MasterCard Advisors(TM), a subsidiary of MasterCard International, today announced the acquisition of TowerGroup from Reuters.  MasterCard Advisors is a global professional services organization, offering consulting, research, outsourcing and information products and services.

The acquisition is part of Advisors' strategy to deepen and strengthen its research expertise and to provide clients with best-in-class advisory research across the financial services industry. The divestiture of TowerGroup from Reuters' portfolio is consistent with Reuters' increasing focus on its core business.

TowerGroup, which had been operating as a subsidiary of Reuters since 1999, is the leading research and advisory firm focused exclusively on the global financial services industry.  TowerGroup will continue to operate as a separate business with full editorial independence, and its headquarters will remain in Needham, MA.

G. Henry Mundt III, President, MasterCard Advisors, said, "Advisors identified the importance of independent advisory research for our clients in the rapidly changing financial services industry.  Acquiring TowerGroup accelerates the growth of advisory research offerings, and allows us to provide best-in-class advisory research.  In addition, this acquisition is an important step forward in our overall strategy to leverage our payments expertise across the financial services industry." 

Mundt added, "We understand the importance of keeping advisory research objective and independent, and believe it is essential that TowerGroup analysts continue to represent their own point-of-view and not the views of MasterCard Advisors or MasterCard International."

Also effective today, Karen Cone, formerly the MasterCard Advisors Global Practice Leader for Research, has been appointed President and CEO of TowerGroup.

"TowerGroup will remain a strong, independent and analytical voice in the financial services industry.  This is critical to TowerGroup clients, as executives are more and more reliant on industry experts to help them navigate the increasingly complex and competitive financial services landscape," said Cone.

"The respect TowerGroup garners as a thought-leader and objective advisor combined with Advisors' commitment of support and global reach creates a formidable business opportunity in terms of product and services capabilities and increased client value."

Cone joined MasterCard Advisors in May 2003 to establish and grow its research business and rapidly built out a research practice including advisory research, primary market research and performance measurement.  Previously, Cone spent ten years at Gartner Inc., where she was a member of the senior leadership team, held several senior level research positions and was the general manager of  Prior to Gartner, Cone had a successful 19-year career at IBM, where she gained extensive financial services industry experience and held international assignments in Japan , France and Russia

Mark Sievewright, President and CEO of TowerGroup since February 2000, will work closely with Cone and TowerGroup to ensure a seamless transition, before pursuing new opportunities. 

Sievewright said, "In TowerGroup, MasterCard Advisors has secured one of the best platforms in the industry from which to expand its advisory research business.  I am very proud to have been part of building what I strongly believe to be the premier research and advisory team in the industry.  The TowerGroup team, with the support of our clients, has secured a market-leading position and an excellent reputation for the highest standards of research and advice." 

Advisors' current research and advisory business, Purchase Street Research, was founded in 2003 and is the first such business devoted exclusively to the payments industry. Purchase Street Research will continue to report to Cone. will be enhanced through its integration with, which is a powerful, leading-edge Web-based channel for clients to access and use the research. 

"For the past 11 years, TowerGroup has been the source for trusted information and advice across the global financial services industry," said Cone.  "With MasterCard Advisors' worldwide presence and its overall support and synergies, we are confident we will further enhance TowerGroup's premier advisory research services and will grow the Company on a global scale."

Source: MasterCard International

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