Austin-Backed B2B Platform Asset International Buys 2 Cos

Rimin Dutt, July 31, 2009 (Dow Jones / LBO Wire)

Austin Ventures-backed B2B publisher Asset International Inc. has added two more companies to its portfolio, buying Strategic Insight, a research, data and analytics firm; and The Trade Ltd., a London-based provider of news and events for institutional investors.

The deals were funded with all equity, said Jim Cassella, chief executive of Asset International.

Austin Ventures had committed $50 million to the platform last year. The firm has subsequently upped its commitment to about $125 million, said Cassella.

New York-based Strategic Insight provides services to over 200 financial services organizations, covering the mutual fund, retirement income and wealth management industries.

Both companies have performed well despite the downturn because investors see financial data as "mission critical" for their businesses, said Cassella.

With these two deals, Asset International has about $100 million in annual revenue, said Cassella. The company has also doubled its staff with these two deals.

Asset International chief executive Jim Casella will become the CEO of Strategic Insight. He will succeed Joel Rosenthal, 70, who is retiring.

Austin Ventures bought Asset International, a stable of publications that cover the funds management industry, in January, partnering with Jim Casella, former vice chairman of Reed Business Information. Its titles include Plansponsor, Planadviser and Global Custodian.

Jordan Edmiston Group Inc. was the financial adviser on Strategic Insight deal.

Reach Austin Ventures at 512-485-1900.

After the deals for Strategic Insight and The Trade Ltd., the platform has about $100 million in revenue.

(c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.