Guidepoint (Ofer Abarbanel online library)

Guidepoint is an expert network,[1] providing business professionals with opportunities to talk with industry experts who can answer their specialized industry questions.[2] Guidepoint clients consult with experts over the phone, in person at conferences, on teleconferences, at custom events & workshops, or may gather primary research data through a survey, poll, or web-based data offerings.

The company has recruited over 600,000 “experts”, known as “Guidepoint Advisors”, who come from 150 different industries.[3]

Guidepoint was named a Global leader in the 2019 Expert Network Market map, having reached revenues of well over $100m.[4]

Guidepoint is based in New York City and has additional offices in Edison, New Jersey, Boston, San Francisco, London, Düsseldorf, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, and Dubai


Guidepoint was founded by Albert Sebag, Ph.D., previously a bioorganic chemist,[5] where he helped to develop anti-estrogen drugs for treatment of certain cancers. Sebag then moved on to law, earning his J.D. from Boston College Law School. During his legal career, he focused on intellectual property and biotechnology litigation for generic pharmaceutical clients. This experience eventually led Sebag to begin a matching service for oncology patients called Clinical Advisors.[6] Launched in 2003, Clinical Advisors matched cancer patients with the clinical trial that best suited their case.[7]

As Clinical Advisors expanded their network to include expertise in additional healthcare areas, the company progressed into other industries and sectors. In 2007, the company changed its name to Guidepoint Global to reflect this expanded business model.[8] In 2009, Guidepoint Global acquired Vista Research from Standard & Poor’s, a subsidiary of the company formerly called The McGraw-Hill Companies,[9][10] an expert network company that was active in Asia and had a strong network of experts in other industries such as technology and telecom.[11]

Shortly after rebranding as Guidepoint, “the experts at finding expertise,” and premiering a new logo and website,[12] Guidepoint acquired Innosquared, a Germany-based expert network firm. According to FINAlternatives, Guidepoint is “the only global expert network with a large research team based in Germany and one of only two with research locations in the EMEA region.”[13]

Business model

Clients use Guidepoint as a resource to find answers to specific industry questions that might only be answered by industry and subject-matter experts. The company essentially operates as a matchmaking service, connecting its users to recruited experts in the field they are looking to learn more about. Experts are categorized into six main industry sectors: Healthcare; Financial and Business Services; Consumer Goods and Services; Energy, Industrials, and Basic Materials; Tech, Media, and Telecom; and Legal and Regulatory.[citation needed]

Services are subscription-based and include hourly phone consultations, in-person events, teleconferences, surveys, custom research reports, and a monthly healthcare data offering called Guidepoint TRACKER, which features data on market share in the therapeutics and medical device sectors,[14] such as the US Breast Implant market.[15]

Experts are pre-screened and required to adhere to compliance policies and procedures.[citation needed]

Expert network market

Expert networks are a longstanding resource for qualitative and primary research. In 2019, Inex One reported there were more than 100 expert networks[16], generating more than $1.3 Bn in yearly sales[17]

According to Integrity Research and Inex One, Guidepoint is ranked as one of four “Global leaders” in the expert network industry.[18][19]


Guidepoint’s Terms & Conditions are a complete set of conservative rules that govern every consultation through Guidepoint. They include limitations on the participation of current and former employees of any company that is the subject of any consultation, employees of companies involved in tender offers and IPOs, competitors, government workers, FDA advisory committee members, and clinical trial participants. In addition, Guidepoint conducts background checks on all new experts that joins its network.[20]

In 2011, Guidepoint hired Catherine Smith, a former senior counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to head Guidepoint’s Legal and Compliance departments. During her seven years in the SEC’s Enforcement Division, she was responsible for the investigation and litigation of potential violations of federal securities laws. Smith was an inaugural member of the SEC Enforcement Division’s national Market Abuse Unit and the recipient of the Enforcement Director’s Award. Smith is also a fellow of the Regulatory Compliance Association.[21]

Smith regularly speaks and writes about expert networks and compliance, including for the Regulatory Compliance Association,[22][23] Boston Security Analysts Society,[24] Private Equity International’s Private Fund Compliance Forum,[25] Private Investment Forum,[26] and The Hedge Fund Law Report.[27]

Regulatory focus

In 2010, there were allegations that an expert who provided expert network services gave confidential information to a third party who traded on that information in violation of the federal securities law. That resulted in a strong regulatory focus on the industry and its investment firm clients.[28] Charges were not brought against Guidepoint and now, years later, the investigation seems to be in the past. According to Integrity Research, “Although Guidepoint was mentioned in insider trading complaints, its compliance procedures protected it from accusations of wrong doing.”[29]


Guidepoint donates to and sponsors a number of charitable causes, including Teach for America,[30] Harlem RBI,[31] New York Cares,[32] City Harvest,[33] and the United Way of America.[34]

Guidepoint founder and CEO Albert Sebag is a board member for service organization Repair the World.[35]


  1. ^Vista Research Finally Finds a Home, Integrity Research,
  2. ^“How Many Of These Expert Networks Are Being Investigated By The Feds?”. Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  3. ^“Guidepoint.” Crunchbase. Accessed 16 Jun 2015.
  4. ^“Expert network market size” Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  5. ^“Albert Sebag, Ph.D.” Accessed 19 June 2015.
  6. ^Board of Directors. Repair the World. Accessed 16 Jun 2015.
  7. ^Timmerman, Luke. “More doctors consulting for Wall Street, study finds.” Seattle Times. 1 Jun 2005.
  8. ^“Company Overview of Guidepoint Global, LLC.” Bloomberg Businessweek. Accessed 16 Jun 2015.
  9. ^“McGraw-Hill sells Vista Research.” Advertising Age. 27 May 2009.
  10. ^“Hedge Fund Research Firm Buys S&P Expert Network.” FIN Alternatives. 26 May 2009.
  11. ^“Vista Research Finally Finds a Home.” Integrity Research Associates. 21 May 2009.
  12. ^
  13. ^xi
  14. ^“Guidepoint Launches Post-Surgical Pain Management TRACKER.” Biospace. 31 Mar 2015.
  15. ^Rockoff Jonathan D. and Dana Mattioli. “Bid for Allergan Puts Valeant’s Research and Development Cuts Under Scrutiny.” Wall Street Journal. 10 Jun 2014.
  16. ^“More than 100 expert networks” Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  17. ^“Expert network market size” Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  18. ^“Expert network market size” Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  19. ^“Expert Network Industry Tops $1.3 Billion” Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  20. ^“Summary of Key Compliance Rules.” Guidepoint. Accessed 19 June 2015.
  21. ^Smith, Catherine. “How Expert Networks Became the Trusted Allies of Compliance Officers at PE Firms.” Marcum. Accessed 16 Jun 2015.
  22. ^Regulatory Compliance Association, Building a Compliance Program to Support Expert Network Use,
  23. ^Speaking Faculty & Guest Lectures. Regulatory Compliance Association. Accessed 16 Jun 2015.
  24. ^Boston Security Analysts Society, What CFA Chartholders Need to Know About Compliance and Expert Networks,
  25. ^Private Fund Compliance Forum 2014,
  26. ^Boston Security Analysts Society, What CFA Chartholders Need to Know About Compliance and Expert Networks,
  27. ^Hedge Fund Law Report, Guidepoint Global’s General Counsel, Catherine Smith, Discusses How Hedge Fund Managers Are Using Expert Networks to Conduct Investment Research and Mitigate Insider Trading Risks,
  28. ^Lubin, Gus. “How Many of These Expert Networks are Being Investigated by the Feds?” Business Insider. 23 Nov 2010.
  29. ^Integrity Research Associates, Guidepoint Buys German Expert,
  30. ^ Teach for America. Accessed 16 Jun 2015.
  31. ^Corporate Contributors. Harlem RBI. Accessed 16 Jun 2015.
  32. ^Coat Drive Report 2014. New York Cares. Accessed 16 Jun 2015.
  33. ^Guidepoint (February 11, 2015). “We loved working with @CityHarvest to support #NewYorkCity”. (Tweet).
  34. ^Johnson, David. “This. Is. Cornhole.” Speak United. 6 Mar 2015.
  35. ^Repair the World, Board of Directors,

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