Summit acquires WiesnerMedia Financial Group

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Summit Business Media, publisher of Life Insurance Selling, American Agent and Broker, Wealth Manager and other b-to-b titles for the insurance, investment and professional services industries, has acquired WiesnerMedia's Financial Group for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition adds four b-to-b titles — and more than 160,000 subscribers — to Summit's audience base. Also included in the buy were ProducersWeb.com, a site for insurance agents; the Benefits Selling Expo and Senior Market Advisor Expo; Advisors Data source, a database containing 2 million agent and advisor names; and four other Web sites.

“Summit has millions of readers across the board with magazines, Web sites and events, so this really just strengthens our penetration in those sectors,” said Andy Goodenough, president of Summit Media. “Sales executives are going to cross-incent and there will be referrals, so the key way to make this work is to get everybody to play nicely and provide a panoply of services, from print and Web advertising to database to e-mail and direct mail.”

Subscribers to WiesnerMedia titles will be informed of the acquisition, most likely through editors' letters in the magazines. They will also receive additional offers for other Summit products. The four WiesnerMedia magazines are controlled circulation.

With the acquisition completed, Summit will have 25 magazine titles, 150 reference books and electronic products and 100 live events. Summit executives predict that WiesnerMedia Financial Group will post $20 million in revenue in 2008. WiesnerMedia has been growing at the rate of about 20% per year.

Goodenough said that strategic acquisitions will continue to play an important role in Summit's strategy. The company will also look to duplicate the success of ProducersWeb.com with other sites and has heavily invested in technology.

“Some people might look at an acquisition now as counter-cyclical, but these products are a bit counter-cyclical,” Goodenough explained. “When the stock market gets a little crazy, people like life insurance for its stability. In the investment advisor sector, people are less confident in making their own investing decisions, so they do reach out for help.”

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