In 1998, Dublin-based brothers Kerril and Paul Burke were wondering why everyone thought managing cash flows had to be hard. Recognizing that credit market institutions were using manual, time-consuming processes to track things like money movement, the Burkes joined forces and built an automated platform to streamline those procedures.
Drawing upon their respective professional experiences in finance and IT, they spent two years working in the evenings to get their flagship product FINBOS up and running. Their software products are used by investment banks, brokers, private equity firms and other financial institutions. Their solutions help companies increase funding efficiency, improve customer services and ensure that regulatory and tax reporting requirements are met.
MeritSoft has paid off for the Burke siblings. Recently filed accounts show accumulated profits of approximately $18 million in the twelve months ending in March 2018, up from $14.4 million a year prior. Named as one of Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies and awarded BVCA’s Growth Management Team of the year, their products are used by five of the world’s eight biggest investment banks. It isn’t a surprise then that American conglomerate IT Cognizant came knocking at their door with an offer the Burkes brothers couldn’t refuse.
Cognizant began as an in-house technology unit for Dunn & Bradstreet Satyam Software (DBSS) in 1994. Their focus was the deployment of large-scale IT projects for businesses operating under the DBSS banner. They began offering their services to other businesses in 1998 and, along with other Dunn subsidiaries, were spun off and organized under the newly-created Cognizant Corporation. The IT company has grown into a global powerhouse and now serves the banking and financial services, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing and retail sectors.
“By becoming part of Cognizant, Meritsoft will have access to Cognizant’s knowledge, resources and scale to accelerate growth as we continue to innovate on the FINBOS platform for post-trade solutions,” said Kerril Burke, co-founder and CEO of Meritsoft. “It is a complementary match, coupling Cognizant’s industry platforms and solutions, expertise, and Meritsoft’s advanced automation technologies. We will provide a powerful integrated offering to capital markets institutions who are seeking to control costs, meet regulatory requirements and maintain liquidity.”
According to Cognizant’s 2015 financial statements, banking and financial services accounted for 40 percent of the company’s revenues. Meritsoft’s offering of complementary IT solutions would be an attractive acquisition option for Cognizant.
“Increased compliance and regulatory obligations, focus on operational efficiency, and a range of new digital technologies are among the forces that have led many of the world’s leading financial institutions to automate processes using Meritsoft and its FINBOS platform,” said Sean Middleton, President, Cognizant Accelerator. “Banking and financial services is one of the largest industries that Cognizant serves. Meritsoft brings proven automation expertise in case management, regulatory compliance, payment and settlement of claims, and tax and brokerage cash flows to help our clients in transforming their business for the digital era.”
The purchase was made for an undisclosed sum.