Investment & Technology magazine has merged its business with that of the direct marketing and events business Product Alert to form a new company – Conexus Financial.

Conexus Financial is owned by the three executive directors: Greg Bright, the founder of Investment & Technology; Debbie Wilkes, the founder of Product Alert; and Colin Tate, who has returned to the publishing industry after several years running an advertising agency and design company. The merger and new ownership structure will allow for the expansion of the two businesses, particularly in the area of marketing and events, both in the institutional investment market and with financial planners. Tate will assume the role of managing director, Bright of executive chairman and Wilkes of executive director. The first event undertaken by the new company is to produce the annual conference for the Australian Investor Relations Association in November. Conexus will expand the Product Alert directory service next month with the addition of a monthly product update service, which will be provided free to financial planners. The company will also launch a newsletter and website for planners, Professional Planner, in late September. The three directors and eight other full-time staff and contractors at Conexus all worked together at InvestorInfo, the company founded by Bright in the 1990s which listed in 2000 and was acquired last year by Aspect Huntley, which was in turn acquired last month by Morningstar. Tate was the head of sales and marketing on InvestorInfo’s institutional magazine, Investor Weekly, prior to taking on the job as launch publisher of IFA magazine for that company. Before starting her own business in 2004, Wilkes had been a distribution and database specialist at InvestorInfo, including the construction of the InvestorSupermarket database.

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