Diane Schumaker-Krieg, Global Head of Research, Economics and Strategy, Wells Fargo Securities

KRIEG: I was the single parent of a six-year-old son and there were 30,000 unemployed investment bankers on Wall Street. My idea was to take the research that was produced by Dillon, Read where I worked and turn it into a subscription service. So most of my colleagues said, “There’s no way anyone is going to pay hard dollars for research.” And I said to the head of Dillon, Read if I didn’t bring in $2,000,000 by the end of the first year, he should fire me. And if I didn’t bring in at least $5,000,000 by the end of the second year, he should fire me.

So he figured he had nothing to lose and he put me on the payroll. I made a cold call to James Wolfensohn, who was then head of the World Bank and I wouldn’t let him off until he bought an $80,000 subscription. So once James Wolfensohn was a client and people said, “Well, if he’s buying the research, it must be really good,” it wasn’t too difficult to scale the business.