Tim Buckley Owen Wolters Kluwer gains some LexisNexis know-how
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By Tim Buckley Owen

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Legal and regulatory information publisher Wolters Kluwer Germany has announced that it is acquiring LexisNexis Deutschland.

With completion expected around the end of the year, it should lend further strength to Wolters Kluwer's strategy of adding 'intelligent solutions' to its content offerings. The company's new purchase will not only expand the range of publications it can offer in Germany but should also bring new technological expertise to strengthen the functionality of its online services.

The German business information activities of LexisNexis, as well as use of the LexisNexis brand in Germany, remain with LexisNexis International (http://digbig.com/5bcxhr) – but it's inconceivable that Wolters Kluwer's acquisition won't help it in developing more of its own workflow solutions of the kind that LexisNexis itself has been pursuing so vigorously of late.

A few months ago another division of the company, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, acquired FRS Global, which claims to be the only provider to offer customers a unified solution to address the financial risk management and regulatory reporting needs of financial organisations across the world (http://digbig.com/5bcxht).

The move prompted LiveWire contributor Penny Crossland to comment that the growing compliance challenge faced by the financial services industry was leading to an ever increasing convergence between content and software, citing comparable developments in both LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters (http://www.vivavip.com/go/e30691).

In fact it's just over a year now since Wolters Kluwer's chief executive Nancy McKinstry announced a three-year strategy for the company, including moves to expand its range of solutions designed to follow the transaction flow of its professional customers. 'Wolters Kluwer will move towards providing intelligent solutions and collaborative networks to help its customers produce results efficiently by connecting them with clients, governments, and other stakeholders critical to their work,' the company said (http://digbig.com/5bcxhw or see LiveWire http://www.vivavip.com/go/e28063 for some later context).

Since then it has followed up its 'intelligent solutions' pledge with an editorial blog in which specialists both within Wolters Kluwer and among its partners across different professional fields discuss new developments and technology-related topics within the information industry (http://digbig.com/5bcxhx).

There's also an Intelligent Solutions website to showcase technology and innovations across the company's businesses (http://digbig.com/5bcxhy - Adobe Flash Player 10+ required).

The European Commission is currently carrying out a consultation on its Directive on the reuse of public sector information, aiming to open up developer access to datasets already paid for by European taxpayers including legal data (background information at http://digbig.com/5bcxja – online consultation at http://digbig.com/5bcxjb – closes 30 November).

With access to much of its core content likely to become common currency in the future, small wonder that Wolters Kluwer is joining its competitors in seeking ever cleverer ways of presenting it.

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