Meet The Disruptors: Jeffrey Hood Of Theia Analytics Group On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry

An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

“Focus on asset creation — Product!” Let me expand on this. Asset creation is everything, and two primary assets matter most — product and revenue. The former relies upon the latter, making sequencing extremely important.

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeffrey Hood.

Jeff Hood is the founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Theia Analytics Group (TAG), a provider of a complete suite of quantitative, proprietary, data-driven products for simplifying, clarifying, and measuring risks related to regulatory changes that impact organizational governance.

With more than 30 years of experience in institutional trading and equities research in both New York City and London, Jeff’s extensive experience covering the world’s most significant hedge funds, mutual funds, and pension funds gives him a unique perspective on the regulatory risks faced by global stakeholders. In his dual roles at TAG, Jeff leads the company’s product development of proprietary tools for mitigating regulatory and policy risks and drives strategy, business development and execution.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I spent 30 years working on Wall Street at some of the most noted trading desks, as well as the number one equity research firm in the world at the time. My extensive experience covering the world’s most significant hedge funds, mutual funds and pension funds gives me a unique perspective on the regulatory risks that many global stakeholders face. Later in my career, I brought my Wall Street experience to Washington, D.C., and began helping large businesses navigate the ever-shifting landscape of regulatory changes. We were selling Theia Analytics Group (TAG) services and analytics to these same clients during that time. It became clear that demand existed for a much more quantitative approach, so we transformed our company into the FinTech SaaS model that exists today.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

The regulatory, governance, and risk management industry landscape is 100% qualitative. As a result, companies make billion-dollar decisions on outdated, expensive, and unreliable opinions.

Making decisions in this manner is almost like going in blind. TAG offers mathematically verifiable risk quotients and materiality-based market position reporting for every publicly traded company. This means that companies can understand not only their market position but also that of their competition and other industries. Think of it as creating an “outside-in” view of a company’s position within its marketplace.

Companies can play offense and defense simultaneously while saving time and money with this information.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was regularly taken advantage of by sophisticated D.C. operatives, who were threatened by the quantitative products I was building, who said my idea would never work! Initially, I listened to this advice but later realized it was wrong. Specifically, I had many people tell me that what we are currently doing was impossible, and yet, here we are. It was, and is, absolutely possible.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I relied on a few clients who I have known for 20+ years to guide me through what I dreamed would be possible using my unique skill set and my view of the D.C. world, which was very skeptical of the qualitative process of how they conduct business. These clients became the Angel Investors of TAG and continue to play a big part in our growth.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

The fundamental truth is that we live in a universe of systems moving through time, so disruptive change (good or bad) is a constant fundamental underpinning of the nature of reality.

In an absolute sense, no one can say if one particular disruptive change is “good” or “bad” because such things are decided by the arch of history, not any one person. What I can say is that the reason we built TAG is to disrupt the underlying nature of the governance space as a way to add lasting material value to companies, fiduciaries, stakeholders, and employees globally.

Can you share five of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

“Focus on asset creation — Product!” Let me expand on this. Asset creation is everything, and two primary assets matter most — product and revenue. The former relies upon the latter, making sequencing extremely important.

  1. “Operational flow” (business gearing) is the predicate of “money flow.” Therefore, focus on who is doing the doing and optimize those people and processes to serve the larger business goal, i.e., revenue.
  2. Businesses are value creation engines. Never think anything else. Doing so may hurt you.
  3. Double-checking is the cornerstone of success! This is a culture at TAG. We weave it into everything we do and beat its drum often and loudly.
  4. You are a measure of success, not the other way around! We sign our names to our work, and our life-force is embedded inside in each action. You matter — act like it!

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Ultimately, we will have the world’s first fully unsupervised governance-focused artificial intelligence engine. In the future, the nature of governance itself will be inseparable from TAG. To expand, by ingesting all past, current, and future governance documentation from all companies, all verifiable sources, and all outcomes, TAG positions itself to be the governance authority of record globally.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

Coming from the financial world and having to shift my thinking to the tech world took a lot of reading and soul searching. One of the first books I read was “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, who also has some fabulous Ted Talks.

The reason this book was so enlightening was my background was so opposite from tech that it took a lot of introspection to understand the road I was going down, and it still does. One example I wrestled with was my world was driven by P&L, and the tech world is top-line driven.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Watch your thoughts, for they become your words; watch your words, for they become your actions; watch your actions, for they become your habits; watch your habits, for they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

Propriety, decorum, and mindfulness in all things are the name of the game and have served my personal life as well as my professional life.

The six “P” Principles; proper planning prevents piss poor performance.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Movements are all about ideas, and one of the ideas that have been a great influence in my life is the quote from Winston Churchill, “Never, Ever, Give Up.”

The exploration of that is going through a very difficult divorce and my best friend dying in the same 18 months, which was devastating! These life lessons continuously remind me not to give up and keep my nose to the grindstone while pursuing my dreams.

For instance, most recently, with TAG, I had to re-boot the company into a SaaS/FinTech company which took a herculean effort to transform. This process required taking four years of written material and transforming it into complex mathematics and lengthy algorithms. Extremely difficult!

How can our readers follow you online?

You can keep up to date with what we are doing at Their Analytics Group on our website as well as our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.

You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Meet The Disruptors: Jeffrey Hood Of Theia Analytics Group On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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