Written by Parabellum Investments
• Rami Cassis’ ieDigital, the UK-based digital banking software firm, has acquired US counterpart Connect FSS.
• The acquisition is the latest step in building the world’s largest fintech software provider to mid-tier financial institutions, which are investing heavily to meet the demands of digitally savvy consumers.
• The new ieDigital Group will drive growth through extending its geographical reach, expanding its client base, and launching new products.
• Cassis continues to eye up further strategic acquisitions in the global fintech space that could add value to ieDigital Group.
Parabellum Investments, the family office of international growth investor Rami Cassis, has acquired US-based digital banking software firm Connect FSS through ieDigital. ieDigital, the UK-based digital banking software leader, is a portfolio company of Parabellum Investments.
The acquisition by Cassis is the latest step towards building the world’s largest provider of fintech software to mid-tier banks and credit unions in the US, UK, and around the world, as regional financial institutions seek to digitalize their services to meet consumer demands. In the US, 78% of adults prefer to bank via a mobile app or website.1 While in the UK, statistics show that more than 90% of the population used online banking in 2022.2
This deal will provide the combined ieDigital Group business with a unified platform for growth and further acquisitions. In particular, the group will now accelerate expansion through growing its client base in the US and UK; extending the type of clients it supports; offering a broader suite of services to its existing clients; and working together to develop new products for the global market.
Parabellum Investments is also eyeing up further potential strategic acquisitions in the global fintech sector, where they can support ieDigital Group in expanding its product range and geographical reach.
Founded in 1985, ieDigital powers digital banking services for more than 50 European financial institutions, including Santander, Sainsbury’s Bank, and Lloyds Bank. It currently works with five of the five largest banks in Europe. Based in Utah, Connect FSS was founded in 2007 and, since then, has built a name for developing and launching banking apps, websites, and digital platforms for US credit unions, including First Community Credit Union (Coquille, OR), City & County Credit Union (Saint Paul, MN), Altra Federal Credit Union (La Crosse, WI).
This latest acquisition occurs as mid-tier and regional financial institutions continue investing heavily in digitalization to compete with large banking players, automate more of their services and decision-making, and build stronger and more immediate relationships with their customers. In the US alone, banks’ total annual IT and technology expenses are expected to increase to $93 billion in 2023 from $85.5 billion last year.
This latest acquisition also continues Rami Cassis’ strategy of acquiring and integrating leading mid-market b2b businesses that operate within specialist and high-demand niches so that they can provide their clients with global end-to-end solutions. In June, Cassis acquired US-based manufacturing automation business Vantage through serialisation specialist Advanco to create the world’s largest independent pharmaceutical serialization solutions provider.
Jerry Young, CEO of ieDigital, will become CEO of ieDigital Group, with Grant Parry, President and CEO of Connect FSS, becoming EVP of Strategy at ieDigital Group. Rami Cassis will serve as Group Chairman. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Rami Cassis, CEO of Parabellum Investments, said: “This latest acquisition cements ieDigital Group’s position as the go-to provider of fintech software to mid-market financial institutions in the US and UK.
“Financial institutions worldwide are in the middle of extreme digital transformation to meet the demands of digitally aware consumers, so there is a huge demand for ieDigital Group’s services. We are investing aggressively to grow its product offering and build a best-in-class business with unrivalled reach, expertise, and a blue-chip client base.
“ieDigital and Connect FSS are recognised worldwide for being leaders in providing fintech solutions to UK banks and US credit unions, respectively. Additionally, they both have talented teams with an innovative and growth-orientated outlook, so they have key, natural synergies, making them a perfect fit.
“Parabellum Investments continues to seek acquisitions that add value to its combined fintech and enterprise software platform. As a family office, we have set ourselves apart as an acquirer through our hands-on approach to growing businesses and ability to make quick decisions.”
1 Statista: Internet Banking Penetration in Great Britain
2 Forbes Advisor: 2022 Digital Banking Survey
About Rami Cassis
Rami Cassis is an international growth investor and CEO of Parabellum Investments. In 2012, he founded Parabellum Investments, his family office, which invests his own capital to acquire, build, and grow businesses, with a focus on the technology and life sciences sectors. He usually seeks to take a controlling position in his investments, and he has led complex transactions in every continent except Latin America. Known for his hands-on approach, he usually acts as Executive Chairman, although he sometimes steps in as interim CEO. He has a robust background in business operations, having worked in leadership positions at both Schlumberger and Atos. Further information can be found at www.ramicassis.com
About Parabellum Investments
Parabellum Investments is a family office operating as a global private equity firm, deploying its capital to acquire companies which can be located anywhere in the world. Under the leadership of founder and CEO, Rami Cassis, Parabellum Investments has a strong track record of growing companies operating within various sectors, including enterprise software, business and IT services, and pharmaceuticals and life sciences. Further information can be found at www.parabelluminvestments.com