ai5000 Aims for the Super Money

By Steve Smith

In tough economic times publishers can go one of two ways: either retarget your content toward budget-conscious readers with belt-tightening tips, or look for the places where the big money still resides. Asset International, publisher of PlanSponsor, splits the difference in its new digital magazine ai5000. Launching this week, the new title focuses its content on the 5,000 largest pools of capital on the planet, from huge pension plans to endowments, foundations and the largest institutional investors. At the same time, the magazine exploits the greater efficiencies of digital publication; ai5000 is a quarterly digital magazine that uses the Texterity platform, and can be read within the Web browser or downloaded for offline reading.

The inaugural issue of ai5000 includes features on Harvard’s endowment woes, the challenges for Dubai Inc. and surveys of fund managers. The new project has also attracted ad support from charter sponsors Northern Trust, State Street, Bridgewater Associates and PanAgora Asset Management. The digi-mag is free, but it also gives Asset International the opportunity to remarket its larger suite of institutional research, webinars, conferences and sponsored roundtables to high-end customers.

The ai5000 launch is part of a larger Asset International plan to expand its current media holdings in the financial segment, which include print magazines PlanSponsor, PlanAdvisor and Global Custodian. In a statement, the company says it thinks the current crisis in media business models offers an opportunity to buy or build new models. In the case of Asset International, which is owned by VC firm Austin Ventures, the print and online products form a kind of front-end customer acquisition and retention tool for a larger set of financial advisory and research services.