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Tom Fox: Venture capital firms like the business of compliance

Want any greater evidence of not only the effectiveness of compliance but its now mandatory nature as a business process going forward? Look no further than the marketplace.

Two recent announcements of significant venture capital funding made clear that companies which deliver products and services in the compliance arena are viewed as prime business opportunities.

First is the purchase (recapitalization) of NAVEX Global by international investment firm BC Partners.

Existing investor Vista Equity Partners initially acquired NAVEX Global in October of 2014 and will retain a minority stake in the company.

Noble Rock Advisors Incorporated will also be investing in the transaction.

According to a July 17 press release, “BC Partners intends to help accelerate NAVEX Global’s expansion into international markets, as well as to broaden its product offering of governance, risk management and compliance solutions, one of the fastest growing sectors in the software industry.”

Matt Kelly, writing in Radical Compliance, said: “It’s worth noting that Vista and BC Partners describe this transaction as a recapitalization rather than a sale — which means both firms still see future growth potential for NAVEX Global, and they’re placing money on that bet.”

Among the big names involved in the deal were BC Partners’ lawyers, Simpson Thacher. NAVEX Global’s financial advisers were Morgan Stanley & Co., and its lawyers were Kirkland & Ellis.

And on July 9, there was a press release about the funding of Exiger.

The release said Carrick Capital Partners has invested $80 million to take a minority stake in Exiger.

The minority stake will support Exiger “in their delivery of leading edge RegTech solutions to global financial institutions and corporations,” the release said.

“Exiger will continue to introduce disruptive technology, operationally scale and evolve how global financial institutions and corporations manage their financial crime compliance processes,” according to the release.

Exiger was advised in the deal by Deutsche Bank.

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When venture capital firms put this type of money into investments, it is clear they see a very large upside.

And it confirms what many of us in the compliance community have been saying for some time: that compliance is here to stay.

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Tom Fox pictured above, is the Compliance Evangelist™.  He leads the social media discussion on compliance with his award-winning blog, The FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog and eight podcasts; The FCPA Compliance Report, Compliance into the Weeds, Everything Compliance, This Week in FCPA, 12 O’clock High-a Podcast on Business Leadership, Compliance Report-International Edition, Countdown to GDPR and Across the Board. 

He’s the author of 12 books on compliance, ethics and leadership. His latest Amazon bestseller, “The Complete Compliance Handbook” is available here.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Tom,

    Certainly compliance is going nowhere soon, but do you foresee a long-term future for compliance companies like these who get bought out by VC or private equity? Sometimes these investment companies come in and buy the company, extract any possible value, load it up with debt, and then sell them off destined for failure or bankruptcy. I could see where it would be attractive for these investment companies to go "all in" on a compliance organization to try and gain as much market share and make as much profit as possible before pulling the rug out from underneath them — making their move now while lots of new AML/KYC processes are being mandated.

    –RM


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