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Thursday, March 03, 2005

A New Look for Financial Planning?

News summary by MFWire's editors

Financial Planning staffers recently woke up to a new owner and now a new editor as well. The new owner came late last year when Investcorp, a buyout firm partly owned by the Crown Prince of Bahrain, acquired the magazine along with the rest of Thomson Media in October. The $350 million deal included an array of publishing properties, including American Banker, The Bond Buyer and others and closed at the end of 2004. At that time, Thomson Media also became SourceMedia.

Now SourceMedia has tapped former Money editor Marion Asnes as the new editor for Financial Planning replacing Richard Koreto. She reports to Rob Hertzberg, editorial director of the Investment Advisor Group at SourceMedia.

At Money Asnes put together the magazine's "The 100 Best Mutual Funds" as well as softer features such as the "Best Places to Live." Earlier in her career, the Cornell art history major came from a distinctly different part of New York than Wall Street. That background includes a run as a features editor at Mademoiselle and editorial jobs at Self Magazine and Vogue.

She will have her work cut out for her Financial Planning. Not only is the magazine now owned by flip artist, it is also faced with increased competition as the industry comes out of a four-year ad sales depression.

Historically the glossy has been popular with many fund firms as an advertising buy because of its reach (it goes to upwards of 100,000 financial planners, registered investment advisers, CPAs, and insurance professionals, according to SourceMedia). In recent years, though, the field of magazines targeted to intermediaries has grown crowded with titles aimed at advisors, including Financial Advisor, Crains' Investment News, Investment Advisor and others.

The resulting fight has already claimed some casualties, including Bloomberg's Wealth Manager title that stopped publishing last year. With Investcorp's money, though, Financial Planning should be around for the duration.  

Edited by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

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