As we approach the end of 2019, we enter a season where people often take stock of what they have – and hopefully are in a position to smile. We are smiling. Year-end may be hectic and stressful for many – but, for us and many others it is also a time to give thanks – not for the transient pleasures of material goods, but for the more important gifts of friends, family, health and perhaps a level of prosperity. We give thanks for all those things – and for the friends and clients that have given us their trust. These are gifts we do not take for granted.
As you will see from the Report found here, 2019 has been strong for m&a in the seven segments of the FinTech and Data and Analytics world that we follow and sometimes lead. Global investments in our part of the world are up about 30% over last year (leaving out the skewing effect of Ant Financial’s $14 billion capital raise in 2018). We had our strongest year in the 18 years we have been in business. We advised on twelve successfully closed m&a transactions so far this year. (The year isn’t over yet.) We are not taking any of it for granted. We’re taking the long view. That’s why we recently welcomed three new senior bankers and opened a new Chicago office. And we’re still hiring.
Taking the long view is an underlying philosophy of our firm (and the opening chapter in my book). It’s about leveraging our strengths and opportunities to achieve goals greater than ourselves – using these strengths to help our clients achieve their strategic objectives. It’s about building teams that work well together and maintaining a culture that is focused on doing the right things, for the right reasons, every time, without exception – even when that approach may cause short term pain. It’s about building long-term trust because that’s how you build businesses that last.
As the holidays approach, we renew our appreciation for the benefits of living in a part of the world that is relatively healthy, politically stable (mostly), prosperous and economically growing; a part of the world in which we are at peace with our neighbors and are ruled by laws that are enforced (mostly) without fear or favor; a part in which we are privileged to work with a wide range of smart, motivated, ethical company founders, boards, managers, VC and private equity firms, corporations and friends, who make our lives far more interesting. We constantly strive to earn your trust. We’ll never stop.
As you will see from our report found here, values in the m&a market are strong for those companies that have taken the long view and have leveraged what they have for the long-term best interests of their customers. We appreciate them – and you.
A few of the more interesting recent FinTech, Data, and Analytics transactions this month include:
- Ualá raised $150 million in Series C led by Tencent and Softbank (Banking Software)
- Charles Schwab agreed to acquire TD Ameritrade for $28.4 billion (Capital Markets Services)
- Vision Integrated Graphics acquired SourceLink (Data & Analytics)
- S&P Global agreed to acquire the ESG ratings arm of RobecoSAM (Information & Market Research)
- AON agreed to acquire CoverWallet (Insurance Software) (Payment Technology)
- Euronext agreed to acquire a 66% stake in Nord Pool for €84 million (Securities Exchanges)
- Broadridge Financial Solutions (Lake Success, NY) acquired ClearStructure Financial Technology (M&A Client)
Recently we were the recipients of three awards of which we are particularly pleased: ACQ5 – TMT Advisory Firm of the Year; ACQ5 – Gamechanger of the Year (Ken Marlin); ACQ5 – Middle-Market Investment Bank of the Year.
We will be in attendance at The Futures and Options Expo in Boca Raton, FL March 10th – 12th and Innovate Finance Global Summit in London, England April 20th – 24th, if you would like to arrange a meeting at any of these upcoming events, please contact Natalie Goins (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We send our best wishes to you and your families for a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year.