Taking the baton, and running with it
Ray Tierney, newly appointed President of Itiviti talks to Markets Media Group’s chief editor Terry Flanagan about his vision and plans for integrating the company within the wider Broadridge fold.
What are the key attractions for Broadridge in this deal?
I think first of all it’s the people in Itiviti. They are well known and well versed for their innovation and disruptive approach to building and delivering front office trading technology to the communities and the clients they serve. This was certainly a critical starting point to that conversation. It is also about the international exposure that Itiviti brings to Broadridge which has predominantly been viewed as a North American company. The range of front office trading technology that Itiviti has built and delivered over the years is also a big factor. This includes Orc, Cameron Systems, Tbricks, ULLINK and NYFIX, which allows us to marry the front to the middle and the back.
How do you now see the Itiviti’s business being developed as part of the larger group? For example, last December, the company discussed plans for a rapid expansion, including the hiring of at least 200 new staff across research and development, quality assurance, and client servicing divisions. Is this still the plan?
Itiviti’s front office trading solutions, combined with Broadridge’s leading post-trade back-office capabilities, will allow us to serve our clients’ entire trade life cycle from order to settlement. The combination also strengthens our joint capabilities around equities, exchange-traded derivatives and fixed income, and substantially extends our global reach, creating significant cross-selling opportunities and enhancing our relationships with blue-chip clients.
We are full steam ahead focused on growing and expanding the business. With Broadridge’s backing this only accelerates the plans. This is actually one of the areas that I am highly focused on in order to continue to build out our product offering to meet the market demand. If anything, it’s only increased the urgency to get that done. Broadridge is committed to the long-term growth of Itiviti and this is absolutely critical to our future success.
What is your future outlook on growth for the combined organisation?
Over the last couple of years former CEO, Rob Mackay, orchestrated a growth turnaround that, in terms of sales and revenues, has been high single digits to low double digits. And so, there’s no change there. The integration is proceeding well. The business is performing in line with our expectations and we remain excited about the opportunity it creates for Broadridge.
Metrics for growing sales are certainly within our realm of attainment and will continue to be our focus through investment in the people, the product, and the process. If anything, we are only going to increase investment so that we can bring new products, workflow, and feature sets to the market even sooner and in order to be a competitive offering to what’s already out there.
What are some challenges and opportunities with regard to the integration?
Naturally, when you have an integration, the knee- jerk reaction is to try and bring them together as quickly as possible. However, this is not Broadridge’s first rodeo; it has acquired several businesses over the past ten years, and there is a process to be followed and we are going through this process thoroughly and thoughtfully. We have an 18-stream integration plan with tactical integration being the first one. We are targeting areas such as human resources, legal, finance, vendor management, and facilities management to take advantage of the larger Broadridge footprint and the resources and services that will only benefit Itiviti in the long run.
We will also be looking more specifically at the integration around the client related business; everything from product to client sales, customer success, professional services, business processes, etc. This could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months, but the aim is to combine the two businesses without impacting client related business at Itiviti. If anything, we have slowed the integration on this front to ensure that all clients still feel the same love and attention that they were getting from Itiviti three months ago, today.
We’ve touched on this already, but what other synergies will there be?
Broadridge is a $20bn-plus market cap company, generating just under $5bn a year in top line revenue. There are opportunities to leverage that franchise in a way that Itiviti would have never been able to do on their own. So, clearly Broadridge has an enormous footprint across fixed income, equities, middle and back office, where we can leverage those relationships now and sell this front-to-back model, which from the start was very much a driver in the acquisition. Those relationships are years in the making, which means they are considered as trusted advisors. The acquisition allows us to complement them with a high-performing front office trading technology.
We have already begun to work with our top 300 clients in Itiviti to bring our Broadridge colleagues in over a period of time, while Broadridge is doing the same thing with their top 40 clients where Itiviti has no exposure. The focus is on collaboration and co-ordination across the client offering to bring the best of both firms to those clients that are, quite frankly, in need of a front-to-back solution or a front-end trading technology solution.
What will be the impact, on Itiviti’s and Broadridge’s clients in the short and longer term?
In the short term hopefully there is no impact on Itiviti’s clients. In other words, it’s business as usual. As I said, we want to make sure that the impact on the clients is at most minimal in terms of disruption. I do not want integration issues to get in the way of executing our projects for the benefit of our clients in any way, shape or form.
How do you keep the Itiviti culture within a larger organisation?
Itiviti is a fintech provider whose culture is very much one of innovation and disruption, in a positive way. Broadridge has a history and culture of innovation, organisation and structure. My job in leading this integration, is to bring those two cultures together in a complementary way. I’m here to create an environment that allows us to continue to build out both businesses. I want to be clear, organisational culture matters. Communicating, implementing, and sustaining the right team culture is the absolute key catalyst for lasting success.
I also believe that everyone needs to be accountable for both success and failure. My focus, and part of what I have thought for a long time, is not to place the emphasis on the individual, but on the team and the team results. In other words, together everyone accomplishes more.
No one person should be singled out if there’s a problem. We have to support each other and hold each other accountable for the future success of this organisation.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes, I would like to say a few words about Rob who, in the inaugural Markets Media, European Markets Choice Awards won the Instinet Positive Change for Visionary. It is a true reflection of what he has accomplished. Rob deserves a lot of credit, and this award is absolutely recognising the right person for the work that he had done, which was not easy.
Everything from the restructuring of the executive management team, to the investment under Rob’s direction with Nordic Capital, showed how much resources of human capital and investment dollars went into the right areas of the business in order to position it correctly. The turnaround was highly successful, and Rob has given me this successful company as someone would do in a race when they are in the lead and pass on the baton
For all the reasons you know, it is never easy to turn around a company, but Rob did an incredible job and prepared Itiviti for its next chapter, which is all about growing it and scaling it within the front office trading technology, to support the sellside across equities, equity listed derivatives and fixed income.
I would also like to mention that while Rob has decided to do something else, he is staying on for the foreseeable future, as a senior advisor to me. He has already engaged me multiple times in that role, around people process, products and clients.