Prioritizing the Next Stage of Publishing
For a lot of companies, it's a very difficult strategy to execute because it requires capital. You can't just put one or two people on the ground; it requires a commitment. For example, in London we've just moved all of our employees into new office space … on the edge of the City of London [financial district] where our client base is. … We have in that office … Plansponsor Europe, [security services publication] Global Custodian and CIO … and we are launching a brand in the wealth management space called Philanthropy Management. … We've already sold out all of the cover [positions] for the first year of [Philanthropy Management]—it's a pretty exciting launch. You don't see publishers today thinking about this, but we look at the market and where there are subsets and opportunities.
PE: How do you make the decision to launch a new brand?
Casella: We've done five acquisitions, and are working on a sixth one. We buy from entrepreneurs [who] are required to stay with us for at least two years. They end up with shares in our holding company. They set the priorities because they know the markets best. For example, John Lee is the gentleman we bought The Trade from. … He was the one who said in the wealth management area there is an opportunity to launch Philanthropy Management. … I rely a lot on these entrepreneurs from whom we've bought companies, who have operated in these markets for many years.
PE: Where do you see publishing in five years? Ten years?
Casella: … There will continue to be consolidation and there will be global expansion. Having said that, consolidation will take place by entrepreneurs seeing opportunities and starting things, and larger players eventually buying them out. I think that will continue. When you look out at the world five, 10 years from now, I have a feeling we are not going to be looking at silos … where [companies] define themselves as 'I'm a U.S. media company,' 'I'm a U.K. media company.' I think you are going to see companies much more defined as a global presence.