Accenture acquires SEC Servizi from Intesa Sanpaolo

05 December 2018 3 min. read

Accenture has acquired SEC Servizi, an Italian company that provides technology services and software applications to financial institutions. The firm has purchased 80.8 percent of the shares from parent banking group Intesa Sanpaolo, and is on the verge of acquiring the remaining interests in SEC Servizi Spa held by other shareholders.

Mauro Macchi, Head of Accenture's Financial Services division in Italy, said that the deal is part of the firm’s ambition to become the market leader in consulting and technology services to players in the financial services sector. According to the latest estimates from Assocconsult, Italy’s association for management consultancies, financial services consulting generates revenues of €1.1 billion, representing around a quarter of Italy’s consulting industry.

Padua-based SEC Servizi employs nearly 400 people, and serves some 35 banking customers and other mid-sized financial institutions in the country. According to Macchi, the acquisition will enable Accenture to create an “advanced and innovative core banking platform that can support banks in their transition to digital”. He explained: “Technological innovation is becoming an increasingly central element for banks. While it for long was primarily geared towards customer services, it now becoming central to strategies, operating models and addressing internal change.”

Accenture acquires SEC Servizi from Intesa Sanpaolo

As part of the integration, Accenture will maintain SEC Servizi’s brand and take over the end responsibility for serving the firm’s customers, including Intesa Sanpaolo. The Italian banking group, with assets under management of approximately $800 billion and 11.9 million customers the largest in the country, acquired SEC Servizi last year as part of the acquisition of certain assets, liabilities and legal relationships of Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca – with both banks entering compulsory administrative liquidation. The integration of SEC Servizi into Intesa Sanpaolo however was not a smooth one: in November 2017 SEC Servizi’s staff at the Padua office went on strike for a few days, which affected the banking system in northern Italy, and in recent months staff remained unsettled due to rumours that their job outlook may be impacted on the back of reorganisation plans from Intesa Sanpaolo.

Macchi highlighted that for banking groups across the country, embracing digital is essential to stay ahead of the curve. The banking world is grappling with disruption, spurred by changing customer demands, the rise of emerging technologies, competition from innovative players such as FinTechs but also incumbent technology giants such as Amazon and Apple, and a growing regulatory burden. According to Accenture's Head of Financial Services in Italy, digitisation has now reached its point of no return, with the need to embrace technology to coincide with an increasingly open approach to innovation and collaboration. “We are witnessing a growing climate favourable to the formation of ecosystems, alliances and partnerships in search of new frontiers of efficiency, competitiveness and value creation.”

“By creating an innovation hub in Italy, we can support banks with building their digital maturity, enabling them to compete with FinTechs and digital native players like Amazon and Google.” 

In other deals in Italy’s consulting landscape, Big Four firm EY last year purchased Brand Group, one of the country’s larger advertising and marketing services firms, and Applix, a fast growing digital scale-up.