The chief executive of U.K.-based Finastra, the newly formed mega-fintech that absorbed Toronto-based DH Corp. last month, says Canada will continue to be an “incredibly crucial part of our ecosystem going forward” and that it intends to expand its capabilities on this side of the pond.
CEO Nadeem Syed said Canada represents upwards of 20 per cent of Finastra’s overall revenues — just behind the U.S.
The combined company also has a larger Canadian employee base, at 1,800, compared to 400 in the U.K., he added.
“Over time, we are going to actually expand our capability in Canada,” Syed said in an interview in Toronto on Tuesday. “There is an immense pool of talent here that we want to tap into. Some of the top tech universities are here, we want to tap into the innovation capability that exists here.”
Finastra was created in June after Texas-based investment firm Vista Equity Partners acquired the Toronto-based cheque-maker-turned-financial-technology-firm DH Corp and merged it with the U.K.-based financial software provider Misys, of which Syed was CEO.
The union created what Finastra says is the third-largest fintech firm in the world, with roughly 10,000 employees and 9,000 customers across 130 countries. Toronto is home to Finastra’s North American headquarters, but London is its global headquarters, Syed said.
Finastra was selected as the company’s global brand to give it a “fresh start,” Syed said, but the brand DH Corp — which started as cheque printer Davis & Henderson in 1875 — will be retained for some of its Canadian businesses, such as student lending and mortgages.
Vista announced the $2.7-billion deal to acquire DH Corp in March, roughly three months after the TSX-listed company said it was evaluating acquisition inquiries.
Misys, which develops and provides software solutions for the financial sector, was also publicly traded before it was acquired and taken private by Vista Equity partners in 2012.
Syed, who was visiting Toronto as Finastra works to integrate the two companies, said there was “virtually no overlap” from a product perspective, but in cities such as New York and London the two offices will be consolidated.
When asked about whether there would be headcount reductions during the integration, he said the merger process was still in the “early days” but the businesses are incredibly complementary.
“There is always a way to further optimize common functions, so as a result of that there will be a degree of restructuring that happens,” he said. “We are moving at it very quickly. The approach we’ve taken is we need to be quick about it, just to give people clarity… But again, this merger is more about complement.”