Equistone-Backed Acuity Knowledge Partners Acquires Cians Analytics, Consolidating a Leading Position in the Global Financial Services Outsourcing Market
Acuity Knowledge Partners (“Acuity”), a leading provider of high-value research, analytics and business intelligence to the financial services sector, today announced the acquisition of Cians Analytics (“Cians”), a provider of high-quality, cost-effective research and analytical support for financial institutions. This acquisition will allow Acuity to offer enhanced support in the field of knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) and help streamline the operations of financial firms globally. The financial terms of the transaction were undisclosed.
Cians Analytics enables investment banks, private equity funds and corporations to do more with their time while significantly reducing operating costs. Its diverse pool of talent, including financial researchers, developers and data scientists, allows the in-house teams of Cians’ clients to better focus on strategic initiatives and increased output. Challenging economic conditions, the migration of finance talent into the technology sector and disruptions in the financial services space have significantly increased demand for these services. Cians’ product offering also includes LeverData, a proprietary data ingestion, validation and management platform which helps customers eliminate the data reliability issues that often plague financial services firms, saving them money, resources and valuable time.
The acquisition represents the first bolt-on transaction made by Acuity since its buyout by Equistone, a leading European mid-market private equity investor, in 2019. Following the acquisition, all Cians employees will join the Acuity workforce, taking its global headcount to over 5500 employees.
“Cians Analytics has proven, throughout the years, that they have a dedication to quality work and best-in-class service to all of their clients,” said Acuity Knowledge Partners CEO, Robert King. “Given our shared cultures and service offerings, the opportunity to combine our teams and provide high-quality services to a larger client base was a compelling one. Post-transaction Acuity will support over 500 banking and financial services firms worldwide. This deal also supports the significant growth we have seen, and continue to target, in key markets such as the U.S.”
“The combination of both firms not only increases the capabilities we can offer to our combined client set, but also allows our employees and customers to have a truly global engagement team and experience,” said Cians Analytics Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Anmol Bhandari. “We often saw each other in engagements and in the marketplace. It ultimately made sense to combine to truly consolidate offerings and clients and to give the customers and employees the best that both firms can offer.”
“This is a win-win situation for our most important stakeholders, our clients and our employees,” said Cians Analytics Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Aman Chowdhury. “Both firms have a history of delivering high-quality services to a discerning and sophisticated client set spread across the globe. While both firms work with similar types of clients, our services and focus areas are often complementary. This sets the combined firm up as the pre-eminent firm in our industry.”
Speaking about the transaction, Tim Swales, Partner at Equistone, said: "Robert and his team have done an excellent job of driving strong organic growth over the past three years. In Cians we recognised an opportunity to supplement that, by supporting the bolt-on acquisition of a company with a similarly strong and highly complementary service offering and client base. By strengthening the product suite available to clients, we believe this transaction has the potential to further accelerate Acuity’s growth over the coming years.”
Cians was advised on the transaction by Grant Thornton, Mayer Brown and Phoenix Legal, while Acuity was advised by BDA Partners (William Blair), Latham & Watkins, AZB Partners and Baker Hostetler.
ABOUT ACUITY KNOWLEDGE PARTNERS
Acuity Knowledge Partners is a leading research, analytics, and business intelligence consultant to the financial services sector. The company’s network of analysts and industry experts, combined with advanced data and technology, supports over 420 financial institutions and consulting companies worldwide to operate more efficiently, and unlock their human capital, driving revenues higher and transforming operations. It specialises in investment banking, investment research, private equity & consulting and commercial lending. Acuity is headquartered in London and operates from nine locations worldwide. In 2019, the company was established as a separate business from Moody’s Corporation through its acquisition from Equistone Partners. www.acuitykp.com
ABOUT CIANS ANALYTICS
Cians Analytics was founded in 2009 by Anmol Bhandari and Aman Chowdhury, to provide high-quality, cost-effective research and analytical support for global investment banks, private equity funds, corporations, and portfolio companies allowing them to do more with their time and significantly reduce operating costs. Cians supports financial clients across the entire transaction spectrum from initial investment screening, business and financial due diligence, and market entry/market sizing to post-closing portfolio company/market update maintenance work. The Cians Analytics workforce - known for its industry-leading employee retention rate - is composed of individuals who yield the highest caliber expertise in investment banking and research, equity research, and general business research and analytics. Cians’ value proposition lies in the flexibility of its engagement model, allowing clients to have total control, adding capability and operating capacity while ultimately lowering costs. For more information, please visit www.ciansanalytics.com
ABOUT EQUISTONE PARTNERS EUROPE
Equistone is an independent investment firm wholly owned and managed by its executives. The company is one of Europe’s leading investors in mid-market buyouts with a strong, consistent track record spanning over 40 years, with more than 400 transactions completed in this period. Equistone has a strong focus on change of ownership deals and aims to invest between €25m and €200m+ of equity in various businesses. The company has a team of over 40 investment professionals operating across France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK, investing as a strategic partner alongside management teams. Equistone is currently investing its sixth buyout fund, which held a final closing at its €2.8bn hard cap in March 2018, and has recently launched the Equistone Reinvestment Fund, with a mandate to make minority re-investments alongside new sponsors following a portfolio company exit from one of its main buyout funds. Equistone is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Further information can be found at www.equistonepe.com.