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Verbatim’s Recent CASRO Membership Distinguishes Its Investment Research

MAYNARD, Massachusetts, January 27, 2009 – The Board of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) has voted to approve membership of Verbatim Advisory Group. Founded in 1975 and representing more than 340 member companies, CASRO is the premier association for the survey research industry.

Among those commenting on the importance of CASRO membership is Integrity Research Associates, an independent evaluator of investment research firms. In its June 2008 study on channel research, Integrity cites its concern for “performance risks arising from exposure to information that is biased or inaccurate. In order to minimize these risks, it is critical that fund managers and third-party channel research firms adhere to industry best practices … The CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research is a good starting point for developing a set of best practices for the institutional channel checking industry...” The report concludes that “for compliance purposes, it is advisable for institutional investors to work only with firms that respect the Code.” Integrity’s study lists 23 channel research firms, and Verbatim is the only one that is a CASRO member.

Institutional investors such as mutual funds and hedge funds are Verbatim’s clients, and the company was formed solely to support them. As a CASRO member, Verbatim demonstrates its commitment to clients and to the public by adhering to the CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research. This Code mandates agreed-upon rules of ethical conduct for survey research organizations. Among other member companies of CASRO are Arbitron, Inc., Gallup, Inc., Harris Interactive Inc., IMS Health Incorporated, J.D. Power & Associates, The Nielsen Company, and NPD Group, Inc.

“We are excited to tap into the broad, decades-long expertise of CASRO and its member companies,” said John Strehle, Verbatim’s Managing Partner. “The independent investment research industry is comparatively young. In contrast, the countless number of research projects run by CASRO members has driven them to form important research standards and best practices. With our CASRO membership, we can now build an investor-centric company on a foundation of the collective wisdom of CASRO’s members. Adherence to CASRO’s Code facilitates quality within Verbatim’s research procedures and further enhances the quality of our findings.”

About Verbatim Advisory Group, LLC

Verbatim is an independent research provider (IRP) that conducts proprietary in-depth interviews to drive clients' investment decisions. Striving to understand the relative strength of a company's or industry's business ahead of the market, Verbatim holds discussions worldwide with a company's middle management, competitors, suppliers, and business partners. This primary research spans business services, consumer products & services, retail, healthcare, industrials & energy, and technology media & telecommunications. See www.verbatimadvisory.com for more information or call 978-897-4400 or (London) 8700 428 200.

About CASRO

Founded in 1975, CASRO represents over 340 research organizations in the U.S. and abroad, all of which annually reaffirm their adherence to the CASRO Code of Standards and Ethics for Survey Research, an internationally respected code of business and professional standards. CASRO’s member benefits include a strong government and public affairs program, research business support, timely industry surveys, and superb staff training and networking opportunities at workshops and conferences held throughout the year. Learn more at www.casro.org.

About Integrity Research Associates

Integrity is an information and solutions provider specializing in the investment research industry. Its institutional investor clients use Integrity's services to find new research providers and monitor existing ones. Integrity ResearchSelect(TM) provides confidential, customized searches tailored to investors' requirements. Integrity covers over 1,800 research firms in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The company is at www.integrity-research.com.