When Andy Prozes took the helm at LexisNexis in 2000, the com pany was the go-to resource for legal records, relied upon by law firms and corporate law departments as a one-stop resource for all manner of articles and public records. In fact, among the legal community, “LexisNexis” was practically a verb, as in “I’ll Lexis it and see what turns up.” That kind of brand equity-a name that’s synonymous with the service you provide-is tough to come by.
As Prozes is finding out, it’s also tough to change. Seven years later, LexisNexis is a very different company, but “the market doesn’t understand that we’re no longer a database company,” says Prozes, who spent the last seven years working to transform LexisNexis from primarily a research entity into a strategically aligned, global solutions provider. “When I came on board, we were a very dispirited, [disjointed] company that was losing out to our prime competitor, Thompson,” recounts Canadianborn Prozes, who has seen revenues rise from $1.9 billion (2001) to $3.2 billion (2007) under his tenure. “We needed to build a global organization that was unified under a common brand around a common strategy, and to focus on improving our products through a renewed emphasis on technology.”
Prozes lost no time taking steps to bring the ailing collection of disparate country operations of Lexis- Nexis, a division of Reed Elsevier based in
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Much of that additional technology came to LexisNexis through a series of acquisitions-35 over the past nine years-which had to be integrated into the company’s offerings and sold to a client base spread out over more than 100 countries.
“Lawyers all over the world need to handle their practices, get new clients, handle litigation, apply for patents and so on,” says Prozes. Delivering such information-based solutions to lawyers across the globe comprises the bulk of LexisNexis’ total revenue-about 75 percent.
“RIA has grown dramatically, and continues to grow in the double digits,” says Prozes, who says the credit card boom and security concerns are the principal drivers of that growth. “Laws about [privacy] are much more stringent here in the U.S. and in the U.K., which means that you have to rely much, much more on news articles to verify that people are who they say they are-and we have by far the largest database of news articles of anybody else on the face of the Earth.”