Star Analyst Leaves Wall Street To Start Her Own Firm Because The Industry 'Just Isn't As Fun' Anymore

Lizabeth Dunn, a star retail analyst known for her calls on stocks like Lululemon, American Apparel and Liz Claiborne, has left Macquarie to start her on consulting firm, Talmage Advisors.

Dunn’s been on the Street for about 20 years, with 13 of those spent as an equity researcher. So the point of Talmage, Dunn told Business Insider, is to put her knowledge of retail to use helping companies avoid strategic mistakes down the road.

“I have some knowledge and expertise to share, and perhaps there’s a different way that I can find value in what I know,” she said.

This is kind of advising is especially key in retail, since it’s an industry that attracts creatives that aren’t always well-versed in the business side of the industry.

Christine Day, CEO of Luvo and former CEO of Lululemon said, “Liz has a strong understanding of the retail marketplace. She leverages her industry experience to probe deeper into the financial, operating, and strategic assessment of the companies she follows and is known for her ability to spot emerging companies with the potential to shift the market.”

Part of the reason why Dunn made the shift from stock analysis to consulting is because Wall Street has changed.

Without a trace of malice, she said simply, “I’m not trying to be negative about the industry, but it just isn’t as fun as it used to be.”

Wall Street is a world where people sign non-disclosure agreements before they walk out the door, so it’s not often that you hear people speak so candidly about what’s going on. That said, it’s no secret that issues like lower headcounts and more compliance have been putting a lot more pressure on analysts, traders, bankers — you name it.

The new Wall Street world order has resulted in a few key changes specific to analysts.

For example, the market hasn’t been volatile, so analysts are under more pressure to publish reports that have a shorter term, market moving outlook on a stock.

Also, banks across The Street have started to emphasise access to management teams more than ever, which means a lot of road shows.

“You end up spending a lot of your time as a party planner and less time on research,” said Dunn.

Plus, lets be honest, the pay isn’t as good. That’s real talk.

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