August 14 Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wendy Healy, Public Relations
Phone: (800) 248-1668
Fax: (203) 846-8300
NEW CANAAN, CT – August 14, 2000 – With only a handful of full-time staff, Irving Levin Associates, a New Canaan family-owned business, communicates with more than 6,000 people around the world each month through its newsletters, numerous other publications and information services.
As the leading provider of research and financial information for the health-care industry, the firm provides information that covers mergers and acquisitions, stock prices, e-health companies, senior housing and the overall health of the health-care industry. Subscribers include health-care executives, financial analysts, bankers, consultants and investors.
The firm is a good example of how the Internet makes it possible to work from anywhere, and that networking and accessing expert help can be done right from your desktop. It’s also testament to the fact that entrepreneurship is growing by 20 percent a year in this country. While the company is small in terms of head-count, it’s never at a loss for an entrepreneurial spirit and creativity.
In fact, this year it launched another new newsletter that tracks the e-health industry, The e-Health Investor. With the advent of so many e-health companies, like Healtheon/WebMD and drugstore.com, Levin saw an unfilled market niche. In a recent issue of the newsletter, the firm predicted that stock prices for e-health companies had bottomed out.
Run by Steve Monroe and Eleanor Meredith, husband and wife entrepreneurs who formerly worked on Wall Street, Levin Associates employs 10 people, but relies on lots of outsourced help to get it’s large volume of information out the door each month.
“We were a virtual office before the concept was even popular,” laughs Meredith, who as publisher of the firm handles strategic planning, marketing and operations. “Since we’re a family business, we know the value of balancing work and family life and respect that not everyone wants an 8-to-6 job.” The firm gives its people great flexibility “The bottom line is to know what job is required and then, to do it - no matter where or when”, she says.
As the mother of four kids all under the age of 10, Meredith is often found running out of the office to take one of the three girls to a soccer game, or to check on her youngest son. Dad Steve Monroe, who writes and edits most of the newsletters, often works from his laptop on the road, while traveling to speak at a conference.
Levin ramps up with extra help when needed, and allows its editors, writers, marketers, computer technicians and public relations consultants to work from remote offices, or even home. On any given day, you might find 5 persons onsite or 15. For a recent marketing campaign to support the launch of The e-Health Investor, Levin hired two veteran marketing consultants from eastern Connecticut. The consultants used their expertise to advise Levin on how to reach subscribers interested in e-health topics.
Kathy Hammell, a Darien resident, is a seasoned editor who has worked on a flexible schedule with the firm for nearly 10 years. “I like to be able to do my work and be onsite when needed, but also have the flexibility of working the hours I want or work from home, “ says this former vice president of a major investment bank.
Since the firm understood early web technology to produce its publications online, it can easily link up its network of employees, consultants and outsourced help so people can work remotely.
Velvet Van Bueren is the company’s information technology manager, in addition to wearing other hats. She often updates the company’s web site, or helps an editor send out ‘e-lerts’ to subscribers or access email from a remote computer. “Technology enables us to communicate 24 hours a day/7 days a week with each other and our customers. The trick is to make sure we use it wisely”, she cautioned.
Monroe and Meredith bought the 50-year-old company in 1986, after a classic Columbia Business School to Wall Street career path. Monroe was a vice president of investment banking at Kidder, Peabody & Co. in New York City and Meredith was a vice president in the Health Care Group of Paine Webber. “Actually, unlike the Wall Street race, our company is a return to an old-fashion family business model. We offer great benefits – flexi-time, health, education and childcare. Plus, the security of a known element since many of us live and work in the same or surrounding communities,” Monroe said.
“The new millennium twist to the family business model is that we don’t earn our living by printing a local newspaper. We make our money when an investor taps into our M&A database from London - even when our family is sleeping.” Meredith adds.
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