Financial Research Associates joins Wilmington

It’s always good to see a plan coming together. As part of the new strategy for Wilmington plc announced in February 2015, we introduced a highly focused approach to acquisitions, targeting only those businesses which would fill identified gaps in our Areas of Knowledge.

Less than six months later, Wilmington announced the acquisition of US conference and networking provider Financial Research Associates LLC (FRA) from its founding management team. Established in 2001 and with offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Santa Cruz, California, FRA employs 47 people; it becomes part of Wilmington’s Insight Division, where we expect it to make a welcome contribution.

Positioning FRA within Wilmington

FRA specialises in networking events for the finance and healthcare sectors. Both areas are well-represented within Wilmington – healthcare is a big part of our Insight division – but we are strong on Information and Education, with a less solid Networking presence. We could see opportunities to expand FRA’s activities in the US and elsewhere, while allowing other Wilmington businesses to access a new client base at the same time.

It was clear that FRA was an excellent fit for Wilmington and the plc Board gave approval for our M&A team to enter into negotiation.

Shared Values and Ambitions

FRA has a successful portfolio of over 80 specialist events, focused on finance and healthcare. In June 2015, as the acquisition process moved to an exclusive basis, Wilmington CEO Pedro Ros visited two of FRA’s events in San Antonio, Texas, where he met some of the team face-to-face. He came away with very positive impressions of the business and the people who work there.

“It soon became clear to me that FRA and its people share the same values and ambitions that are evident across our businesses,” he said. “FRA’s knowledge-based culture fits exceptionally well with Wilmington’s strategy and core focus, and I realised that together, we could achieve great things.”

The feeling was mutual. FRA’s CEO Lori Medlen commented:

"We are thrilled to be joining Wilmington and look forward to providing live event networking opportunities to support the Insight and Finance divisions. We are delighted to be part of a larger organisation which can develop our growth ambitions."

The rest is now history

On Tuesday 7 July 2015, we announced to the London Stock Exchange that Wilmington plc had acquired FRA’s business; reaction to the news has been very positive, both in the company and among our external stakeholders. We are now getting to know our new colleagues in Charlotte, in Santa Cruz and elsewhere in the United States. We’re excited to be creating new opportunities across Wilmington, and looking forward to success in many areas.

Continue browsing the Wilmington Hub to learn more about FRA’s role in the Insight Division, or visit the FRA website directly for information about forthcoming events.

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