Shareholder.com seeks to pull in ex-CCBN clients

MAYNARD, MA: IR vendor Shareholder.com is trying to snag former clients of competitor CCBN by offering them a 90-day money-back guarantee.

MAYNARD, MA: IR vendor Shareholder.com is trying to snag former clients of competitor CCBN by offering them a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Shareholder.com launched its effort a few days after The Thomson Corporation completed its purchase of CCBN on March 12. "We didn't want to do too much while the acquisition was still pending," said Ron Gruner, Shareholder.com founder and CEO. IR vendors offer such services as webcasting of analyst conference calls and the creation of IR websites. So far no former CCBN client has signed on with Shareholder.com, but the announcement quickly drew dozens of inquiries, Gruner said. The incentive's success would be clearer in about a month, he added. Potential clients have until August 1 to take advantage of the offer. A client could cancel within 90 days of the date the service is first publicly accessible, and can get a full refund on all set-up and subscription fees. Kevin Marcus, president of Thomson Financial's corporate group, declined to comment on Shareholder.com's efforts. "We are very confident in our product offering, quality of service, and the continuity we offer," he said. Thomson's acquisition of CCBN, in which it had been a minority shareholder, ended more than 18 months of legal acrimony between the companies. In July 2002, Boston-based CCBN sued Thomson, accusing it of using sensitive information to create a rival IR business. The acquisition wiped out the lawsuit, and left Shareholder.com as one of the last big independent players in an industry that continues to reverberate with consolidation.

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