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The 2016 Fintech Finance 35: Kenneth Marlin

  • By Peter Vasiliev

20. Kenneth Marlin
Managing Partner
Marlin & Associates
Last year: 22

In common with Matthew Harris of Bain Capital Ventures (No. 2), Kenneth Marlin draws lessons and inspiration from military history. The founder and managing partner of technology-focused investment banking boutique Marlin & Associates has put his philosophy into a book, The Marine Corps Way to Win on Wall Street, published August 30. He doesn’t miss a chance to drive home the relevance of Marine principles, ranging from “take the long view” to “luck is not a plan.” He asserts: “There’s a better way to run Wall Street. We advise CEOs and boards of directors and see businesses from a lot of different perspectives. Why can’t people run businesses using some basic principles?” All indications are that Marlin’s New York–based firm has thrived on his principles: Since inception in 2002 it has advised on more than 200 transactions in 26 countries. Although it covers health care and other IT-driven sectors, the firm is particularly active in financial services. “We’re in the early phases of technology being a disrupter, and it’s not happening without some bumps,” observes Marlin, a onetime Dun & Bradstreet and Veronis Suhler Stevenson deal maker. For one disruptive fintech client, market-data cloud company Xignite, Marlin & Associates served as strategic and financial adviser on a $20.5 million Series C financing in February, led by Nikkei Group’s QUICK Corp. According to Marlin, Silicon Valley–based Xignite turned to his firm for its ability to help with a partnership arrangement to expand in Asia. In October, Marlin advised Phoenix-based payments software company BillingTree on a recapitalization with private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners, eliciting a testimonial from BillingTree CEO Edgars Sturans: “Marlin & Associates understood our industry, our company and the myriad of complex issues that must be navigated in order to complete a successful, strategic transaction.” Besides payments — an industry Marlin calls “a spaghetti factory” in need of simplification and rationalization — he is focusing on big data and its potential for business and market intelligence. “It’s about sucking in massive amounts of data from internal and external sources, integrating the data and then trying to understand it,” he says.


The 2016 Fintech Finance 35

1. Jonathan Korngold
General Atlantic
2. Matthew Harris
Bain Capital Ventures
3. Jane Gladstone
Evercore Partners
4. James Robinson III & James
Robinson IV
RRE Ventures
5. Steven McLaughlin
Financial Technology Partners
6. Amy Nauiokas & Sean Park
Anthemis Group
7. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein
FTV Capital
8. Gerard
von Dohlen
Broadhaven Capital Partners
9. Darren Cohen
Goldman Sachs Group
10. Hans Morris
Nyca Partners
11. Meyer (Micky) Malka
Ribbit Capital
12. Maria Gotsch
Partnership Fund for New York City
13. Barry Silbert
Digital Currency Group
14. Jay Reinemann
Propel Venture Partners
15. Mariano Belinky
Santander InnoVentures
16. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSena
SenaHill Partners
17. François Robinet
AXA Strategic Ventures
18. Vanessa Colella
Citi Ventures
19. Michael Schlein
Accion International
20. Kenneth Marlin
Marlin & Associates
21. Rumi Morales
CME Ventures
22. Alastair (Alex) Rampell
Andreessen Horowitz
23. Steve Gibson
Euclid Opportunities
24. Fabian Vandenreydt
SWIFT
25. Vladislav Solodkiy
Life.SREDA
26. Gardiner Garrard III
TTV Capital
27. Nektarios Liolios
Startupbootcamp Fintech
28. Lawrence Wintermeyer
Innovate Finance
29. Bina Kalola
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
30. Hyder Jaffrey
Fintech Innovation
31. Calvin Choi
AMTD Group
32. Janos Barberis
FinTech
Hong Kong
33. Jalak Jobanputra
Future Perfect Ventures
34. Sopnendu Mohanty
Monetary Authority of Singapore
35. Oskar Mielczarek
de la Miel
Rakuten
FinTech Fund

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