John Tumazos had racked up 39 appearances in Steel and other
metals and mining sectors including a dozen No. 1s
by 2007, when Prudential Securities shut down its global
equity groups operations. The Newark, New
Jerseybased financial services firm handed pink slips to
all 420 employees, telling them that declining commissions and
increased regulation had made the business unprofitable.
It felt like the steel mill shut down, recalls
the Pittsburgh native, except that Pittsburgh is now
doing better than the financial sector.
Undaunted, Tumazos took his distribution list of 1,700 names
at 500 firms and decided to set up his own shop, Very
Independent Research, at his home in Holmdel, New Jersey;
it earned $1.3 million in revenue in its first year and
has been growing ever since. Today the
analyst-turned-entrepreneur oversees four analysts
and two salespeople, plus support staff.
Running his own business is very different from working at a
bank. We spend three times as much time doing research
and one third as much time doing marketing, he says.
Tumazos, 55, earned a masters degree in industrial
administration at Pittsburghs Carnegie-Mellon
University in 1979; later that year he began his career as an
investment research officer covering the metals sector for
Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. Over the years he has worked at
Oppenheimer & Co., Donaldson, Lufkin
& Jenrette Securities Corp. and Sanford
C. Bernstein & Co.
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