On July 30, 2009, Strategic Insight (SI) announced its merger with Asset International (AI), adding to AIs suite of services for the financial services market: PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISER, Global Custodian, aitrade, and ai5000. Reflecting on this merger, I am excited about this new partnership and this opportunity to find new ways we can serve our clients by leveraging the expertise from both AI and SI.Ive been at Strategic Insight for over six years now, during which time I have led growth in the VA area and see even more potential for expanding our existing products and innovating new products and services for our clients related to retirement, retirement income, and sub-advisory. My own my career has included positions in various capacities at Putnam, Fidelity, and Coopers and Lybrand (now PwC). The connection with PLANSPONSOR brings me back full circle to the retirement industry, since my role at Putnam was to support the defined contribution business. While SI is the smallest company I have worked for, I know that we have terrific core strengths that we can leverage through the new partnership.Founded in 1986, SI is a mutual fund research and consulting firm with a long history of expanding its services and research expertise. In that year, Joel Rosenthal, SIs visionary founder, wrote SIs first mutual fund industry trends report: Mutual Funds: Investing in the Future. Since then, SI has vastly broadened its research and services to a broad array of clients. SI then launched Simfund, the leading mutual fund, variable annuity, and global mutual fund net flow and research tool; introduced sionline.com, annuityinsight.com, and strategicinsightglobal.com which house much of SIs research reports and valuable research tools and services for competitive analysis; and added a number of new products and services including 15(c) fee analysis, regional forums, an ETF report, and distribution channel analysis with Coates Analytics. The AI and SI merger brings about a new era for us and our clients. This growth-oriented collaboration between AI and SI will result in additive synergies. In particular, the combined organization will leverage the retirement area expertise of PLANSPONSOR and the mutual fund expertise of SI to create value-added, retirement-focused services for businesses that operate within the retirement space. We also see a valuable synergy between PLANSPONSOR and SIs variable annuity services, especially with growing interest in guaranteed retirement income within retirement plans. In addition to these organizational synergies, SI will have access to greater financial resources now that it is part of the AI organization, enabling it to accelerate the development of our database services and global expansion. Expect more from the new and improved Strategic Insight.
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