Research Capabilities

Although Tiburon executives bring written industry knowledge and industry experience to every engagement, Tiburon is not quick to offer strategic advice. Instead, Tiburon separates itself from other strategy consulting firms by utilizing a very thorough research and analytical approach to develop specific business strategies. Tiburon strategy projects are generally structured to take an in-depth look at its clients' capabilities, competitors' strategies, and most importantly clients' needs.

Tiburon also incorporates third-party research and gives strategic advice to its clients only after ensuring that adequate research has been conducted. The ability to structure and execute these research modules distinguishes Tiburon from the the wide range of entrepreneurial consultants.

Research Types

Structuring and executing logically-sound and results-oriented research is a time-consuming task but Tiburon believes that this is required to make the most informed possible startegic decisions. As a result, Tiburon builds off of its written industry knowledge with customized research in the areas of internal capabilities, competitor strategies, and client needs. The actual processes of this research can vary widely:

  • Capabilities Reviews: A third-party assessment of a firm's internal capabilities is critical to developing sound strategy. Tiburon's depth of industry knowledge can make its capabilities reviews extremely detailed and worthwhile. Typical research models can include executive interviews, employee feedback surveys, financial assessments, marketing & web site assessments, technology assessments, and human resources assessments. In all cases, these research modules are undertaken to seek application of the client firms' capabilities in the brokerage & investments markets known well by Tiburon
  • Competitor Analyses: It is doubtful that any firm profiles competitors to the extent of Tiburon. By sticking to industries known to the firm's principals, Tiburon has repeatedly profiled nearly every firm associated with the brokerage and investments market. As a result, custom research for client projects can allow Tiburon to go much further in-depth regarding competitor strategies, initiatives, and tactics as well as the detailed pricing and service characteristics of individual products. Tiburon competitor analyses will often call for web site reviews, mystery shopping, executive interviews, financial advisor interviews (if applicable), and client interviews. Competitor research is done to uncover business opportunities being served by similar firms
  • Client Needs Assessments: The brokerage & investments industry has a long history of doing limited detailed client needs assessments; the industry was long driven by intellectuals who chose to innovate products in front (or in-spite) of client needs. This is changing with the consumerism taking root in the industry, driven by firms such as The Charles Schwab Corporation, Fidelity Investments, The Vanguard Group, and Merrill Lynch. Client research can take many forms; depending on who one's clients are, in-person interviews, telephone interviews, focus groups, and written surveys can all be appropriate. Similar methodologies can be used to research intermediaries or financial advisors. Tiburon has also developed a set of web-based business benchmarking tools (see the Tiburon Toolkit) that can be deployed for leading-edge research in various financial advisor markets. In any case, client research is undertaken to uncover emerging business opportunities

Tiburon Research Managers Servio Lee, Jeff Nagy, Scott Carlson, Mynor Aragon, Matthew McGraw, & Bruce Witney assist in market research & strategy consulting projects as well as publishing the firm's research reports

Research capabilities are the third leg of Tiburon's value proposition; the other cornerstones of Tiburon include its Industry Knowledge, Consulting Skills, and Industry Experience. Sometimes Tiburon clients unbundle Tiburon's strategic consulting process and engage the firm for specific market research projects; to better understand these capabilities, please see the page for Market Research.