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Strategic Insight Buys BrightScope for Reported $35+ Million


Financial information and technology company BrightScope, one of our earliest alums, has been acquired by data and business intelligence provider, Strategic Insight. Terms of the deal were not immediately available. But RIABiz reports that the acquisition was financed by Genstar Capital and notes “outside sources peg the deal at $35 to $40 million.” Commenting on the news, Strategic Insight CEO Joel Mandelbaum said, “BrightScope is well known for its unique retirement data and its technology innovation. We are excited by the opportunity to add retirement data to our portfolio and accelerate our commitment to the asset-management industry.”

The acquisition comes in the wake of a pair of other recent pickups for Strategic Insight, Market Metrics and Matrix Solutions. Both deals were designed to add to the company’s access to investment data and to be able to get that data to its clients efficiently and quickly. Interestingly, BrightScope’s attempt to acquire Market Metrics earlier this year was thwarted by Strategic Insight’s parent company, Asset International, which picked up the company for $165 million.

In addition to its four divisions—SI Data, SI Research, SI Intelligence, and SI Interactive—Strategic Insight produces a set of investment/asset management-related publications including, PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISER, Chief Investment Officer, Global Custodian, and The Trade. Strategic Insight was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Boston, San Francisco, Samford, Connecticut, as well as around the world, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada. The firm has more than 250 U.S. FIs as clients including Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, Nomura, TIAA-CREF, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

BrightScope co-founder Mike Alfred noted that the acquisition comes at a time of “tremendous change” in the financial services business, and said working with Strategic Insight “will give us the platform and products to meet the evolving needs of our customers.” This point was echoed by RIABiz, which noted in its reporting that changing investment styles and new regulations are forcing many asset-management-related firms to re-evaluate the way they do business. “We see all the changes coming, like the move to passive investing and the new DOL rules,” Alfred told RIABiz. “We knew we had to get bigger or not be in the business,” he said.

Founded in 2008 by brothers Mike and Ryan Alfred, and headquartered in San Diego, California, BrightScope demonstrated its technology at FinovateFall 2009. Prior to its acquisition by Strategic Insight, the company had raised $6 million in funding from investors including Steelpoint Capital Partners.