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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MasterCard bids farewell to TowerGroup

International business consulting group Corporate Executive Board Co. revealed Oct. 13, 2009, that it had finalized a deal with MasterCard Worldwide to acquire TowerGroup, a financial services advisory firm that had been MasterCard's main research arm since 2004.

"After a strategic review of our advisory capabilities, we have decided to focus on information and analytics as opposed to subscription-based research offerings," said Chris Monteiro, Vice President of Global Marketing Communications for MasterCard. "This approach allows us to better serve our customers by focusing more of our resources on providing customized, information-based solutions designed to meet the increasing demands of today's highly competitive payments landscape."

A spokesperson for CEB declined to comment on the deal.

Corporate advice

MasterCard Advisors LLC, a subsidiary of MasterCard Worldwide (at the time called MasterCard International) that offers consulting, research, and information products and services, bought TowerGroup, which has a global focus, from Reuters in 2004.

According to Paul Martaus, President of payments industry consultancy Martaus & Associates, MasterCard likely used TowerGroup as a service for its corporate constituents.

"If I was a MasterCard issuer and wanted information about x, y or z, MasterCard would turn me over to the TowerGroup, and the TowerGroup would give me a proposal to do the kind of research or whatever kind of consulting I wanted," he said.

A well-reputed company

Martaus added that TowerGroup has long been a reputable firm in the payments industry.

"You'd have to wonder why they wanted to sell it, unless it did not meet the corporate objectives, because I know that TowerGroup has always been a well respected consulting company – they're really top-drawer guys," he said. "It could be they didn’t meet the level of expectations, or [MasterCard] may just be ready to make a move in a different strategic direction." end of article

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