Grant Thornton advises on Cleversoft's acquisition of SecondFloor

22 May 2019 3 min. read

Dutch regulatory technology player for the financial services industry, SecondFloor, has been acquired by German counterpart Cleversoft. The purchase, backed by private equity firm Main Capital, is Cleversoft's first in its 15-year history, and was advised on by M&A consultants from Grant Thornton. 

Munich-based Cleversoft is a specialist in reporting solutions for the financial services industry, offering cloud based proprietary solutions for regulations such as PRIIPs, MiFID II and AML. In a bid to accelerate its growth amid a booming market for regulatory technology and compliance software, and in particular in the financial services sector which is seeing a wave of new regulation take hold, Cleversoft’s founders Florian Clever, Dominik del Bondio and René Blaschke last year brought Main Capital on board. 

Elaborating on the strategic partnership, Charly Zwemstra, managing partner of Main Capital said in December last year: “Cleversoft supports the financial industry to overcome the increasingly complex regulatory challenges. We see strong organic growth opportunities, moreover, through an active buy-and-build strategy, we see ample opportunities for Cleversoft to expands its product offering and to enter adjacent market segments, both in Germany and abroad.” 

The M&A strategy has now materialised with the firm’s first acquisition since its inception in 2004. The bolt-on of Amsterdam-based SecondFloor kick-offs Cleversoft's ambition to become a “leading European SaaS-focused RegTech player,” remarked Zwemstra.Grant Thornton advises on Cleversoft's acquisition of SecondFloorFounded in 2005, SecondFloor provides its 100+ customers in 15 countries across Europe with a turn-key service solutions for Solvency II, IFRS 17, FTK, IORP II as well as disclosure reporting. The purchase provides Cleversoft with added know-how in regulatory reporting and access to a significant client base in the insurance sector (Cleversoft’s footprint is mainly in the banking and asset management segment).

Commenting on the deal, Cleversoft’s founder Florian Clever said, “We have been impressed by the deep regulatory understanding, the customer base and its loyalty as well as the customer-driven approach to developing new services. Moving forward we see in particular benefits by leveraging the synergies of our solutions to extend the value propositions for both our existing and new clients.”

SecondFloor’s founder Bart Oortwijn also spoke on the deal rationale at the Dutch side of the table; “It offers us an excellent opportunity to make a next step in the development of our company. As part of Cleversoft we will be even better equipped to scale the SaaS-/Cloud-services and anticipate on expected growth in the market. We can offer customers a wider range of solutions. And together with Cleversoft we expect to be better positioned in the German market.” 

The deal between the two RegTech players was advised on by the corporate finance arm of Grant Thornton (transaction services) and local Dutch law firm Haagstate (legal advisory). Grant Thornton’s team was led by Wilfred van der Lee, and further consisted of Adam Azulai and Ryno Swanepoel, while Harm van Efferink provided expertise on behalf of Haagstate.

Investor Main Capital has around €400 million under management for software companies – the private equity firm focuses exclusively on the software sector in Benelux, Germany and Scandinavia. Investments in Germany include JobRouter, artegic and b+m, while in the Netherlands the firm’s portfolio includes companies such as Ctrl, Plandatis, Brein and Buzzcapture.