FT boosts US operation with money news site purchase

Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times, has boosted the newspaper’s US-based news operation by purchasing an American site offering news and commentary on the money management industry.

Money-Media, bought from its sole shareholder and CEO Michael Griffin, offers live news services on the American world of ‘high-net worth’asset management and mutual fund trustees. Its Agenda section claims to be ‘the most influential source of intelligence for today’s corporate directors”.

It had revenues of about £8m in 2007 – of which around two thirds were generated through subscriptions and renewals – and estimated gross assets of £2m at the year end.

Pearson said today that Money-Media’s specialist services will ‘improve the ability of the Financial Times to reach the asset management community in the US’and enhance the recently launched US edition of FTfm, its fund management newspaper supplement.

The paper is expected to face increased competition in North America from a revamped Wall Street Journal after its takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

John Ridding, chief executive of the FT and a former journalist on the paper, said: “This acquisition supports and extends our strategy of building strong subscriber and digital businesses in core sectors.

“Asset managers need reliable, relevant and timely information about the globalisation of investments, diversification of asset classes, mitigation of risk and frequent changes in regulation.

“Money-Media has built a senior and loyal audience in the US, and we see substantial scope for international growth with the FT’s global presence and expertise behind it.”

Money-Media was founded in 1996 by Griffin. It has a staff of 70, including 23 in editorial, and is based in New York. It has four online “products”: Ignites, a daily online service reaching over 50,000 mutual fund managers; Fundfire, a daily online service reaching 40,000 money management professionals; BoardIQ, a bi-weekly online and print service for over 4,000 trustees and top executives at nearly 140 fund complexes, and Agenda which is delivered to more than 4,000 directors and officers at nearly 300 public companies.

The FT has 24 print sites across the world, and a combined daily circulation of 444,880, according to November 2007’s ABC figures and a readership of more than 1.3 million people. FT.com attracts 5.35 million unique users each month and 43 million page views, according to ABC electronic figures from March 2007.

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