Our Rationale for Founding STMA - Illustrated by our First Announced Transaction

OUR PRESS RELEASE: Announcing the formation of financial advisory firm STM Advisers LLC and its first completed transaction, on behalf of the AAAS

New York, July 20, 2015. Scientific, technical, and medical publishing experts Joseph Esposito, Michael Clarke, and David Lamb are pleased to announce the formation of STM Advisers LLC (“STMA”), the first financial and strategic advisory firm dedicated to scientific, technical, and medical (STM) publishing, academic publishing, and scholarly communications. STMA represents clients in both acquisitions and divestitures as well as valuations and assistance with financings. 

“The STM market is in the midst of a Cambrian explosion of digital products and services,” noted STMA partner, Joseph Esposito. “In addition to the growth of online publications, there are new digital workflow tools, analytics platforms, discovery systems, education products, peer review support services, and much more. Navigating this landscape and assessing its opportunities is complex. The market has been without a specialized resource.”

STMA recently represented one of its first clients, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, in its acquisition of Peer Review Evaluation (PRE) from the Journal of Joint and Bone Surgery, Inc. (JBJS). The AAAS has issued a press release describing this transaction:

“PRE represents the first acquisition of a digital product by the AAAS,” noted Kent Anderson, Publisher of Science. “PRE provides a new platform for furthering our mission while allowing us to diversify our offerings. STM Advisers helped us evaluate the opportunity, develop a valuation, perform due diligence, negotiate terms, and expeditiously close.”

AAAS’s acquisition of PRE closed July 1st. STMA initiated the transaction and assisted AAAS not only in the negotiations but also in valuation and refining the business case for the acquisition. STMA is continuing to assist AAAS with post-transaction transition and planning for PRE’s redevelopment.

In addition to its capabilities for its commercial clients, STMA is particularly attuned to the mission-driven requirements of the many prominent nonprofit participants working in the STM market and the need to carefully assess each acquisition or divestiture to ensure fidelity to mission and fiscal responsibility. In this vein, and continuing the practices of its principals, STMA views content licensing arrangements as high-value, mission-critical transactions for the many learned societies that collaborate with third-party publishers for journal publication, and is actively developing its practice in this area.

Services provided by STM Advisers include:

  • Acquisitions of companies, journals, lists, and startups. STMA helps clients canvass and identify prospective acquisitions as well as guide them in effectively participating in auction processes being managed by intermediaries. We conduct due diligence, assist in valuation, and structure and negotiate acquisitions.
  • Sales and Divestitures. On the sell-side, STMA helps clients assess the market value of their companies or constituent properties, and bring these assets to market. We leverage our operational experience to optimally position a business being sold, and our rolodex ensures that the opportunity is discreetly considered by all appropriate counterparties.
  • Financings and Valuations. We provide consulting services to companies raising capital, and we draw on our experience and transaction database to provide fair market valuations.
  • Strategy. At the heart of our practice is a deep appreciation and understanding of the industry we serve and the market forces shaping corporate and institutional decisions. STMA undertakes high level management consulting engagements even when it is not clear that a transaction will be the responsible answer.

STMA is based in Manhattan with offices in Washington, D.C., and Westchester County.



Founded in 2015 by Joseph Esposito, Michael Clarke, and David Lamb, STM Advisers LLC combines deep sector expertise with the perspective gained through many mergers and acquisitions to help our clients prudently complete acquisitions, divestitures, licensing arrangements, financings, and related transactions. The firm specializes in advising commercial and nonprofit clients in the fields of scientific, technical, medical, and academic publishing and in scholarly communications and related disciplines. See: stmadvisers.com


Joseph Esposito

Joe Esposito is a management consultant specializing in strategy in the areas of digital media, publishing, and education technology. His clients include for-profit and not-for-profit organizations such as: the American Chemical Society; the American National Standards Institute; the American Institute of Physics; the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO); JSTOR; the university presses of California, Chicago, Harvard, Michigan, and Duke; Encyclopaedia Britannica; Hewlett Packard; Microsoft; Pacific Metrics; and many others. Joe served as CEO of three companies - Encyclopaedia Britannica, Tribal Voice, and SRI Consulting - all of which he led to successful exits. He has been the recipient of grants from the Mellon, MacArthur, and Hewlett Foundations, all concerning research into new aspects of publishing. Joe graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University. Contact: joseph@stmadvisers.com

Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke is a veteran of the STM scholarly publishing industry, working with a wide spectrum of commercial and not-for-profit clients as President of Clarke & Company. Most recently he was EVP of Product and Market Development at Silverchair Information Systems. Previously, Michael has held executive positions at American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He began his career at the University of Chicago Press, developing some of the industry’s first online publications. Michael holds a master’s from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado, where he was Phi Beta Kappa Society. Michael is a concurrently a principal at Clarke & Company, the locus of his non-transactional consulting activity. Contact: michael@stmadvisers.com

David Lamb

David Lamb has spent his career advising companies in publishing and digital media. As president of GSL Publishing Associates for fifteen years he handled the sale of consumer publishers including Motorbooks, Avalon, Publishers Group West, Timber Press, and Sterling Publishing. His buy-side clientele has included Chronicle Books, Workman Publishing, Egmont, ProQuest, and HarperCollins. David previously was a Managing Director at Veronis Suhler Stevenson where he had transaction responsibility covering all communications industry sectors and a role in $8 billion of completed transactions. David began his career as Director of New Media at IDG subsidiary Link Resources, and he owned and operated self-publisher Vantage Press from 2009 to 2012. He holds an A.B. from Harvard College. David is concurrently president of Lamb Group LLC, a financial advisory firm serving consumer book publishers. Contact: david@stmadvisers.com


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science (www.sciencemag.org) as well as Science Translational Medicine(www.sciencetranslationalmedicine.org), Science Signaling (www.sciencesignaling.org), and a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances (www.scienceadvances.org). AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. See www.aaas.org.