Victor Schnee
Founder and President


Victor Schnee, leading telecom and investment expert, founded and ran research firms Probe Research, Inc. and Probe Group LLC and also founded “Wireless For the Corporate User Magazine.” He authored seven acclaimed studies of the industry. His investment experience includes doing deals with Craig McCaw, Octel Communications and others. In a joint venture with Kiewit Diversified Industries he co-managed an information services venture fund in the mid-‘90s. Earlier he was a leading Wall Street analyst with a research boutique in the 1970s. He has also been an advisor to investment banks, including Lazard Freres (NY) and ThinkEquity Partners (SF). He is currently the president of Probe Financial Associates, Inc., a leading independent investment research firm serving a wide variety of mutual fund, hedge fund, bank and insurance company investment managers.

Victor Schnee has been widely recognized as the leading strategic expert in the telecommunications industry for almost three decades. He has provided research and consulting to leading international telecom carriers and companies in the computer, software, IP networking, semiconductor and telecom equipment markets. His experience includes authoring seven comprehensive studies that have accurately predicted market trends in telecommunications, wireless and the Internet. His studies have been extensively reported on in the press, including cover stories by The Net Economy, Telephony Magazine and other publications, and purchased by over 1000 leading companies worldwide.

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Schnee served as an attorney with the U.S. Justice Department, Antitrust and Tax Divisions, and the leading Manhattan law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. Mr. Schnee also has significant background in the investment business, having directed an institutional research sell-side boutique in the 1970s with his leading clients, Fidelity Management, Morgan Bank and other major institutional investors. Other credentials include vast experience in venture capital and new company development. He is a longstanding member of The New York Society of Security Analysts and a member of the CFA Institute.

Key Consulting Engagements

-He was a strategic consultant to the CEO of MFS. Issues included business strategy andacquisitions and mergers.

-He was a strategic consultant to Ron Bittner, CEO of Rochester Telephone (later Frontier, acquired by Global Crossing). Issues included company restructuring, investments and acquisitions.

-He sold the first property to Craig McCaw, which eventually became NextLink, later XO Communications. He briefly served on the board when the company was still a limited partnership.

-He raised money for a Sprint affiliate in a $120M private transaction. The company had about $60 million in 2000 revenues, posted a 100% revenue increase in 1Q2001 and was successfully sold later in the year.

-He helped establish a fund with Kiewit Diversified, which invested in early-stage business information service entities. (Kiewit Diversified terminated as a result of Kiewit’s starting Level 3 Communications.)

-He was a strategic consultant to a leading Wall Street investment bank, working directly with the head of the firm’s telecommunications practice. Issues included future industry developments and strategic mergers.

-He served as a strategic consultant to the CEO of one of the largest cable TV companies regarding sale of the company.

-He advised investors on an investment in a leading rural cellular carrier.

-He advised a new pervasive video company on financing

-He advised an innovative mobile cellsite developer on financing and expansion strategies.

-He advised an emerging investment banking firm on a wide range of telecom opportunities.

About His Studies

In 1976, Schnee, with his colleague Walter Gorkiewicz, published the controversial 450-page study, The Future of AT&T. The research, which has since been recognized as one of telecom’s foremost seminal studies, offered a comprehensive profile of the industry giant, plus accurately identified all major technological, social and regulatory trends and forecasted how they would impact the company over the next 10 years, including the 1984 divestiture. The study achieved widespread approbation, with immediate front-page coverage in some of the most reputable national and international publications such as Business Week, The New York Times and The Economist.
Following the release of this study, the U.S. Congress sought out Schnee to be a leading independent expert witness and industry advisor. He has personally specialized in the subjects of competition in telecommunications, business restructuring and financial planning of local telcos — including the regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs) — and identification of emerging markets, especially wireless computing and communications, and new information services.

His 1990 study, Taking Over Telephone Companies, achieved global recognition as yet another landmark research publication. Similarly received was April 1992’s The End of the Local Monopolies, which described how myriad upheavals in the local telecom market would alter the strategic assumptions of virtually every important telecom industry participant. In 1994’s The End of the RBOCs, he accurately explained how RBOC miscalculations could lead to business catastrophe.

In 1998, he and co-author Allan Tumolillo, Probe’s Chief Operating Officer, published Mega Strategies: Winning the Computer-Telecom War, which illustrated the underlying conflict between the two industries over the future of the Internet. The study not only correctly forecasted the SBC-Ameritech merger, which occurred soon after its release, but also accurately discussed further consolidations by Bell Atlantic and the rise of the Neo-Bell system.

In June 2001, Schnee continued his mastery in a study that shook the telecom world on its foundations with the release of Super Competitor: Dominating the New Era of Telecom•Wireless•Internet. This publication is a monumental, comprehensive analysis of the demise of the traditional telecom industry and the emergence of trends that will drive the new telecommunications, wireless and Internet communications revolution. The Net Economy featured his insight and forecasts published in this report in a September 2001 cover story.

His 2002 study, What's Next for IT/Computing and Telecom? concludes – based on mountains of evidence – that the only way telecom can be revitalized is if the IT/computing industry sets the agenda of telecom priorities. It explains new strategy approaches for IT/computing companies.