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NEC snaps up Avaloq, moves further into digital finance field

By Catherine Knowles
Fri 25 Dec 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

NEC has successfully acquired Avaloq, a Swiss-based global company specialising in digital banking solutions and wealth management technology.

According to a statement, the acquisition is designed to bring together their shared vision, technological strengths, and global presence, to accelerate both companies' long-term growth, global expansion and value creation strategy.

NEC now holds 100% of Avaloq's shares, including the 45% previously held by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, as well as the remaining shares held by Avaloq's founder Francisco Fernandez and by employees.

A natural match

Founded in 1985, Avaloq provides cloud solutions for banks and wealth managers around the globe through business process as a service (BPaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) along with on-premise solutions.

Avaloq's vision for the future of wealth management is to maintain the human relationship an investor has with an advisor, to enhance the relationship through technology and to increase engagement and satisfaction.

The democratisation of wealth management will allow more people to have access to a greater quantity and quality of investment strategies and advice that was once reserved for ultra and high net worth individuals only, the company states.

With more than 120 years of expertise, NEC focuses on the integration of IT and network technologies. Listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, NEC is a global organisation with office locations in more than 50 countries.

The future for Avaloq

As part of the acquisition, NEC Corporation has installed a new Board of Directors with NEC's executive vice president, Masakazu Yamashina, as the new chairman of Avaloq.

Along with a new chairman, there will be four new members to the board, namely Tomoki Kubo, Tomonori Hira, Daichi Iwata and Asako Aoyama.

Francisco Fernandez and Peter Schopfer will remain members of the board of directors of Avaloq Group AG.

Avaloq will continue to operate as its own entity, headquartered in Switzerland. This transaction will not lead to a divestment in any of our key regions or offerings, and the management is fully committed to Avaloq's growth story, the company states.

What's to come for the acquisition

Avaloq and NEC will be placing emphasis on building a long-term relationship.

Through the acquisition of Avaloq, NEC acquires domain knowledge in the digital finance field and enters this segment globally, the company states.

NEC executive vice president and new chairman of Avaloq, Masakazu Yamashina, says, "With its 35-year heritage and focus on innovation in digital banking solutions, core banking software and wealth management technology, Avaloq is uniquely qualified to launch NEC into the digital finance field, which together with digital government, is one of the pillars for building NEC's global growth.

"Our joint value proposition will build on Avaloq's reliable digital finance products and the trust it has established amongst its clients, coupled with NEC's cutting-edge technologies, global business network and digital government domain knowledge."

Avaloq CEO Jurg Hunziker says, "Avaloq will be entering a new era together with NEC. Since the announcement of the acquisition, I have spoken to many of our clients and partners and am very happy to discover that they are just as pleased with this development as I and my fellow members of the Group Executive Board are.

"This transaction has generated much interest and we truly believe that NEC is the best partner for our business."

Hunziker says, "Our solutions will only evolve for the better when leveraging NEC's proven expertise with technologies related to digital identity, artificial intelligence, verification, blockchain, cybersecurity, and biometrics.

"In addition, our innovation capabilities will be elevated with NEC's strong commitment to Research & Development, evidenced by the resources it has placed towards this, including dedicated facilities in Heidelberg, Germany. I am very much looking forward to starting this new part of our exciting growth journey together with NEC."

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