Missouri companies make CNN, Fortune list

Jeremy Elwood, SBJ ReporterDespite the negative news that seems to permeate the financial and business pages, even small businesses are finding a way to thrive.

CNNMoney.com and Fortune Small Business presented their annual FSB 100, which lists America’s 100 fastest-growing small public companies measured by revenue growth and stock performance between 2006 and 2008.

Waco, Texas-based Life Partners tops the list. The company offers people 65 and older the chance to sell future life insurance benefits for immediate cash payouts, and then turns around and sells those future benefits to investors. The company’s success – revenues of $95.4 million in 2008, up 362 percent in two years – is made even more remarkable considering the public support required to keep industry competitor AIG afloat.

While there are no companies from southwest Missouri on the list, as well as none in Arkansas or the tri-state region, there are a few regional representatives.

Cass Information Systems, based in the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton, hit No. 65 on the list. The company provides audit, payment and information services for the transportation, telecom and utility industries.

Two companies from Olathe, Kan., just outside of Kansas City, also made the top 100. No. 36 is Elecsys Corp., which provides electronic design and manufacturing for aerospace and transportation companies. No. 77 is NIC Inc., which builds and manages official government Web sites in 21 states.

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