Ryan left the hedge fund equity research world to become a startup consultant. Since then, he has helped clients raise more than $10 million in early-stage capital. He loves the flexibility provided by consulting and the opportunities to help numerous promising young businesses. Ryan primarily reports to CFOs and startup founders as a consultant, having worked with executive management for large enterprises earlier in his career.
Designed suite of automated equity analysis and valuation tools, with focus on value investing strategies.
Created financial models for internal capital management and forecasting.
Created a business plan for the purpose of securing $1.5 million equity capital raise.
Pitched venture capital investors to discuss sale of equity in Prudena; investors were interested in pending demonstrable subscriber growth.
Produced equity research reports on a platform for marketing purposes/proof of concept.
Focus areas: Equity Research, Business Plan Development, Valuation
2014 - PRESENT
Fair Acres Research
Conducted freelance consulting for startup clients.
Worked mainly on FP&A and modeling for capital raises, pricing analysis, marketing plan creation, and budget analysis.
Created a complex financial model for CineBee, a mobile app for India movie goers. Assisted with $75,000 capital raise. Model inputs included CAC, marketing budget, user growth rates, with outputs focusing on cash burn. If-then structure was employed to develop strong and weak case scenarios, which the client used to plan deployment of cash and determine capital raise requirements.
Created a financial model for PLZ.io, a photo sharing app. Created a financial model that took assumptions on ARPU, CAC, attrition rates, and marketing budget as inputs, with outputs being user growth and cash flows. The resulting financial plan was used in a $300,000 equity raise.
Conducted FP&A for investment banking firm Pickwick Capital Partners. Identified optimal headcount expansion rate and created hiring plan based on up-front personnel investment.
Created financial model and business plan for the Johnson Investment Group, a distressed retail company. The company was adding multiple brick and mortar locations and expanding its eCommerce capacities. JIG successfully raised over $300,000 in debt and equity using the financial and business plan that I created.
Created a financial model for Followapp.care—a communications app for doctors and patients. Provided if-then analysis, made pricing recommendations, created marketing budget, and advised on the rollout of new products and new geographical markets. Guided FollowApp through $400,000 capital raise.
Created the financial model for dating app AGoodKiss. Using if-then analysis based on different CAC assumptions, provided recommendations on different pricing models and strategies. Advised client on capital requirements to meet overhead, and my work was used in $80,000 capital raise.
Created financial model for Naropa University, a secondary institution. Organized financials for an equity raise and created faculty onboarding plan based on cash burn.
Published over 400 articles on a wide range of topics requested specifically by Investopedia. Articles ranged from 600-1200 words, and generally focused on the stock market as a whole, certain sector trends, specific stocks and macroeconomics.
Was specifically commended by the project manager and VP of content for my article writing.
Granted exclusive access to certain projects and subjects, whereas most opportunities were open to a large pool of content creators.
Awarded several bonuses for the quality and quantity of my work.
Focus areas: Equity Research, Profitability Analysis, Capital Structure Analysis, Macroeconomics
2014 - 2016
Joined a consulting team as the financial analyst and consultant. Conducted pricing analysis and identified expense minimization opportunities for clients.
Collected client financial data through interviews and financial statement analysis.
Analyzed data and compared financials to industry benchmarks to identify strengths and weaknesses.
Helped with the turnaround of Frigibar (a luxury marine refrigeration system manufacturer), which was enduring a liquidity crisis. Provided pricing analysis on $500,000 annual sales across numerous product lines, and identified the most profitable products & overhead minimization opportunities.
Created a financial model for a publishing company called E-Squared. Provided the pricing analysis on $300,000 of annual revenues, created a budget for marketing and headcount additions, and created a roadmap for smoothing out irregular cash flows.
Organized financial metric tracking and reporting for growing PR firm FireBrand, Provided pricing analysis on $2 million in annual revenues as the company expanded. Analyzed expense structures and implemented useful standards for $1.7 million in annual expenses.
Created financial models for software firm Middleware. Developed a marketing budget & sales plan. Conducted pricing analysis and recommendations for $3 million of forecast revenue.
Focus areas: Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)
Equity Research Analyst
2015 - 2015
Joined the equity research team to analyze worrisome trends in Vodafone's financials.
Trouble-shot a specific problem. A British hedge fund had a meeting with company management, and intended to ask incisive questions. They were unsatisfied with management's explanations and wanted data to refute those claims.
Separated Vodafone's results by segment which were organized at the country-level (UK, Germany, Italy and Spain). Results were then compared to major telecom firms in each market.
Worked on the project which included several obstacles|.
—such as inconsistent reporting methods, controlling for variable business models, and isolating country-level results for competitors.
Showed successfully that certain blanket claims by management were insufficient to explain performance.
Drilled down to identify the weakest segments and some of the issues apparent in those markets.
Focus areas: Equity Research
Equity Research Analyst
2013 - 2014
Sidoti & Co
Identified promising equity research subjects.
Conducted fundamental research and created financial models with forecasts.
Interviewed executive management teams.
Conducted channel checks.
Reviewed SEC filings, company news, market, and industry conditions.
Composed and published research reports, presented research to sales team, discussed research with institutional clients.
Developed and maintained relationships with institutional clients.
Focus areas: Equity Research
2011 - 2013
Noble Equity Fund
Conducted fundamental equity research for a hedge fund.
Created models and forecasts, reviewed third party research, analyzed market and industry data, aggregated qualitative information, and interviewed executive management teams.
Designed and conducted research projects, performed research and analysis of various markets, industries, indexes, and macroeconomic indicators.
Presented investment recommendations based both on research and the evolving strategy of the fund manager.
Worked closely with the fund manager, presented all research and conclusions directly several times each week.
Focus areas: Equity Research
Profiles Data Analyst
2009 - 2010
Analyzed public company filings and private company data to ensure depth and accuracy of financial and corporate profile information on Bloomberg database.
LTV:CAC analysis is one of the most important exercises startup founders must go through to evaluate their business’ prospects and raise external funding. It is, however, frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted.
In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Ryan Downie runs through a practical tutorial of how to perform LTV:CAC analysis correctly, and how it should be adapted and interpreted depending on the business model or sector in question.
Getting the Most from Equity Research - Lessons from a Former Research Analyst (Publication)
Equity research provides a very useful function in our current financial markets. Nevertheless, the profession has come under fire in recent years.
In this post, Toptal Finance Expert Ryan Downie details how to utilize research reports more effectively. Additionally, he outlines the equity research's main value for both sophisticated and retail investors and highlights the pitfalls of this profession, its causes, and how you should evaluate research in order to avoid these issues.