GIMV forms e-finance partnership

As part of its expansion into e-finance investments, Belgian investor GIMV has formed a partnership with Capco, a company providing consultancy services and technology solutions to the financial services industry.

The partnership will give GIMV access to Capco’s industry expertise and e-finance deal flow opportunities, while Capco will advise GIMV on due diligence and be able to co-invest in any deals. GIMV will introduce Capco to its portfolio companies as preferred supplier and in turn Capco will recommend GIMV as an investor. Bart Diels, executive investment manager at GIMV, said: “The main drivers for GIMV for closing this partnership are the access to Capco’s knowledge base, its reputation in the financial services industry and the right of first refusal on the European investment opportunities received through the Capco network.”

The idea for the partnership dates back to Capco’s plan to start its own VC fund, around 18 months ago. Although market circumstances prevented the fund from getting off the ground Capco maintained its interest in venture capital and can now develop it with the help of GIMV. Capco, which was previously The Capital Markets Company, serves banks, asset managers, brokers, dealers, institutional investors, insurance companies, exchanges and clearing organisations. It has nine offices in Europe, the US and Asia.

Diels and Steven Coppens have created a team within GIMV’s ICT (information communication technology) business unit dedicated to investing in e-finance. The agreement with Capco is a first step in GIMV’s expansion into this investment sector and will increase its deal flow and help it provide better support to portfolio companies. Approximately a third of the ICT team’s budget will be committed to e-finance investments. According to Diels a dedicated fund for e-finance will be considered in 12 to 18 months time.

GIMV’s other financial services investments will now also be managed by Diels and Coppens. They include Beyers & Partners (treasury & risk management software), Business Architects International (banking and insurance solutions), CR2 (channel banking software), Europeloan (virtual mortgages bank), Europesave (virtual savings bank) and FICS (Internet banking and regulatory reporting). Successful exits were realised through the merger of FICS into S1, and the trade sale of Beyers & Partners to XRT-CERG.

Michel Akkermans, founder of FICS and board member of Capco, will become a part-time member of GIMV’s e-finance team. He says: “After having worked with GIMV as a professional investor in FICS, I am very excited to join its e-finance team and to contribute to the further expansion of this promising niche investment area in which I have been active during my entire career.” He will also have the opportunity to continue his work as a business angel by co-investing in GIMV’s e-finance deals.