PE Discovers a Pair of Advisor Data Shops
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

PE Discovers a Pair of Advisor Data Shops

One advisor-watching data specialist just bought another, even as a Silicon Alley private equity shop is swooping in.

Bob Herrmann
Discovery Data
President & Chief Executive Officer
Bob Herrmann, CEO of Eatontown, New Jersey-based Discovery Data, confirms that they've acquired New York City-based Meridian-IQ from AIQ. Herrmann also confirms that New York City-based private equity shop Bregal Sagemount, in turn, has acquired Discovery from Ipreo. Discovery and Meridian both support asset managers and other financial services providers; the two companies specialize in databases on financial advisors and RIAs.

MFWire could not immediately reach Meridian-IQ CEO Nick Stuller for comment on the deals.

The pricing and terms of both deals were not disclosed. Yet there are some clues. In a company statement, Bregal Sagemount gives $15 million to $150 million as the size-range for its investments. The firm's website lists its equity investment size range as $15 million to $75 million (or up to $150 million with co-investors, though no co-investors were mentioned in these deals). They target companies with revenue in the $15 million to $250 million range and target greater than 10-percent annual growth.

As for the Meridian-IQ side of the deal, CrunchBase lists two rounds of funding for the company prior to the Discovery deal. Per the site, in August 2011 Meridian-IQ raised $2 million in seed funding, and in April 2014 it raised $1.55 million in debt financing. GrowthCap advised AIQ on selling Meridian-IQ.

Daniel Kim, partner at Bregal Sagemount and alumnus of Goldman Sachs' special situations group, now chairs Discovery's board. Bregal Sagemount's Blair Greenberg and Arjun Mehta are also involved with the deal. And it sounds like Bregal Sagemount is helping Discovery expand further.

"These acquisitions provide us the opportunity to bring together two leading companies in the wealth management information sector," Kim states. "The demand for this comprehensive data set is expanding rapidly, and our investment will provide Discovery Data the resources to continue its expansion."

"Sagemount's experience investing in leading financial technology will be invaluable to Discovery Data as we accelerate new product development and enhance our competitive position within this sector," Herrmann states.

Ipreo, a New York City-based global capital markets data specialist, bought Discovery in 2013. Herrmann took over as CEO of Discovery back in 2009.

AIQ and Meridian-IQ were founded by former J.P. Morgan PM and quantitative hedge fund alumnus Gary Liberman in 2010. Also in 2010, Liberman brought in Stuller, founding employee and former CEO of Discovery, as president and CEO of AIQ, Meridian-IQ and AdviceIQ. In 2014 AdviceIQ hosted the first "National Financial Advisor Week" in midtown Manhattan, to celebrate financial advisors and to educate the public about what FAs do.

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