FRANKFURT, GERMANY: Dow Jones Indexes, the stock-index subsidiary of Dow Jones & Company, has established its first PR presence in Europe with two hires in the company's Frankfurt office. The hires came the same week that Dow Jones' chief European competitor, FTSE Group, made an appointment to the newly created role of communications director.
Simona Deckers and Stephanie Schleidt, both of whom have communications backgrounds in European markets, are joining Dow Jones' PR team as associates.
The move doubles the size of the global PR team, which had been limited to two people in New York. The hires are part of an increased European marketing push.
Even as Dow Jones fights through a troublesome ad recession in its core publishing business, the company's index licensing business has become lucrative in recent years, as index investing has come into vogue.
Index investors attempt to exactly mirror the performance of a given stock index by investing solely in the stocks that comprise that index.
For instance, many mutual-fund companies now offer S&P 500 index funds, which are designed to provide returns that directly match that index.
Index investing has proven to be a cost-effective and fail-safe way for investors to match the performance of the broad market. Companies like Dow Jones make money by licensing indexes for use in index-investment products.
"Although index investing is pretty much old hat in the US, in many ways it's just starting to catch on in Europe," said Sybille Reitz, global director of PR for Dow Jones Indexes. "Yet in many ways, Europe is a more complicated market for us because of the various media markets, regulators, and stock markets within Europe."
FTSE appointed Marianne Huve-Allard to the newly created role of communications director for the company, which is a joint venture between the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange. Huve-Allard most recently headed communications at the Paris Bourse.
The decision to hire a communications head came after the company grew from five people in 1995, to about 150 in 2002.