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May 2021
Hermosa Beach, CA
has made significant equity investments into
St. Louis, MO
New York, NY


Vela Trading Systems and Exegy are two of the last remaining independent providers of institutional quality, real time securities market data and managed services for buy side and sell side organizations worldwide.  Vela was built through the combinations of SR Labs, OptionsCity Software (both transactions on which Marlin & Associates acted as the exclusive sell-side advisor), and Object Trading. The company now provides a full range of market data, value-added services, and automated trading solutions and has become a strong player in the low latency sect of market data.

Exegy is a leader in the ultra-low latency sector – providing ultra-fast, real-time securities market data to some of them most sophisticated trading firms in the world. 

Having advised on numerous transactions in the b2b capital markets technology space including numerous companies that operate in the market data space, Marlin & Associates (“M&A”) was well poisoned to advise Marlin Equity Partners (“MEP”) as it look for opportunities to create a new powerful competitor in this arena.

M&A helped MEP to evaluate each of Vela and Exegy independently to form an opinion on the strengths of each as well as the opportunity to grow in a field long dominated by a few large players including Refinitiv and Bloomberg.  MEP then approached each of Vela and Exegy made offers contingent on the two firms coming together. With agreement, MEP made significant growth equity investments into each and facilitated a merger designed to leverage the best of Exegy’s low-latency solutions, Vela’s enterprise low-latency, consolidated market data feed, and automated trading solutions.  The new combined entity is expected to be well positioned to help institutional clients across the globe manage the full range of real time securities market data needs.

M&A’s thorough understanding of the marketplace and competitors enabled the team to provide valuable support to Marlin Equity Partners throughout the deal process.

M&A helped MEP understand the strengths of each company, the addressable market, put together a valuation model to support Marlin Equity Partners’ underwriting of the investment, created an acquisition roadmap, and formulated a view on potential exit opportunities for the combined entity.

“The Marlin & Associates team was critical to us in validating our thesis on the space and providing valuable strategic insights as well as an acquisition roadmap, potential exit alternatives, and valuation. The firm has a deep understanding of the market data industry, which was vital to us in navigating this transaction.” said Nick Lukens, Managing Director at Marlin Equity Partners.

Marlin completes growth equity investment in Exegy and Vela

May 20, 2021

LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2021 – Marlin Equity Partners (“Marlin”) is pleased to announce that it has completed a growth equity investment in Exegy and Vela, two leading providers of global market data solutions that power the mission-critical trading operations of financial institutions. Marlin has merged the two companies to create a dominant, end-to-end provider of premier market data solutions and managed services with the capability to deliver normalized real-time market data from exchanges to global market participants.

“We are delighted to partner with Exegy and Vela to support the combination of two industry leaders,” said Nick Lukens, a managing director at Marlin. “We look forward to providing our operational expertise and financial support to further advance the technological innovation at both companies, while enhancing their existing product capabilities for their world-class customer bases.”

Exegy and Vela both provide flagship solutions for market data normalization and distribution, while delivering highly complementary capabilities within the trading technology ecosystem. Exegy is widely recognized for providing the industry’s leading low latency market data platform enabled by FPGA hardware acceleration technology and AI-driven predictive trading signals. Vela has established a strong relationship with many of the world’s leading financial institutions by offering a unique combination of market data normalization capabilities, global exchange coverage, direct market access (DMA) and automated trading solutions. Together, Exegy and Vela will provide a comprehensive portfolio of products and services for real-time market data with leading capabilities across latency tiers and asset classes along with global exchange coverage. Additionally, the combination aligns Vela’s complementary businesses in automated trading and DMA platforms with Exegy’s strategic investments in predictive trading signals and hardware trading platforms.

Exegy and Vela will unite under the leadership of James O’Donnell, CEO of Exegy. Jen Nayar, CEO of Vela, will serve as the Chief Integration Officer at the combined company and will lead the efforts to integrate Vela’s products with Exegy’s technology and service delivery platforms. The go-forward business will continue to provide a cutting-edge technology platform while maintaining the application programming interfaces (APIs) currently used by existing customers.

“Exegy’s combination with Vela represents an exciting growth opportunity for our respective companies,” said James O’Donnell, CEO of Exegy. “The merger provides immediate and tangible benefits to our customers and the marketplace in the form of a broader product set built on superior technology and supported by a global service team and delivery system.”

“We look forward to enhancing the user experience, coverage, and capabilities for all of our customers – from our SuperFeed clients consuming global market data using MAMA to our software feed handler customers using the SMDS API,” said Jen Nayar, Chief Integration Officer at Exegy. “A guiding principle for our integration plan is to minimize customer effort, while maximizing the performance and service benefits that we deliver.”

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. Marlin & Associates acted as financial advisor, Goodwin Procter LLP served as legal advisor, and Oliver Wyman acted as market advisor to Marlin Equity Partners. Financial Technology Partners served as financial advisor and SmithAmundsen LLC served as legal counsel to Exegy. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Stifel Company served as financial advisor and Willkie Farr & Gallagher served as legal counsel to Vela and Insight Partners. 

About Marlin Equity Partners

Marlin Equity Partners is a global investment firm with over $7.5 billion of capital under management. The firm is focused on providing corporate parents, shareholders and other stakeholders with tailored solutions that meet their business and liquidity needs. Marlin invests in businesses across multiple industries where its capital base, industry relationships and extensive network of operational resources significantly strengthen a company’s outlook and enhance value. Since its inception, Marlin, through its group of funds and related companies, has successfully completed over 180 acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in London. For more information, please visit

About Exegy

Exegy provides global market data solutions, predictive trading signals and hardware trading platforms to elite firms in the financial services industry. Today, Exegy serves as a strategic partner to leading principal traders, agency brokers, exchanges, Alternative Trading System (ATS) and dark pool operators, market makers, hedge funds and asset managers. At the heart of Exegy solutions are purpose-built, hardware-accelerated appliances derived from an extensive portfolio of patented and patent-pending technology. All solutions are delivered as fully-managed services backed by a global team of experts and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Exegy promotes the design of robust electronic markets through its MarketDataPeaks service that reports real-time market data feed rates. For more information, please visit

About Vela

Vela is a leading independent provider of data and execution technology for global multi-asset electronic trading. Vela’s software enables clients to rapidly access global liquidity, markets and data sources for superior execution and helps firms successfully differentiate and innovate in an ever-changing, increasingly regulated and fiercely competitive landscape, while also reducing total cost of ownership. With access to more than 250 venues, Vela provides global coverage across all major asset classes, and clients are supported by an award-winning team of technical and business experts available 24/7 from multiple offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Vela’s clients include traders, market makers, brokers, banks, investment firms, exchanges and other market participants. For more information, please visit

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