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- Business journalism has become vital as deals grow more complex and conventional wisdom is upended.
- Insider identified 30 business journalists setting the agenda for investors and markets.
- They represent established outlets like The New York Times and startups like Axios.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
As deals grow more complex, Wall Street competition gets fiercer, and developments like meme stocks and SPACs upend conventional wisdom, business journalism has become even more vital.
While some companies use platforms like Twitter to deliver news directly to consumers, journalism still sets the agenda for investors and markets.
But keeping track of journalists and what they report on can be challenging for investors, financial public-relations pros, and other stakeholders, given how quickly coverage areas change.
Insider identified 30 of today’s most influential business journalists through our reporting and talking to financial PR pros.
They come from established news organizations like Forbes, Bloomberg, and The New York Times as well as startups like Axios and Substack. They’re known for their deal scoops, access to key players, and shaping of the stories of business coverage today.
This list by no means includes every top business journalist out there. We stayed away from journalists who are predominantly editors or commentators, and we didn’t include Insider’s own business stars like Dakin Campbell, Meghan Morris, and Vicky Ge Huang.
Read the list, in alphabetical order by last name, along with a description of their coverage areas and examples of their work and awards.
Stock Market Ortenca Aliaj, mergers and acquisitions correspondent, Financial Times
Aliaj is a lead contributor to Due Diligence, the widely read FT newsletter that looks under the hood at deals and the people behind them. Since joining FT in 2019 to cover M&A deals, her beat has expanded to special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, and hedge funds.
Aliaj covered the GameStop meme-stock saga in depth, helping chronicle its winners (Mudrick Capital Management) and losers (Melvin Capital). She also closely followed the implosion of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management, reporting on the US Justice Department’s investigations and its disastrous effects for hedge-fund investors in SPACs.
“My work with PR varies, but usually we work with them on exclusives or to arrange interviews with key figures, like CEOs or fund managers,” Aliaj told Insider.
Stock Market Bill Alpert, senior writer, Barron’s
Alpert has been a senior writer at Barron’s since 1984 and is admired by journalists and PR pros alike for his tenacity and fearlessness.
“I don’t know of anyone else at almost any other business/financial publication with that kind of longevity at one outlet,” one PR pro said. “And one of the smartest investigative journalists out there.”
Over the years, Alpert’s reporting has led to stock-fraud prosecutions and reforms in such areas as “back-door” stock-exchange listings, which he first exposed with Leslie Norton in 2010. Likewise, his reporting inspired changes in how for-profit colleges are regulated.
Alpert made news this year when a federal court threw out a defamation lawsuit brought by a securities attorney linked to “pump-and-dump” schemes Alpert reported on in 2018.
Stock Market Sonali Basak, Wall Street reporter, Bloomberg
Basak’s biggest scoop was breaking the news on WeWork’s sinking valuation. She was also first to connect the dots between WeWork and JPMorgan. When Uber and
went public, Basak led Bloomberg’s coverage. As a contributor to Bloomberg Television, she ran with stories on IPOs for Airbnb and DoorDash.
Most recently, Basak landed an exclusive interview with Joe Baratta, Blackstone’s global head of private equity, who revealed that Blackstone was set to ramp up to billions of dollars per investment.
Since joining Bloomberg in 2014, Basak’s had a footprint in nearly all of the company’s media products, including Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Markets magazines. She welcomes tips; her email address is in her LinkedIn profile.
Stock Market Steven Bertoni, vice president and senior editor, Forbes
As an editor, writer, and executive, Bertoni oversees some of the most visible platforms at Forbes. Along with 14 cover stories in 13 years, Bertoni edits Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and The Just 100, Forbes’ new list that recognizes “responsible capitalism.”
In his role leading the Forbes CEO franchise, he’s also gained rarefied access to leaders like Target’s Brian Cornell, Merck’s Ken Frazier, and even Pharrell Williams, who attended a Forbes CEO summit.
Bertoni still maintains multiple beats, covering technology, entrepreneurs, billionaires, and investing. Among his exclusives: Breaking news that the Duty Free Shoppers cofounder and former billionaire Chuck Feeney had reached his goal of giving away almost all of his wealth.
Stock Market Eliot Brown, reporter, The Wall Street Journal
San Francisco-based Brown covers startups and VC for The Journal. The travails of SoftBank and WeWork have been a focus, along with the money behind electric-vehicle startups and West Coast ventures like DoorDash.
With his Journal colleague Maureen Farrell, Brown just published “The Cult of We,” a deep dive into “WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion,” as the cover puts it. Publisher’s Weekly called it “drama-filled.”
In February, Brown and Farrell broke the news of the WeWork founder Neumann’s extra $50 million settlement with SoftBank. Brown also coreported on conflicts with the Securities and Exchange Commission before WeWork’s aborted IPO.
Stock Market Michael J. de la Merced, reporter, The New York Times
De la Merced is a deeply sourced journalist at The Times, where he reports on M&A, bankruptcies, and private equity.
Often part of a DealBook reporting team that breaks stories or dives deep into deals, de la Merced scores scoops on his own. In April, he delivered the news that Kim Kardashian West’s Skims brand had reached a $1.6 billion valuation.
De la Merced also one of the DealBook journalists who makes regular appearances on The Times’ daily live briefings on business headlines, giving him a high-profile platform.
Stock Market Jessica DiNapoli, corporate governance and boards correspondent, Reuters
In her seven years at Reuters, DiNapoli has peered through boardroom walls to deliver scoops on issues like succession and executive pay.
Her most recent exclusives include the identity of Salesforce’s CEO in waiting, Blackstone’s demands that its companies report on sustainability and ESG, and investor criticism over executive pay raises at Johnson & Johnson, despite the opioid crisis. DiNapoli also coreported first how executives at Novavax stood to gain from coronavirus vaccine-development efforts, even if their programs failed.
When it comes to PR people, “we equally benefit from a collaborative relationship,” DiNapoli said.
Stock Market David Faber, “Squawk on the Street” anchor, CNBC
With his hugely influential anchor position and a raft of awards for documentaries on companies like eBay and Walmart, Faber has become a kind of senior statesman among business journalists. While he breaks less news these days, the daily takes he shares on “Squawk” and on social platforms carry major weight.
“I have relationships primarily with senior people at the big outside financial PR firms because some of us go back 25 years,” Faber said. “Sometimes I’ll work with PR people just to arrange CEO meetings or report on CEO changes. But I usually have my own relationships with senior executives themselves.”
Stock Market Maureen Farrell, reporter, The Wall Street Journal
The word “exclusive” frequently appears with Farrell’s byline. In June, she reported that the Jeffrey Katzenberg-backed digital-security firm Aura had reached a $1 billion valuation.
Just a week earlier, Farrell broke the news that the investor William Ackman’s
was nearing a $40 billion deal for Universal Music. And in May, she got the exclusive on the mortgage startup Better’s plan to go public by merging with a SPAC.
With the Journal’s Eliot Brown, Farrell coauthored “The Cult of We,” a new book on WeWork’s “Great Startup Delusion.” Farrell, who joined The Journal in 2013, has reported for CNN Money, Forbes, and Debtwire.
Stock Market John Sinclair Foley, US editor, Reuters’ Breakingviews
Foley calls Breakingviews the “fast financial opinion” section of Reuters — a kind of reported commentary. “Our columns often include detail and insight on M&A situations that other outlets don’t get, because we report the hell out of the stories we cover,” he told Insider.
Whether it’s taking on Bitcoin (“worst of all financial worlds”), corporate opacity (“Goldman diversity double-speak gets investor slap”), or PR puffery (“Dimon’s mega-missive has more spin than substance”), Foley doesn’t fear contrarianism. “The best endorsement is when a CEO says, ‘I don’t always like what you write, but I always read it,'” he said.
Foley said he and his team work with PR people often “both to gather facts and background and to make sure the companies we’re writing on have a right to reply.”
Stock Market James Fontanella-Khan, US corporate finance and deals editor, Financial Times
FT’s Due Diligence newsletter has become a first-read for many C-suite players. As an editor and cocreator, Fontanella-Khan sets its agenda.
A 16-year FT veteran, he reported from Brussels, New Delhi, and Mumbai before landing in New York in 2014. Among the deep dives he’s recently coreported: The fall of the Teneo honcho Declan Kelly; Blackstone Group’s $6 billion push into housing; and the talent exodus at Credit Suisse.
Bonus: Fontanella-Khan is an adjunct lecturer on European politics at the City University of New York.
Stock Market Emily Glazer, reporter, The Wall Street Journal
In a decade at The Journal, Glazer has broken news across beats, from Joe Biden’s entering the presidential race to Facebook’s record $5 billion Federal Trade Commission settlement. Her 2021 scoops include ones on the Jeffrey Epstein backstory in Bill and Melinda Gates’s divorce and a blockbuster on the employee affair that led to Gates’ resignation from Microsoft’s board.
In April, Glazer landed the exclusive on Credit Suisse’s $20 billion exposure to the doomed investment company Archegos Capital Management. And her reporting on Wells Fargo’s ills led to an appearance and consulting role in an episode
‘s “Dirty Money.”
“I’m open to pitches that are relevant to my beat, and I’m frequently in touch with PR people about trend stories and CEO interviews,” Glazer said.
Stock Market Miriam Gottfried, reporter, The Wall Street Journal
Gottfried frequently publishes exclusives in The Journal, where she’s covered private equity since 2017.
Recent scoops include Medline’s hiring Goldman to explore a sale in what would be a blockbuster IPO and the follow-up on Medline’s $34 billion sale to a private-equity consortium, including Blackstone. On the enterprise front, Gottfried cowrote a deeply reported, widely read story about the reclusive Texas billionaire behind a record tax-fraud case.
“Something I want to share with PR people: I’m a reporter who loves nuance and strives to view every story with a fresh eye, but leaving aside preconceived notions, political beliefs and other value judgments. The truth isn’t always sexy, and I’m OK with that,” she said.
A onetime Barron’s writer, Gottfried joined The Journal in 2012 as a Heard on the Street reporter.
Stock Market Peter Grant, deputy editor/real estate and reporter, The Wall Street Journal
Grant has delivered consistent exclusives on big real-estate deals and the people behind them in a closely watched but often secretive category.
“He’s incredibly well-sourced and breaks a ton of most relevant real estate news in NYC and the country,” one PR pro said.
Grant is a 22-year Journal veteran. In the ’90s, he worked at the New York Daily News.
Stock Market Ed Hammond, senior deals reporter, Bloomberg
This year, Hammond broke the AT&T-Discovery deal, a huge scoop. “It took me past $1 trillion of deals broken in my career,” he told Insider.
A former Financial Times reporter, Hammond also helped launch Bloomberg TV’s CEO sit-downs, giving him one of the more valuable perches in business media. As far as PR relationships, “exclusivity helps,” Hammond said. “I’m not fussed whether someone is the CEO or an intern as long as they’re a source of good information.”
Stock Market Lauren Hirsch, reporter, The New York Times
A former CNBC reporter, Hirsch has consistently cranked out exclusives since joining The New York Times’ DealBook in August. Among her highest-profile scoops: Inspire Brands’ acquisition of Dunkin; Goldman’s requiring employees to disclose COVID-19 vaccination status; and Apollo’s deal to acquire the crafts retailer Michaels.
“She’s one of the most trusted and well-sourced reporters, with a primary focus on consumer product and retail, among other areas. … She single-handedly has helped the NYT regain its position as a leading source of trusted and well-sourced M&A news,” one financial PR pro said.
Stock Market Sujeet Indap, US Lex editor, Financial Times
As US editor of the daily Lex opinion column since 2013, Indap occupies one of the most influential perches in financial journalism. A former analyst and onetime VP of an investment-advisory firm, Indap brings an insider’s perspective to coverage of the industry and its players along with deals and transactions.
In March, Indap published “The Caesars Palace Coup: How a Billionaire Brawl Over the Famous Casino Exposed the Power and Greed of Wall Street,” an account of 2015’s brutal bankruptcy brawl over the casino giant Caesars Entertainment. “FT Lex is a phenomenal analytical column, and he is also an author of high-profile deals,” one PR pro said.
Stock Market Kate Kelly, reporter, The New York Times
After six years on the air at CNBC, Kelly joined The Times in 2017 to cover Wall Street.
Her high-profile stories include a widely read account of Tidjane Thiam’s brief tenure as Credit Suisse CEO and Wall Street’s only Black chief executive; and coreporting then-Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s highly active stock-market trades in his one term, including companies within his Senate committees’ oversight.
Before her CNBC tenure, Kelly worked at The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade, covering the intersection of investment banking and Hollywood.
Stock Market Julia La Roche, correspondent, Yahoo Finance
CEO interviews are La Roche’s specialty, and she’s corralled an A-list of exclusive one-on-ones for her Yahoo Finance Presents series. Google’s Sundar Pichai, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, Starbucks’ Kevin Johnson, Walmart’s Doug McMillon, and others have all landed in La Roche’s hot seat.
She also reports on a wide variety of news at publicly traded companies, from Walmart’s June launch of private-label insulin to Uber’s post-pandemic recovery. Her access means she often gets responses from the C-suite rather than a press release.
Stock Market Matt Levine, opinion columnist, Bloomberg
A New York Times profile in October was an unusual accolade for a rival financial columnist. But Levine’s an unusual writer — a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, M&A lawyer, and clerk for the US Court of Appeals.
As admired for his prose as his insights, Levine’s Money Stuff newsletter “has become a must-read among Wall Street traders,” one financial PR pro said. “His work is some of the most sophisticated analysis of what is really happening on Wall Street,” the billionaire investor Bill Ackman told The Times.
Levine, who excels at explaining complex financial situations and products, predicted negative prices for oil at the start of the pandemic. “Remarkably, Mr. Levine’s piece was written more than an hour before the market went haywire,” The Times wrote.
Stock Market Cara Lombardo, reporter, The Wall Street Journal
A former CPA, Lombardo has coreported a string of heavyweight exclusives since joining The Journal in 2017. She helped break United Technologies’ $86 billion merger with Raytheon and also scooped AbbVie’s $63 billion purchase of Allergan.
In her first journalism job, as a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel intern, Lombardo’s exclusive on a prison inmate’s death led to criminal convictions.
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Stock Market Eric Newcomer, writer, Newcomer
Less than a year into the launch of his self-titled Substack newsletter, Newcomer has built a reputation as a VC scoop machine. Most recently, he broke news on funding rounds on Faire, Sourcegraph, and Figma, along with Andreessen Horowitz and Accel’s funding of the photo-sharing app BeReal — and the fact that Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund had ballooned to $2 billion.
Before launching the newsletter in October, Newcomer spent six years covering technology for Bloomberg. In 2013, after six months at the Washington Examiner, he became the first hire at the tech news hub The Information.
“I don’t really write about funding rounds unless I’m breaking the news,” Newcomer told Insider. “I’m always happy to talk to PR people who have smart things to say and who can dish out news. But I do tend to text with many of their clients directly.”
Stock Market Leslie Picker, reporter, CNBC
Picker’s beat encompasses hedge funds, private equity and asset management. A veteran of The New York Times and Bloomberg, she consistently scores top-level interviews with players like Citadel’s Ken Griffin, Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn, and Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman.
Picker also broke news on Oatly’s IPO and reported on Melvin Capital’s rebound in February after a bruising January amid the GameStop short squeeze. Picker also spearheads CNBC’s new Delivering Alpha investment newsletter.
“The best PR people are the ones who help me become better at my job — the ones who share informative background, alert me to newsworthy details that may have flown under the radar, and introduce me to new sources,” Picker said.
Stock Market Dan Primack, business editor, Axios
Primack writes Axios’ daily deals newsletter and hosts a popular daily podcast. He covers deals and dealmakers across venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions.
Known as one of the best-sourced reporters on his beat, Primack has produced scoops including Sweetgreen’s IPO and the billion-dollar valuation of the blockchain-gaming platform Forte. And those are just in the past month.
“I want to tell a reader something they don’t know yet. I want to make them feel smart,” Primack told Vox in 2019. Before joining Axios as one of its first hires, Primack was an editor at Fortune and Thomson Reuters.
Stock Market Matt Scuffham, financial services correspondent, Reuters
A 15-year Thomson Reuters veteran, Scuffham worked in London and Toronto before landing in New York in 2019 covering Wall Street banks and international banks with US operations.
Scoops are a regular feature of his reporting.
One recent exclusive he coreported revealed the use of so-called “bear put spreads” among Wall Street traders to bet against the meme stock AMC while trying to limit losses. Another reported that Credit Suisse would stop executing transactions in shares of US cannabis companies or hold them on behalf of clients. And in January, Scuffham reported first that Goldman Sachs was considering acquisitions to jumpstart Marcus, its consumer-banking unit.