Friday, 9 January 2015

Banking software market: more M&A to come

Broadridge HQ
As 2014 was drawing to a close, a handful of takeovers in the banking software space were announced but went under the radar. SS&C bought rival DST Global Solutions for $95 million, bringing rival investment management systems under one umbrella, whilst loss-making 3i Infotech shed its investment management software business in the UK to an Italian outfit, Objectway.

3i Infotech has been trying to turn its fortunes around for the past couple of years, overhauling its leadership, undergoing debt restructuring and shedding non-core assets. The UK business, which stems from the 2006 acquisition of a local vendor, Rhyme Systems, was briefly (and surprisingly) in focus in 2013 when the new management of 3i Infotech unveiled its intentions to enhance it, revamp the old software and take it outside the UK to mainland Europe, the Middle East and Africa. A new investment management platform, Illumas, was going to be unveiled with much fanfare at London’s Shard in February 2015, but the event was cancelled as Objectway took over. The fate of Illumas is yet to be known, and so is that of the older software, which is UK-centric and running on a proprietary database, having never lived up to 3i Infotech's earlier hopes of taking it to a wider audience.

More information about the M&A activity in the banking software market worldwide in the course of 2014 can be found in our FREE End of Year Review.

2015 has begun with more acquisitions. One of the very few remaining standalone providers in the treasury and capital markets (TCM) space, TwoFour Systems, has given up its independence and identity and became part of Broadridge. It is now known as Broadridge FXL.

Switzerland-based banking technology consultant and integrator, Sofgen, has been sold to Tech Mahindra for $29 million. Backed by the might of a large IT firm such as Tech Mahindra, Sofgen can go after deals with top-tier banks, whilst Tech Mahindra gains a foothold in the banking market, enabling it to compete with fellow Indian tech firms such as Wipro and TCS.

And there are more to come. New Zealand-based Finzsoft Solutions, a long-standing provider of banking software in Australasia and South East Asia, might be sold to rival Silverlake Axis. Finzsoft CEO, Andrew Holliday, has joined forces with Malaysia-based Silverlake to entice Finzsoft’s current owner, Rubik Financial (Temenos’ partner in Australia) to sell its stake.

Meanwhile in the US, payments vendor Fundtech is in the process of finding a buyer. Fundtech has been looking for some time now, with suitors such as Temenos, ACI Worldwide and Fiserv rumoured to have expressed an interest. IBS expects an announcement of the sale to be made in the next couple of months.

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