (up to $2,000 – $3000)

By the way, don’t be intimidated by the high end of the scale. There’s a place for everyone here. I’ve done more than a few expert network calls providing “Industry Basics 101” talks to newly staffed management consultants, which can be easily handled by an experienced individual contributor.

Company Revenue and Growth

AlphaSights has experienced significant growth since its inception, thanks to its focus on delivering valuable expertise to clients in various industries. This growth can be attributed to the company’s business model, which emphasizes connecting clients with experts who can provide the knowledge they need.

Client Service and Success

In my experience with AlphaSights, their primary focus is on delivering top-notch client service and ensuring success for all parties involved. Let’s take a closer look at the consultation process, types of projects, and client satisfaction.

Consultation Process

When I work with AlphaSights, the consultation process starts with a thorough assessment of my needs and requirements. They take the time to understand the goals, industry, and specific challenges I face.

Next, the team at AlphaSights works their magic to connect me with industry experts who have the relevant experience and knowledge to address my concerns. The company takes care of scheduling and coordinating the consultations, making the whole process seamless and efficient for me.

Types of Projects

AlphaSights caters to a wide range of projects and industries. Just to provide you with an idea, here is a list of some of their services:

  • Market Research & Analysis
  • Product Development Support
  • Operational Efficiency Consultations
  • Investment Due Diligence
  • Strategy & Planning

No matter the project or industry, AlphaSights has the means and expertise to match you with top professionals and industry insiders to help you make informed decisions and drive your business forward.

Client Satisfaction

Ensuring client satisfaction is at the core of AlphaSights’ business model. Throughout the whole consultation process, the team is actively involved in ensuring clients get the most value possible and address their unique concerns.

From my own experience and from reviews by other satisfied clients, it’s clear that AlphaSights stands out as a company dedicated to delivering quality service and fostering long-lasting relationships with their clients.

Comparing Alphasights to Competitors

In this section, let me discuss how Alphasights compares to some of its competitors, primarily focusing on Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) and management consulting firms.

GLG Vs. Alphasights

GLG and Alphasights are both expert networks, providing clients with access to industry experts who can help them make informed decisions. While both have similar business models, there are some key differences between the two. GLG is a more established player, having been in the market for over two decades, while Alphasights is a younger company, founded in 2008.

The size of their expert networks differs as well. GLG boasts a larger global network, while Alphasights is continuously growing its own. In terms of clientele, both cater to similar markets, such as investment firms and management consulting firms. However, they may differ in terms of industry focus and the range of services they offer. Compared to Alphasights, GLG is known to provide a wider range of services. Regardless, it is essential to consider the specific needs of your business when deciding between the two expert networks.

Management Consulting Firms Vs. Alphasights

Comparing Alphasights to management consulting firms, like McKinsey and Bain, reveals some key differences. While both provide valuable insights to clients, the approach and scope of their services vary. Management consulting firms typically engage in long-term projects with clients, providing a comprehensive range of services, including strategy consulting, organizational transformation, and operational improvement.

Alphasights, on the other hand, specializes in connecting clients with industry experts on a more ad hoc basis, enabling them to gain specific knowledge about a particular industry, company, or market quickly. This direct connection to experts allows clients to address immediate questions and make informed decisions faster. As such, the key differentiators between Alphasights and management consulting firms are the scope of services and the depth of their engagements with clients.

To summarize, Alphasights offers a targeted approach to gather specific industry insights, while management consulting firms focus on more holistic, long-term engagements. Depending on the needs of your organization, it may be valuable to work with both types of entities to ensure your corporation benefits from the expertise and insights they have to offer.

Conclusion and Analysis

After thorough research and examination, I can confidently state that AlphaSights is not a pyramid scheme. While it is essential to be cautious of scams like pyramid schemes, AlphaSights operates as a legitimate consulting firm providing valuable information to its clients, primarily hedge funds and private equity firms.

AlphaSights is considered one of the largest expert networks in the industry, often referred to as part of the “big five” dominating nearly $2 billion of the market share. AlphaSights is a reputable firm and ranks as the second-largest expert network, coming in after GLG.

Furthermore, their credibility is supported by personal testimonies found on platforms like Reddit. Many people working for the company or familiar with AlphaSights can confirm its legitimacy; they also mention that the company uses aggressive recruitment strategies, which might lead to misunderstandings regarding their nature.

Therefore, based on the available information, I would recommend being open to opportunities with AlphaSights. They are a reputable company and not a pyramid scheme. It’s essential to stay vigilant and aware of potential scams, but I can assure you that AlphaSights is not one of them.

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