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The Fintech Finance 40: Jeff Greenberg and Vincenzo La Ruffa
Jeff Greenberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Vincenzo La Ruffa, Partner, Aquiline Capital Partners
Currently ranked: 20
Previously ranked: PNR
Insurance technology — now in vogue as insuretech — was neither fashion nor fad to Jeff Greenberg when he founded Aquiline Capital Partners back in 2005. Aquiline was and still is “a private equity firm specializing in financial services,” says the former CEO of Marsh & McLennan Cos., who also spent 17 years with American International Group. “Insurance has been well within our sights for years.” The drive to lower costs and increase efficiencies is common to all financial services sectors, Greenberg reasons, so along with insurance, Aquiline channels investments into banking and credit, investment management and markets, and financial technology and services. “Fintech is always a constant and only growing in importance,” he says.
Of the New York–based firm’s 30 investment professionals, 13 are dedicated to fintech under Vincenzo La Ruffa, partner and head of financial technology and services. Investments tend toward the “unglamorous, deep in the heart of financial services,” explains La Ruffa, who joined Aquiline in 2014 from Susquehanna Growth Equity, which he co-founded. “We like words like settlement, clearing, processing, and recordkeeping,” he says. In the $1.1 billion Aquiline Financial Services Fund III, which closed in April, the firm’s investments include Dublin’s Fenergo Group, which addresses the regulatory requirements of customer on-boarding; New Jersey–based OSG Billing Services, which La Ruffa says brings “potential for massive improvement” by integrating billing and payment functions; Simply Business (exited last year), an online insurance agency in the U.K. that Greenberg says is well ahead of U.S. counterparts in penetrating the small to medium-size enterprise market; and Togetherwork of Columbus, Georgia, a family of niche payment companies serving fraternities and sororities, sports leagues, and other affinity groups.
In July, Aquiline announced the final close of the Aquiline Technology Growth Fund at $190 million, $40 million above the original target. Seeking “early-stage and expansion opportunities,” as Greenberg puts it, the growth fund in May led a $6.6 million series A financing for Carpe Data, a provider of predictive scoring and data products to insurers.