Asset International is Acquiring Investor Economics

Asset International, which is backed by Austin Ventures, is buying Investor Economics.

The deal is valued at $20 million to $25 million, says Jim Casella, Asset International’s CEO. Investor Economics, of Toronto, provides business intelligence data and research for Canadian banks, asset managers and brokerages.

Goldman Sachs Specialty Group is provided financing, Casella says. The deal is expected to close Thursday.

Investor Economics compliments the data provided by Strategic Insight, an Asset International portfolio company, Casella says. Investor Economics provides fund flow data for the Canadian market, while New York-based Strategic Insight provides the same sort of data but for the U.S. market.

“[Investor Economics] had a dominant position in the Canadian market,” Casella says.

All 25 employees of Investor Economics will stay with the firm, he says.

Earl Bederman, Investor Economics founder and CEO, is also staying on but as president and vice chairman for North America, Casella says. The company will be known as Investor Economics, a division of Strategic Insight.

Casella says he had to “woo” Bederman, who is in his early 60s, for two years. Bederman wasn’t ready to retire and he’s doesn’t have to, Casella says. Sometimes, entrepreneurs think they have to leave and retire once they sell their company to a private equity firm, Casella says. Asset International has done seven acquisitions and has kept the CEOs of all but one of the companies they bought. (The one CEO who did retire was 72, Cassella says. “He told me he had worked since he was 15 and it was time to retire,” Casella says.”)

It took some time but Bederman eventually accepted that he didn’t have to leave Investor Economics, Casella says. “I like keeping [the CEOs] with the businesses,” he says.

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