Austin Ventures Acquires Asset International

Austin Ventures has agreed to acquire Asset International, a financial information provider, including PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISER, and Global Custodian publications. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Press release:

Austin Ventures “AV”, with $3.9 billion of capital under management, today announced the signing of definitive agreements to acquire Asset International, a global financial information provider that produces industry-leading publications such as PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISER, and Global Custodian that have served for more than a decade the needs of global pension funds, asset managers, financial advisers, banking service providers, and other financial institutions. The infusion of capital and management expertise will enable Asset International to greatly expand its existing offerings and to launch new and innovative products into the global funds management industry.

Jim Casella will assume the position of CEO, enabling Charlie Ruffel, Founder and Director, to continue in a strategic role with increasing focus on expanding the current brands and developing new information products for existing and future markets. In addition, the executive team of Asset International and the editorial staffs of PLANSPONSOR, PLANADVISER, and Global Custodian will all remain in their current roles.

“As the Asset International brands and community continues to grow, we recognize the opportunity to add additional capital and new talent to help us better address the needs of our customers, while ensuring the consistency of our brands,” said Ruffel. “Jim’s expertise builds on that by adding a seasoned media executive to the team with a focus on expanding the digital reach of media products and services.”

Mr. Casella brings more than 30 years of media expertise to the Asset International team, most recently serving as Vice Chairman of Reed Business Information where he provided strategic direction to a portfolio of over 300 titles. Previous leadership roles held by Mr. Casella include CEO of RBI US (Cahners), COO of International Data Group (IDG), and President of ABC Consumer Magazines.

“Asset International brands have established themselves as a “trusted source” of information for a targeted, loyal audience within the financial markets,” said Casella. “Given the current global economic conditions, this audience will face increased pressure and have new challenges to perform. This transaction assures the reliability of Asset International information with a commitment to working with customers to create and deliver trusted information with new and innovative solutions.”

The acquisition of Asset International is the result of an initiative launched by Mr. Casella and Austin Ventures to identify a leading B2B media company focused on institutional finance. Mr. Casella worked closely with Austin Ventures as a CEO-in-Residence to successfully complete the transaction.

“Asset International is a tremendous organization with very strong brands and an extremely talented and committed team,” said Craig Milius, an Austin Ventures General Partner. “We’re excited to be partnering with both Jim and Charlie to continue building upon the strengths and capabilities of the business by expanding its media offerings and selectively pursuing strategic acquisitions of complementary brands.”

About Asset International

Asset International, Inc. owns and operates publishing, email, newsletter, and education portals focusing on retirement and international securities services industries. The company provides news, content, research, training and e-commerce solutions. Additionally, it offers industry research, sponsors conferences, and training to retirement professionals. The company owns, publishes, and operates PLANSPONSOR Magazine, with circulation of more than 35,000 and more than 110,000 investment professional readers that oversee very small plans with several million dollars in assets to giant public funds with tens of billions of dollars in investments; PLANSPONSOR.COM; Daily NewsDash and AdvisorDash newsletters; PLANSPONSOR Pathfinder; PLANADVISER Magazine; PLANADVISER.COM; GLOBAL CUSTODIAN Magazine; and GLOBALCUSTODIAN.COM. Asset International is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

About Austin Ventures

Austin Ventures has worked with talented entrepreneurs and executives to build valuable companies for nearly 25 years. With $3.9 billion under management, AV is the most active venture capital and growth equity firm in Texas and one of the most established in the nation. With a focus on business services, information services, integrated media, computer and communications hardware, and enterprise software, AV invests at all stages of company development, from $100,000 “planned experiments” in early stage ideas to $100+ million investments in expansion rounds, minority recapitalizations, and buyouts of middle-market growth companies. Visit for more information.