Established in 1882 | Evolving in 2018
1882: Metals markets are booming. Traders are settling contracts to secure supply and satisfy their customers. In the U.S., tinplate, pig iron and iron bars are moving faster than other metals, but transparency about costs and what is driving the market is scarce. Metals broker William I. Russell seizes the opportunity. He starts to provide reliable prices and other market information for non-ferrous metals, pig iron and iron bar to customers that need that information to navigate the markets. This is the birth of American Metal Market (AMM), a four to six-page weekly publication that started the benchmark of North American metals prices.
1896: Charles S. Trench purchases AMM launching a publishing dynasty that would continue under the Trench name for the next 67 years.
1913: In the London office of the Ironmonger magazine, meanwhile, Lawrence Howard (L.H.) Quin proposes to his editor that they expand their coverage beyond UK wholesale prices of items like galvanized sheets, zinc sheets, copper tubes and brass strip, to service the global markets, which were using the London Metal Exchange for price discovery and risk management. His boss turns him down, so Quin resigns and puts his plan into action anyway. While he waits out his two-year non-compete agreement, he starts a subscription newsletter, Quin’s Metal Market Letter – consisting of four pages produced once per week. When his non-compete deal ends, Quin launches The Metal Bulletin, an advertisement carrying twice-weekly journal that provides prices and market information. Copper, tin, lead and zinc were the backbone of the coverage, as well as tin plate, galvanized steel, pig iron, and semis and scrap, and more specialist materials, such as tungsten.
1934: L. H. Quin passes away and Metal Bulletin (MB) continues under the editorial advisement of Leslie Tarring and Harry Cordero an arrangement that lasted 77 years through the commitment of their sons.
Over the decades ahead, American Metal Market and Metal Bulletin both continue to develop its pricing and coverage for their respective regional metals markets, with Metal Bulletin achieving almost half of its clients being based outside the UK. They continue to grow successfully and become renowned experts in the metals markets they serve.
1965: MB starts covering non-metallic minerals markets and then two years later launches a product solely focusing on this – Industrial Minerals.
1973: AMM was purchased from the Trench family by Fairchild Publications who were enticed by their high subscriber rate, paid-circulation and high renewal rates. Fairchild intended to unite the AMM publication with their much larger readership, but a much smaller revenue publication, Metalworking News – which they did eventually join on April 3, 1973. While this joining caused turmoil internally and externally initially, financial records indicate that it was indeed a profitable move. AMM continued to persevere and was the most profitable publication in the Fairchild subscription revenues.
1976: As the rate of growth continues, Metal Bulletin Monthly launches - a magazine covering feature-length articles and long-term trends. Shortly after, the first overseas office opens up in New York City.
1984: As MB has always shown understanding of the changing markets and times, they launch a hi-tech fax-based service called FastTrack, which is an immediate success. Five years later, FastTrack begins being published via Reuters.
1991: As the need for clarity in understanding short and long-term outlooks presents itself, MB launches another business section focused around research – Metal Bulletin Research.
1995: Bloomberg begins to publish MB’s prices.
1999: Metal Bulletin unveils its first online website – metalnet.co.uk
2001: As the metal industries in the U.S. continue to grow, Metal Bulletin recognizes an opportunity in American Metal Market. In 2001, MB acquires AMM and focuses on offering its content digitally, transforming the AMM business from a print product to digital as well. After 88 years as a twice-weekly printed product, MB begins to deliver a weekly magazine with its primary content being accessible through the website.
2006: Identifying the role that MB has for companies involved in and affected by the metals markets and its success, Euromoney Institutional Investor buys Metal Bulletin PLC. Huge changes follow over the next decade, as the London-listed media company invested and developed it further. With offices in China, Brazil, Singapore, the U.S. and London, and multiple benchmarks and futures used by exchanges, Metal Bulletin’s brands continue to grow and find success.
Euromoney Institutional Investor's investment came in several different channels.
In people: Across all brands there are around 160 price reporters, editors and analysts working for the company, as well as dedicated compliance, technology, marketing, product and sales teams.
In processes: We engaged an independent auditor to ensure that our pricing processes represent the stated methodology in line with the IOSCO guidelines and have completed external assurance reviews of benchmark prices.
In technology itself: We have developed proprietary software known as MInD (the Markets information database), which is an auditable and user-friendly database that reporters and editors use to capture all relevant information on prices the company assesses and indexes.
In other companies: In 2016 Euromoney purchased FastMarkets, a digital platform streaming live exchange prices and proprietary data and news. In 2017 Euromoney purchased RISI and in 2018 Random Lengths, which with Metal Bulletin and American Metal Market are the basis of its price reporting division.
Adapting in a digital world. With all these investments and a changing world, Euromoney evaluated the collective group of brands and determined the division’s strategy and objective. After careful consultation, research and understanding business goals, in order to grow and thrive we must continue delivering the prices and market intelligence that our customers require in a way that suits their needs. We will need to continue to evolve as we have for the last 130 years.
Providing clarity. With a number of brands working together under one umbrella, there was a lack of clarity among our customers and the market about how the brands and services fit together and what benefits they provided. Producing representative prices and market intelligence with news, forecasting and events was synonymous but how do we communicate that collectively?
We began working to align the brands in terms of methodologies, delivery methods and teams as one global price reporting agency. There was careful consideration of the best avenue to bring our brands together under one PRA name which would capture our values and those of the market today, without disregarding our history or the trust invested in the other brands and services. This new name must remember our past but show a strong presence toward our future.
With some brands there were regional or associated assumptions toward their brand names, while others didn’t give the opportunity to encompass the full commodity realm. There was only one that stood out and could carve out a new future for the price reporting division of Euromoney.
Fastmarkets. Built on a foundation of trust and reliability from the companies that have been brought together over the years, Fastmarkets will continue to grow and evolve with the markets. Continuing the history of rich and robust methodologies, deep connections in the market and revolutionizing technology solutions – we are committed to providing prices and market insights that allow you to master your markets.
We are Fastmarkets.