In a sign of the growing dominance of software systems in the world of wealth management, SS&C Technologies Holdings Inc. announced Thursday the completion of its $2.63 billion acquisition of Advent Software Inc., creator of the popular Black Diamond portfolio management platform.
With this acquisition, global financial services software provider SS&C Technologies (SSNC) will now extend its reach to Advent’s (ADVS) customer base of more than 4,300 wealth management advisory firms, asset managers, hedge funds, prime brokers and family offices in about 50 countries.
Windsor, Connecticut-based SS&C has a track record of 40 acquisitions globally, including GlobeOp in 2012 and DST Global Solutions in 2014. Under the terms of this merger agreement, Advent stockholders will receive per-share consideration of $44.25.
Now that the acquisition is closed, Advent will operate as a business unit of SS&C, according to an Advent spokesperson. Pete Hess will continue as CEO of the Advent business unit and will report to Norm Boulanger, SS&C’s chief operating officer and president, the spokesperson said.
Bill Stone, SS&C’s chairman and CEO, said in a phone interview that Dave Welling will continue to serve as Advent’s general manager. SS&C has plans to support more technology initiatives for Black Diamond, including visualization tools such as heat maps, Stone said.
“We bring a treasure trove of technology to Black Diamond’s team. They’ll be able to take advantage of all the technology we’ve built over the last 29 years,” Stone said, adding that SS&C’s acquisition philosophy is driven by a need to stay up to date. “It’s a challenge for software companies when you start to think you’re successful and know more than you do. Bringing new people, new ideas and new technologies in really refreshes the business.”
In an email, Welling said one of the key attractions of Advent to SS&C is Advent’s business serving advisors.
“Advent will be as committed as ever to helping advisors thrive and continuing to enhance our solution set for all of our advisory clients,” Welling said. “This is highlighted with the launch of the new Black Diamond Advisor Experience, recently launched Black Diamond Investor Experience and Black Diamond Link, our new integration solution.”
Joel Bruckenstein, producer of the Technology Tools for Today (T3) conferences, said the acquisition reflects the growth of the advisory and wealth management channel. “They’ve always been more in the institutional space,” Bruckenstein said of SS&C.
Employing more than 1,200 people worldwide, San Francisco-based Advent generated revenues of $397 million for the 12 months ended Dec. 31. The firm debuted a new version of its flagship Black Diamond wealth platform for advisors in June that integrates portfolio management, reporting, client communications and rebalancing.
SS&C financed the Advent acquisition and repaid Advent’s existing debt via a syndicate of lenders, with Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch acting as administrative agent.
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