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"BIA currently positioned itself as a full-service investment advisory firm, aimed at providing a mixture of

high-touch, customized products (e.g., their learning and development products, as well as their expert advisory services) coupled with a broad menu of investment research available through their web portal, plus their new automated analytics platform. This hybrid approach had served BIA well throughout its recent history, but concerns about the cannibalization of existing products, and how best to scale the business remained. Although the market for independent research was large, and BIA had built a profitable business, BIA had recently seen downward pressure on its sales and margins. Also, given the incentives of asset managers (many of whom liked to "own" all of a research firm's ideas), there was a tension between potential future growth and clients' likely desire to limit the distribution of unique insights available through BIA's offerings."


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