Traditional finance and business media outlets are not prepared for disruption.
That’s according to the anonymous ex-banker behind the Litquidity brand, referred to as “Lit,” and his head of growth and operations Mark Moran, a licensed attorney and an investment banker who joined the company fresh after pursuing a role on the HBO show “FBoy Island.”
The two, after Lit featured Moran in a post, developed a dialogue. After finally meeting in person, Moran decided to join the anonymous founder in growing Litquidity.
“I think that was kind of an immediate signal, if you will, about the brand that I personally have, and the one that I hope to continue to build.”
Graphic: Pictured left, Lit. Right, Moran.
Memes As A Business: Back in March of 2021, Lit spoke with Benzinga on his intentions for the Litquidity brand, and making a business out of memes.
“I’ve always had kind of a creative outlet,” he had explained.
“I wanted to craft some sort of image or brand around Wall Street … [and] I wanted my memes to stand out from the general, low-quality, fuzzy images.”
The retail trading phenomenon bolstered Litquidity’s growth over the past two years.
After amassing hundreds of thousands of followers across all accounts, Lit looked for ways to engage further with his audience. The Exec Sum daily newsletter on major news spanning from Wall Street to Silicon Valley was that solution.
“I never really found a newsletter that did it all for me,” Lit said. “Now, people get the news, but then they also get jokes about the news they can share with their colleagues.”
Through merchandise sales, newsletter advertisements, and sponsored job postings, Litquidity recorded about $1 million in revenue last year.
Graphic: Litquidity merchandise.
Levering It Up: In moving away from being a meme page focused on the lifestyle of “the Brads and Chads” of Wall Street, Litquidity is thinking intently on what other business revenues and routes the firm could pursue.
“The word ecosystem is so important,” said Moran, who spent much of the last half-decade in investment banking after studying law, as well as finance and business at the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary.
“We’re going to lock these kids in at 18 who follow the page for memes or maybe thinking about becoming finance majors in college or going into banking. They’ll get in through the Instagram page, then to the newsletter and the podcast.”
Thereafter, the possibilities are endless. Litquidity has many ideas for engaging its young followers through their college and work pursuits.
“It’s just a matter of executing,” Lit noted in a conversation around staying top of mind and bringing more value to followers. For instance, “the newsletter is written by people who have worked in the industry and are a little bit more off-color and concise,” Moran added.
“We have an average unique open rate of nearly 60%, way above what’s normally considered a high open rate,” and that is part of the growth equation that includes testimonials and referral programs.
“I’ll get DMs saying: ‘Hey, this was really helpful in my interview process, and I just got an offer,’” Lit said on the joy helping kids break into the industry brings, relative to just generating advertising dollars.
Litquidity’s Student-Athlete Program, in partnership with OfficeHours, provides access to comprehensive video walkthroughs, PDF guides, and excel templates that help students secure internship or full-time employment on Wall Street.
Students selected to participate also are offered exposure on a Litquidity Instagram page.
“Having been an athlete in college, I thought that was a very easy program to implement with the change in names, images, and likeness (NIL) rules late August,” Moran explained on building the brand’s credibility and expanding on the educational front in the future.
“One of the unique things that came about through this is that we have a bunch of our walk-ons on the Notre Dame football team. They have a Notre Dame WOPU Nation we’re partnering with and … that’s something that embodies the grittiness of the Litquidity brand trying to be the underdog and break into something.”
A 'Case Study In Journalism'?: Lit said he left his Wall Street gig recently when he saw more upside in the brand.
Moran added: “To me, this is the least risky thing I could ever do because I know that with the base that is there, there is an opportunity to take this to the next level.”
Current areas of focus, beyond the meme pages, Exec Sum newsletter, Student-Athlete program and Big Swinging Decks podcast, include raising funds, hosting live events and angel investing.
Lit, thus far, has invested in numerous ventures like social trading app Iris, hiring platform Pallet which Litquidity uses to expose its audience to potential career opportunities, as well as Beehiiv, a newsletter service created by Tyler Denk, who was once at YouTube and Morning Brew, which the company now uses.
“This led to the Bain Capital Ventures scouting opportunity which helps give more legitimacy to what I’ve been doing the past year.
“It helps expand the brand, taking a meme page and turning it into a hybrid of traditional media,” Moran ended. “I have no doubt that with all of the stuff we have planned, five years from now, this will be a case study in journalism school.”
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