Financial firms around the world ramp up contingency plans as coronavirus hits

Banks and other large financial companies in major cities across the world ramped up their emergency measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus on Tuesday, with Barclays Plc (BARC.L) and BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) confirming one case in their New York offices. The steps including telling staff who had been exposed to someone with the virus to self-quarantine for 14 days, splitting operations so that some staff work from home or back-up locations and deep cleaning offices. Barclays told staff on Tuesday that a trading floor employee in its Midtown Manhattan office tested positive for the virus and told employees who worked near or met with the individual to self-quarantine, according to a memo seen by Reuters. Morgan Stanley (MS.N) also confirmed that an employee at its Purchase, New York, campus, roughly 45-minutes north of Manhattan, tested positive for the virus.

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Spotlight

Tax groups have a meaningful opportunity to enhance the value of their organization’s digital transformation effort. This priority, which involves migrating tax automation to the cloud in tandem with larger enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud migrations is becoming even more time sensitive. This white paper examines leading

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Financial Management

H.I.G. Capital Completes Acquisition of CHA Consulting

H.I.G | January 23, 2024

H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a global alternative investment firm with $60 billion of capital under management, is pleased to announce that one of its affiliates has completed the acquisition of CHA Consulting, Inc. (“CHA” or the “Company”), a leading full-service engineering, design, consulting, and program management firm providing a range of technology-enabled services to public, private, and institutional clients. CHA’s existing management team, led by President Jim Stephenson, will continue to lead the Company and remain shareholders in the business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Albany, New York, CHA operates under three main sectors: infrastructure, power & manufacturing, and commercial & institutional. The Company serves clients across diversified end-markets including government, manufacturing, transportation, utility, water resources, commercial, and education. Through a combination of experienced and high-quality engineers, end-market expertise, and diverse capabilities, CHA provides industry-leading service to its blue-chip customer base. Jim Stephenson, President & CEO of CHA Consulting and Holdings, Inc., commented, “H.I.G. brings tremendous financial and operational resources with a great track record supporting companies and delivering value. We are confident this partnership will further position CHA for continued growth and will provide opportunities to better support our clients and the markets we serve.” “We are excited to partner with Jim and his exceptional management team. CHA provides critical engineering services through its talented team and is well-positioned for continued growth, capitalizing on accelerating investments in the end markets they serve across the United States and Canada. We look forward to supporting the team’s growth strategy and strategically broadening its operational scope across North America, both organically and through additional add-on acquisitions,” added Matt Hankins, Managing Director at H.I.G. Capital. Houlihan Lokey, Inc. served as lead financial advisor with support from AEC Advisors, and Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel for CHA. Harris Williams LLC served as financial advisor, and Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal counsel to H.I.G. About CHA Consulting CHA Consulting, Inc. is an innovative, full-service engineering, design, consulting, and program management firm providing a wide range of technology-enhanced services to public, private, and institutional clients. They are focused on delivering sustainable, integrated solutions to the world's most challenging infrastructure projects across utilities, transportation, water, and other critical commercial and industrial end-markets. CHA was ranked 69th largest engineering firm in the U.S. in 2023 by ENR, with approximately 1,800 employees and 50 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. About H.I.G. Capital H.I.G. Capital is a leading global alternative investment firm with $60 billion of capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco in the United States, as well as international affiliate offices in Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Dubai, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations, and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche, and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. also manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices. H.I.G. Infrastructure focuses on making value-add and core plus investments in the infrastructure sector. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 400 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $53 billion.

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Core Banking

MidFirst Bank Extends Western Expansion with Entrance into Nevada Market

MidFirst Bank | January 08, 2024

MidFirst Bank, the largest privately held bank in the nation, recently announced its expansion into the Southern Nevada market. This effort is led by Michael Pizzi, who will serve as Senior Vice President and Nevada Market Executive, and a team of bankers from Bank of Nevada who have extensive area expertise, deep regional relationships and a proven track record of delivering exceptional support to their customers and the communities they serve. This expansion extends MidFirst’s growth in the western United States, building upon the Bank’s recently announced entrance into the new Southern California markets of Santa Barbara, San Diego and South Bay. “We are pleased to continue executing MidFirst’s growth strategy with our entrance into the Southern Nevada market,” said Jeff Records, Chairman and CEO of MidFirst Bank. “Michael and his team have a strong foundation in Nevada and a reputation for excellence, and we’re confident they are the best team to develop our new market presence. Las Vegas has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade, and MidFirst is ideally positioned to support this thriving community, providing robust banking service offerings and leading customer service.” “We look forward to bringing MidFirst Bank to Southern Nevada and growing our presence in the region,” said Michael Pizzi, Senior Vice President and Nevada Market Executive of MidFirst Bank. “We have a solid team of experienced bankers in place to lead our market development, and together we will deliver a unique brand of banking to this community with an emphasis on personal relationships, first class customer service, expert financial guidance, and community support. Over the next year, we will focus on expanding our team, so we can best serve the community with a comprehensive suite of banking products and services to include private banking, mortgage, SBA, and treasury management services.” Michael joins MidFirst Bank as Senior Vice President and Nevada Market Executive. His career spans 25 years with a focus on business banking and middle-market companies. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Commercial Banking at Bank of Nevada and prior to that served in various management positions at U.S. Bank for over 14 years. His clients are participants in a variety of industries, including medical, law, manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, and commercial real estate. Michael is an active member of the community and serves as a member of the Latin Chamber of Commerce. He is a past board member of both Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada and the Discovery Children’s Museum. Michael brings with him a team of experienced banking professionals from Bank of Nevada to serve the Southern Nevada Market, which includes Senior Vice President Joyce Smith and Senior Vice President Jeff Miracle. About MidFirst Bank With $36.6 billion in assets, Oklahoma City-based MidFirst Bank is the largest privately owned bank in the nation and provides commercial lending, wealth management, private banking and mortgage servicing nationally. MidFirst Bank has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. MidFirst Bank serves California through 1st Century Bank, a division of MidFirst Bank.

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Payments

Plooto Launches Enhanced All-In-One Payment Automation Solution for Scaling Businesses

Plooto | January 16, 2024

Plooto, a leading payment automation solution for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs), has launched a payment orchestration offering that is custom-designed to support the complex workflows and security requirements of rapidly scaling businesses. As the size and operational complexity of businesses increase, the risk of fraud and human error grows. This leads businesses to implement more rigorous security and control policies to keep the management of cash flow secure and reliable, placing additional burdens on finance teams including time, effort, and resources spent upgrading or building in-house solutions. Similar challenges extend to accounting and bookkeeping firms, as their robust compliance processes and corresponding reputation are critical drivers of growth. Firms' ability to retain and expand client accounts hinges not only on strong relationships but also on their adherence to rigorous compliance standards, especially when it comes to financial data protection. With this launch, Plooto brings to market the first solution in Canada to address these unique cash management challenges faced by midsize enterprises. This offering is priced at a competitive rate as organizations often cite cost as a barrier to adoption of cash management solutions. As volume and complexity of operations increase, businesses can trust Plooto to scale their needs seamlessly without straining their resources. Coupling end-to-end payment automation with stringent security controls and seamless connection to enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, Plooto is now capable of helping even more businesses scale efficiently within their ecosystem. Building upon Plooto’s core offering of simplified, all-in-one payables and receivables automation, new capabilities include Dual Controls: Limits human error and protects against fraud through comprehensive approvals on changes to sensitive financial information Single Sign-On: Enterprise-level safeguards that enable security personnel to manage both user access to sensitive data and removal from a centralized hub as teams scale Integration with Oracle Netsuite: Seamless two-way sync automates reconciliation protecting against costly human error, reducing billable hours, and helping finance teams save time "Our new offering enables finance teams to easily scale their workflows and gain the visibility they crucially need into their cash flow,” says Hamed Abbasi, Co-Founder and CEO of Plooto. “I’m thrilled that Plooto is expanding how we support growing SMBs, and that we are the first company to fill this critical gap for Canadian businesses.” Having recently been awarded with Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ and Technology Fast 50™ designations for a staggering 3-year 433% growth rate, Plooto continues to provide industry-leading support for SMBs with a platform that enhances cash management through its all-in-one payment automation. Plooto has also recently expanded its leadership team, bringing extensive experience from major financial services companies such as Varo Bank, Xero, and PayPal. About Plooto Plooto partners with growing small-to-midsize businesses to give them complete control over their cash management. The all-in-one payment automation platform securely automates all payable and receivable workflows, offers extensive payment capabilities, and seamless integration with accounting software to automatically reconcile invoices. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Toronto, Plooto serves over 10,000 North American businesses, and integrates with top accounting software platforms Quickbooks, Xero, and NetSuite. Simplifying complex processes at scale, Plooto is the financial engine businesses rely on to achieve their growth potential.

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