ABM, SIIA plan to merge
By John Obrecht
New York—American Business Media's board unanimously approved a merger with the Software & Information Industry Association. Under the terms of the merger, which must be approved by the ABM membership, the ABM will become a division of SIIA.
ABM President-CEO Clark Pettit said that together the two organizations cover the spectrum of print, digital, events, data, financial information, business information, paid content and marketing services. Taking a holistic approach to these disciplines will enable ABM and SIIA members to identify new business models more quickly, he said.
“It's our opinion that this is a bellwether event for many industries,” Pettit said. “We see this as a platform that will allow for future domestic and international strategic alliances.”
The plan is for ABM to merge with SIIA's Content Division.
Jeffry Lapin, 2012-13 ABM chairman, said: “This is really for the benefit of our members and their customers. It is a huge step toward acquiring broader scope and scale.”
Only about 20 of the ABM's membership of approximately 220 companies currently belong to SIIA.
Among other benefits, the merger of ABM with Washington, D.C.-based SIIA will provide a stronger lobbying presence, Pettit said.
The announcement of the merger came after 18 months of evaluating the best path for ABM, an organization that was founded in 1907. The merger proposal will be put to a vote of ABM's membership at its annual conference later this month in Amelia Island, Fla.
Pettit said ABM plans to keep its “key programs,” such as the annual conference, executive forum and Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards, in place “for the foreseeable future.” “We would expect to see new programs, expanded programs,” he said.
SIIA President Ken Wasch said in a statement: “Together our memberships form the cornerstone of b-to-b. By joining forces, we can bring the entire industry together and magnify opportunities for connection–so the right people can connect in the right environments and bring innovations to market.”
Pettit said the ABM plans to keep a New York office and that “no layoffs have been identified at this point.” He also said that he has been asked to stay on after the merger and lead the integration of the two organizations. He expects to deliver recommendations on the integration by the end of September.