Source: Hartford Business Journal, John Stearns
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Rebecca Corbin Loree was an English/creative writing major in college until a required statistics class changed her life when she got an "A."
"I basically said, 'Wow, I could actually go into business,' which I always loved," said Loree, who switched majors to business and charted a growth trajectory ever since.
A capital-markets expert, she's founder and CEO of Farmington-based Corbin Advisors, a specialized research and investor relations (IR) advisory firm that aims to help public companies improve long-term shareholder value, which she said manifests itself in long-term share price and total shareholder return. Clients' market capitalizations range from $250 million to $360 billion, including one of the world's 10 largest companies, said Loree, who's married to Jim Loree, president and CEO of New Britain-based Stanley Black & Decker.
She's also editor of "Inside The Buy-side," her firm's quarterly research publication containing investor and industrial sentiment surveys and trends, and is a recurring guest on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
"My brain is very pattern-recognition oriented, so I love data, I love analysis," Loree said. "I read every single transcript that our firm works on, every interview with every investor, and I just kind of aggregate that information that way."
Those interviews exceed 10,000 in almost 12 years.
Corbin Advisors, which she started solo in Nov. 2007 amid the nation's financial upheaval and has grown to 17 employees, has generated a deep pool of data to tap as it provides research-based counsel to boards and executive management teams on myriad factors around capital markets. It advises companies on their communication, positioning and engagement with institutional investors and the entire financial community.
Corbin Advisors developed a proprietary methodology to unlock shareholder value by interviewing shareholders and potential investors, including top institutional managers at major firms, and sell sides — sources highly attuned to a particular company on factors pertaining to strategy, management, valuation, investor communication and other factors Corbin has identified that drive investors' decisions.
Corbin conducts 15 to 50 in-depth interviews with investors and analysts on behalf of clients via so-called perception studies, which are among its services. Its database includes 540 companies, including those studied and peer ratings, valuable data against which to benchmark companies.
"Generally speaking, we've identified five-to-seven areas where there are either misperceptions, disconnects, and/or they detract from valuation, and these are the recommendations that if you implement them, your share price will go up over time," Loree said.
Other services include targeting investors to meet with companies to initiate or increase positions and developing investor presentations, specialized research and more.
Jump higher, run faster
Loree's career began as a stock surveillance analyst at Thomson Reuters, where she started a perception-study business before venturing out on her own. She said she's built a high-performing staff.
"We liken ourselves to Navy Seals," said Loree, who aspires to be recognized as the "penultimate" firm in its investor-relation niche. "We have been able to create this brand in the industry because we out-execute on every single project. We jump higher, we run faster, we deliver above and beyond our clients' expectations, and that type of intensity is not for everyone."
Loree credits her talented team for her firm's success. Last year was so good she awarded everyone two bonuses.
Loree also sits on the boards of Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO), The Bushnell and alma mater Washington College in Maryland. She also helps direct The Jim & Rebecca Loree Foundation, which supports HSO, The Bushnell, Grace Academy girls school in Hartford and others.
Why those causes?
"Because we want to see Hartford be successful and we want to impart our knowledge of running successful companies to strengthen and educate," she said.
Loree's a busy mother, too, with three daughters, 7 months, 5 and 7, and step-daughter, 22.
"We spend a lot of quality time during the weekends with our girls," she said, also crediting "an amazing ecosystem of help" allowing the busy couple to do what they do.
She's driven by wanting to positively affect those with whom she lives and works, and calls herself "very karmicly driven" and open.
Evan Honeyman, director of business development at Corbin, joined the firm late last year and was quickly impressed by Loree's work.
He has watched her at client and prospective-client meetings and says her recitation of statistics, trends, data points and research elements is unlike anything he's seen.
"When she gets in front of clients and she gets in front of C-suite executives and board members, she wows all of them," Honeyman said. "I've never left a meeting having somebody in that meeting not learn something; everybody learns something from her and that's impressive."
What legacy do you want to leave after your career is over?
I would like to be recognized as a trailblazer in the nascent and growing investor relations industry; as someone who elevated the importance of investor relations as a key valuation factor to help shape how executives think about and create long-term shareholder value.
Being an entrepreneur and businesswoman influences nearly everything I do and permeates my life — from managing and mentoring my team, to being the best wife and mother of four daughters I can be, as well as serving on not-for-profit boards. I want my legacy to be having had a positive impact on as many people as possible — inspiring them, challenging them, listening to them, imparting what I have learned, helping them succeed and achieve great things.
In the business world of fast-paced decisions, rapid technology development and competition, I want my legacy to be one of fostering deeper, more meaningful relationships by being authentic.