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Rating:Strategic Insight Sells Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Strategic Insight Sells

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Strategic Insight is changing hands. Thursday morning Asset International confirmed its purchase of the New York-based fund research and technology firm for an undisclosed sum. Watch for AI to buy again later this year.

Avi Nachmany
Strategic Insight
Co-Founder and Research Director
The MFWire first reported in August of last year that Strategic Insight was on the block for a price of up to $60 million, and last month The MFWire reported that AI was about to buy the company.

AI, controlled by private equity firm Austin Ventures (which acquired AI via a subsidiary, Case Interactive Media, earlier this year), already owns a number of trade publications, including: Global Custodian, PlanAdviser and PlanSponsor. AI also recently launched an online only publication, ai5000, and last month the firm acquired a London-based trade publisher, the Trade. And AI probably has more deals in the works: Austin Ventures closed its tenth fund in the fall with $950 million.

Jim Casella
Asset International / Case Interactive Media
As part of the deal, AI revealed that SI co-founder Joel Rosenthal, 70, will retire and pass the CEO reins over to Jim Casella, CEO of AI. As previously reported by the MFWire, the Jordan Edmiston Group advised SI on the sale. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman was the legal counsel.

AI did not use a financial advisor. Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati served as its legal counsel.

Avi Nachmany, 57, co-founder and research director at SI, and the rest of the staff will stay on.

Strategic Insight
590 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10036
212- 944-4455

  • Founded: 1986

  • Founders: Avi Nachmany, Joel Rosenthal

  • Employees: 74

  • "I am thrilled to join Jim and the AI team, together with our entire staff," Nachmany said the press release. "This new partnership and the increased capabilities it brings extend the vision of Joel Rosenthal, my mentor of 23 years, well into the future."

    As for the SI brand, Casella plans to keep that intact. And Casella confirmed that Nachmany isn't the only SI employee sticking around.

    "We offered every single individual their same position," Casella told MFWire in an exclusive interview.

    Casella called SI "a significant boost" for AI, and he noted that the two firms have "significant overlap" in their customer bases.

    This is Casella's third deal this year (after AI itself and then the Trade), and he said he's not done yet.

    "We will do another significant deal sometime in the fourth quarter," Casella said. "It's a good time to be buying. It's a good time to be integrating for future growth."

    The SI purchase fits into an expansion strategy Casella laid out last month in an interview with The MFWire. Casella wants to expand AI's business along four dimensions: data and analytics, events, information and primary research. With its own research and a recent successful mutual fund-focused conference, SI promises to help Casella on several of those dimensions.

    The sale of Strategic Insight follows the sale last fall of another fund research specialist, FRC, to Mercatus. Check back for more info as this story develops. 

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