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The Exchange Telegraph Co. Ltd. (also known as EXTEL) was created in March 1872 specifically to distribute financial and business information from the Stock Exchange and other commercial markets direct to subscribers. The company established ticker tape telegraph machines in offices, gentlemen's clubs, banks etc. and provided a continuous stream of commercial information to them. It introduced a parliamentary service in 1876, a general news service in 1879 and a legal service in 1891. The business was so successful that by 1906 they had opened ten other branches outside London. The company continued to grow and improve, becoming increasingly more efficient. It added a faster financial service in 1907 and began operating a worldwide news service in 1913, with a separate sports service included in the 1930s. Over the course of its history, Extel (the name coming into common use for the company in the 1950s) grew into one of the leading news agencies, provider of financial information and associated businesses. Among the many notable achievement were 'Extel Cards', the very first corporate snapshots/tear-sheets with brief data on profit and loss, employees, business activities and executive management. Extel Cards, naturally in hard copy, were first produced in 1922.

Recent history[edit]

Extel was acquired by United Newspapers in 1987. In 1991, Extel set up a joint venture with Agence France Presse to create a financial news service, AFX News.[1] Pearson PLC acquired Extel in 1993 and merged it as Financial Times Information into its Financial Times Division. Financial Times reorganised the company into two divisions: Market Data and Research. The research division retained the Extel branding. Primark acquired the Extel brand from Pearson in 1999[2] and it became part of Thomson Financial in 2000. AFP's share in AFX News was sold in 2006 to Thomson Financial.[3] Extel is now a part of Thomson Reuters[4]

Extel survey[edit]

The Extel Survey began in 1974, when an independent consultant, Geoffrey Osmint, conceived the idea of collecting views and votes from fund managers on the services and advice they were getting from research analysts at stockbroking houses (or investment statisticians as analysts were then called).

The first Survey, produced in October 1974, saw some 53 fund management firms take part (compared to 1,615 in 2008), and interest quickly grew to around 120 asset management firms giving their views. The Survey was run independently by Geoffrey Osmint. Between 1974 and 1985 it was sponsored by Continental Illinois Bank of the USA.

With the demise of Continental Illinois in 1985, the Survey became the Extel Survey, although it continued under the careful direction of Geoffrey Osmint until 1998, when on completion of the 25th annual Survey he left the scene.

Initially the Survey focused on the UK investment market only, and still in 1999 it had a significant UK bias, in the data collected and the location of respondents.

Since Extel Surveys became the Thomson Extel Surveys and now Thomson Reuters Extel Surveys there have been a range of enhancements.

In brief
  • Website for voting and results
  • Global expansion - in participation in the Survey, and encompassing other market studies in Asia and North America
  • Rankings of quoted companies and fund managers alongside the fundamental rankings of brokers
  • The much-valued independent assessment of the Survey data and processes by Deloitte
  • Introduction of Extel IBR - an internal broker voting tool for individual fund management firms

The Extel Survey now runs market surveys and produces bespoke studies for clients worldwide - helping all three sides of the investment community to identify excellence and inform investment decisions.


  1. ^ AFP and Financial Wires Encroach on Original Market : Reuters News: Clients Defect By Erik Ipsen Published: February 13, 1992 http://www.nytimes.com/1992/02/13/business/worldbusiness/13iht-reut.html
  2. ^ "Retail-Trade". All Business. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Thomson Financial acquires AFX. Publication:Information World Review Publish date:July 10, 2006 http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-147936027.html
  4. ^ "Extel Europe 2012- Results Now". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 22 June 2012.