Charlotte-based private equity firm Falfurrias Capital Partners has made a platform investment in bank and credit union consultancy engage fi, formerly known as CU Engage. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal is Falfurrias’ fifth investment since last September and the second from the firm’s oversubscribed $850 million Fund V. It illustrates Falfurrias’ “Industry First” investment approach in which the firm conducts in-depth research to identify sectors with high growth potential, then makes platform investments from which to build differentiated, sustainable companies.
Based in Tampa, Florida, engage fi provides data-informed consulting services to credit unions and community banks related to technology vendor selection and spend. The company’s team of experts leverage their industry experience, proprietary data, and tech-enabled processes to guide financial institutions through their strategic processes and enable them to make informed, timely decisions on vendor relationships.
With over 525 strategic projects completed for financial institutions, engage fi has negotiated over $2.2 billion in savings and incentives for its clients since its founding in 2014. Seeking an investment partner to help propel the firm to its next stage of growth, co-founders Jennifer Addabbo and James Guild were drawn to Falfurrias’ vast financial services expertise and mentor-driven approach.
“We talked with a number of CEOs at Falfurrias portfolio companies and they described the firm as true partners in their business,” said Addabbo, who will continue to serve as CEO while Guild moves into a strategic advisor role. “Their knowledge of and relationships within our category, focus on technology innovation, and access to capital for potential acquisitions, will help dramatically accelerate our growth plans.”
Addabbo and Guild will be joined on the engage fi board by Joe Price and Katie-Rose Higgins of Falfurrias Capital Partners, along with former Bank of America Merchant Services CEO Tim Tynan.
“Jenn and James have built a fantastic business with a very talented team,” said Price, who also served on the board of former Falfurrias portfolio company Marquis Software, a global provider of data analytics software, services and consulting to financial institutions. “Our partnership will help them create more capacity for future growth opportunities, including broadening their range of services and customer targets, investing in technology, as well as possible strategic acquisitions.”
Croft & Bender served as financial advisors to engage fi, with Trenam Law serving as the firm’s legal counsel. K&L Gates served as legal advisors to Falfurrias Capital Partners on the transaction.
About engage fi
engage fi, a technology and financial institution consulting firm, provides a range of services to help banks and credit unions develop strategies and select partners with a primary focus on customer experience and long-term relevance. For more information about engage fi, visit our website at www.engagefi.com.
About Falfurrias Capital Partners
Falfurrias Capital Partners is a Charlotte-based private equity investment firm that has raised approximately $1.9 billion across five funds. The firm invests in growing, middle-market businesses in sectors where the firm’s operational resources, relationships and sector expertise can be employed to complement portfolio company executive teams in support of growth objectives. Falfurrias Capital Partners employs a proprietary, research-based process called “Industry First” to identify markets with durable growth trends, construct a thesis based on research findings, and partner with management teams and companies to create strategic value. For more information, visit www.falfurriascapital.com.