GFT Technologies AG today signed an agreement via its subsidiary, GFT UK Limited, to acquire the UK-based company Rule Financial Limited and all its international subsidiaries. The parties agreed not to disclose the acquisition price. The transaction strengthens the GFT Group’s position as one of the leading IT service providers for the banking sector in Europe and North America.
The GFT Group has been represented by its local office in the UK since 2000 and in the USA since 2008. Founded in 1997, Rule Financial offers services for investment banks in both countries as well as in the rest of Western Europe and North America, with its main focus on business consultancy, IT consultancy and IT services. Rule Financial’s clients include nine of the world’s ten leading investment banks. With over 800 people around the world, including round about 660 permanent employees (FTE), the company generated revenues of GBP 48.20 million in its financial year 2013, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of GBP 2.17 million and earnings before taxes (EBT) of GBP 1.25 million.
“In this sector, the GFT Group is one of the few listed family businesses with strong German roots. The acquisition of Rule Financial will strengthen our position in the fast-growing Capital Markets sector,” says Ulrich Dietz, CEO of the GFT Group. “At the same time, we are also laying the foundations for much faster organic growth. By pooling our offerings, we can now provide an even more comprehensive portfolio of solutions for the banking sector – including the necessary business consultants and IT experts. We regard the move as a clear win-win situation for both companies. As a powerful innovation partner, we aim to shape the sector’s future together.”
The GFT division of the GFT Group offers IT solutions for the banking sector – which is divided into retail and investment banks. Over the past few years, GFT has already enjoyed strong growth in its business with investment banks. With the addition of Rule Financial, GFT is now represented equally in both sub-sectors. Marika Lulay, Chief Operating Officer of the GFT Group and responsible for the GFT division, said: “We see further strong growth potential in the field of investment banking. A raft of new regulation in the UK and USA is forcing all market participants to make radical adjustments to their processes and IT systems. As their trusted partner, we are ready to help. We are an attractive employer with highly skilled business specialists and IT experts who can guarantee a top-quality and punctual implementation of these complex IT projects, using innovative technologies and methods.”
In London, Rule Financial has 250 business and IT consultants, with a further 80 in New York, Boston and Toronto. The Rule Financial nearshore facilities in Poland, Spain and Costa Rica provide 480 programmers, who will complement GFT’s development centres in Spain and Brazil which currently have over 1,400 experts. “This further strong expansion of our nearshore capacities means we can ensure the fastest possible and most cost-effective implementation of IT projects in the relevant client’s respective time-zone,” adds Marika Lulay. Following the acquisition of Rule Financial, the GFT Group’s headcount (FTE) now amounts to approximately 3,000 staff.
Chris Potts, Chief Executive Officer of Rule Financial said: “We are very proud to now be part of the GFT Group. There were many potential suitors for the firm, but our management team was soon convinced that GFT was the best fit for us – and vice versa. The location of our various offices, our nearshore capacities, client relationships, solutions offered and organisational structure all fits together like a jigsaw, and multiplies our opportunities. This transaction is clearly based on growth in all areas – which will also benefit all our employees.”
Following the acquisition, the GFT Group expects additional revenues in the second half of 2014 of around 42 million euros. As a result, the GFT Group’s expected revenues for financial year 2014 have increased to around 352 million euros.