United Fintech, a London-based start-up looking to buy a slate of capital markets fintechs, has acquired a minority stake in investment management specialist, Athena Systems.
As a first transaction in a multi-stage takeover towards full ownership, United Fintech has acquired a 25% stake in Athena Systems for an undisclosed amount. The company aims to obtain another 26% in two years and the 49% remainder in three years. Over this period, United Fintech plans to onboard Athena Systems, its clients and employees onto its digital platform.
Athena Systems is a boutique technology firm with extensive experience in capital markets. The company develops and supports the Spark platform, which allows hedge funds, banks, insurance companies and institutional managers to manage the investment process from start to finish.
Partly acquiring the US-founded company, United Fintech makes its fourth acquisition in first year of operation to “save big banks from Big Tech.”
The move comes nearly two months after United Fintech had taken a 25% stake in execution performance analytics specialist, FairXchange, with the intention of fully acquiring the firm over the next few years.
FairXchange was founded in 2016 by Guy Hopkins, a former Bloomberg veteran and head of FX at Morgan Stanley. The data science firm specializes in microstructural analysis of financial markets and brings to participants better transparency around execution performance.
United Fintech’s first acquisition was NetDania
“From early conversations with founders Luis Otero, Steano Guarnieri and Scott Sykowski, key staff as well as core clients, it was clear to us that Athena Systems has amazing technology, world class people and in-depth technical understanding of their customers’ needs. Making Athena part of United Fintech felt like a great match from day one and we are convinced we can scale the Company globally and together become leaders in the space within the next 3-4 years,” says Christian Frahm.
“United Fintech has the vision of creating a financial services network to serve all the biggest banks and institutional funds with a set of tools that will allow them to perform all kinds of activities without the need of any other provider and as you can imagine, this is a great opportunity for all of us. We are now part of a bigger company whose purpose is to help us scale and convert Athena into the best POMS provider in the world,” added Luis Otero, CEO of Athena Systems.
United Fintech is the brainchild of Christian Frahm, founder of Copenhagen-based global holding company CFH Group. Frahm, who launched the City startup in November 2020, also worked for a time at both Bloomberg and Saxo Bank.
The startup promises to enable banks and financial institutions to access new technology and accelerate their transition to a digital world. Over the next five years, United Fintech plans to acquire and scale-up a number of small to medium-sized engineering-led fintechs.
It mentions areas of interest, including trading platforms, liquidity management and regulatory reporting tools, Big Data tools, institutional blockchain, bots and virtual assistants.
These acquisitions will then provide banks and financial institutions with “one-stop-shop” and “easy access” to capital market data and technology, as part of their larger digital transformations.
The company’s first acquisition was NetDania, a Danish fintech company, which has been providing data solutions to financial services firms and individual traders for over two decades.