The only investment bank focused exclusively on fintech, as Financial Technology Partners bills itself, doesnt rise to the top of traditional league tables based on number of M&A deals and their dollar amounts. Although it has some big numbers in its column it advised Heartland Payment Systems on its $4.5 billion sale to Global Payments in April thats but one dimension of the San Franciscobased boutique that former Goldman Sachs Group banker Steven McLaughlin founded in 2002. FT Partners goes where its rivals do not, scouting out and establishing relationships with entrepreneurs at their early stages almost like venture capital, the 47-year-old managing partner and CEO says and staying with them as they grow. Thats the real fintech action, adds McLaughlin, and there may be no firm so extensively involved in it. A few 2016 transactions indicate how 75-person FT Partners climbs the fintech financing ladder: It advised capital-raising platform Axial on a $14 million financing from Edison Partners; financial search-engine company AlphaSense on a $33 million investment round that included participation from Soros Fund Managements Quantum Strategic Partners; and IRA custodian PENSCO Trust Co. on its $104 million sale to Irvine, Californiabased Opus Bank. Last year FT Partners was AvidXchanges adviser on a $225 million investment led by Bain Capital Ventures (see Matthew Harris, No. 2). McLaughlin places North Carolinabased AvidXchange, an invoice automation company, and Chrome River Technologies, a Los Angelesbased corporate expense management software supplier that FT Partners helped raise $100 million in June 2015, in a newly defined fintech category called financial management solutions. Besides stoking its transaction flow, FT Partners contributes research to the public domain, including a comprehensive database of fintech deals, monthly updates, and, in September, a 200-plus-page report on insurance technology trends. McLaughlin says 2016 is the firms biggest year ever; a highlight was the hiring in June of Stephen Stout, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. investment banker and global head of strategy at payments processor First Data Corp., as a managing director in New York. Stout represents everything weve tried to do in building FT partners attracting the deepest domain and execution experts in the fintech sector, the CEO says.
The 2016 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles