Asset International, a b-to-b research, marketing and events provider for the financial sector, has agreed to acquire Canadian business intelligence firm, Investor Economics.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but Jim Casella, CEO of Asset International, places the deal at $20 to $25 million.

"Investor Economics allows us to have an unparalleled offering for asset management business intelligence throughout all of North America," Casella says. With only a minimal presence in Canada before the acquisition, Asset International’s market reach increases by up to 25 percent.

Investor Economics management, including founder and CEO Earl Bederman, will continue to run the company. Bederman’s team will fall into the Strategic Insight division of the larger parent group (Strategic Insight was purchased by Asset International for an undisclosed sum in 2009).

The Investor Economics addition closely mirrors an early-2011 deal with Australian financial business intelligence firm, Plan for Life.

In each case, the acquired companies have built valuable products and databases, but wary of costs, have trouble with distribution. Asset International’s capital, experience and existing platforms will help to scale web-based delivery.

"The Australian acquisition and this acquisition are very similar," Casella says. "The platform that we provide really enhances the data and the research they have. The platform we bring to it is something that a lot of these smaller companies in smaller markets have not been able to develop."

The group will look to add various marketing services to Investor Economics’ product offerings as soon as this fall, he adds.

Asset International received financial backing from equity holder, Austin Ventures, and credit facility from Goldman Sachs.

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