WeConvene buys Extel as it launches online platform

Jun 17, 2014
<p>New corporate access platform snaps up &lsquo;complementary&rsquo; research service</p>

WeConvene, a newly launched service designed to streamline interactions between the buy side and the sell side, has acquired Extel from Thomson Reuters at the same time as announcing WeConvene’s official global launch.

The Hong Kong-headquartered service, which was founded in 2012 but went live around 10 days ago, aims to make the manual processes involved in corporate access ‘more efficient’ by distributing events in real time to buy-side clients. The buy side can filter what it sees based on the stocks or sectors it covers – or any other interest it might have – as well as rate the quality of the corporate access it receives.

Speaking to IR Magazine, Radek Barnert, the firm’s CEO and co-founder, explains that WeConvene is a ‘freemium’ platform, that provides ‘enterprise-level services’ for which it charges.

‘We have, in our platform, the ability to track and rate corporate access interactions and there are some very distinct synergies between what we do and what Extel does,’ says Barnert, talking about the acquisition. Extoling the benefits of the deal, he adds that ‘for the sell side, [this will offer] better understanding of exactly how valued or how well received the services are that it provides to the buy side.’ It will also allow the buy side ‘to be able to provide rigorous feedback to the sell side about the services it receives.’

Steve Kelly, who heads up the Extel team, says in a press statement that Extel will ‘benefit further from the fresh ideas and investment offered by WeConvene.’ Kelly will remain in place alongside his existing team, while Extel’s annual awards – to be held today, June 17 – will continue under the current brand name, in partnership with Thomson Reuters.

‘Extel is a recognized and respected product and brand whose process is viewed with a high level of integrity,’ says Barnert. ‘All we’re going to do is grow that, rather than change it.’ While he is reluctant to reveal early details of exactly how this growth is to be achieved, he does say the plan is to give Extel a ‘further reach’.

‘Thomson Reuters is delighted to have found such an obvious home for Extel in WeConvene,’ adds David Craig, president of financial and risk at Thomson Reuters, in the statement. ‘WeConvene is well funded, ambitious and revenue-generating and Extel is a strong strategic fit for its business,’ he says, explaining that the firm ‘decided to sell Extel as part of a drive to simplify and focus on core activities’.

The acquisition of Extel by WeConvene comes almost exactly one year after NASDAQ OMX bought Thomson Reuters Investor Relations.

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