BlackRock, Inc. | January 15, 2024
BlackRock, Inc. and Global Infrastructure Partners a leading independent infrastructure fund manager, jointly announce that they have entered into an agreement for BlackRock to acquire GIP for total consideration of $3 billion of cash and approximately 12 million shares of BlackRock common stock.
A $1 trillion market today, infrastructure is forecast to be one of the fastest growing segments of private markets in the years ahead. A number of long-term structural trends support an acceleration in infrastructure investment. These include increasing global demand for upgraded digital infrastructure like fiber broadband, cell towers and data centers; renewed investment in logistical hubs such as airports, railroads and shipping ports as supply chains are rewired; and a movement toward decarbonization and energy security in many parts of the world.
Further, large government deficits mean that the mobilization of capital through public-private partnerships will be critical for funding important infrastructure. Finally, as capital has become more scarce in a higher interest rate environment, companies are exploring partnership opportunities for their embedded infrastructure assets to improve their returns on invested capital or to raise capital to reinvest in their core businesses.
BlackRock has a broad network of global corporate relationships as a long-term investor in both their debt and equity. These relationships will help us lead critical investments in infrastructure to improve outcomes for communities around the globe and generate long-term investment benefits for clients.
The combination of GIP with BlackRock’s highly complementary infrastructure offerings creates a comprehensive global infrastructure franchise with differentiated origination and asset management capabilities. The over $150 billion combined business will seek to deliver clients market-leading, holistic infrastructure expertise across equity, debt and solutions at substantial scale. Marrying the proprietary origination and business improvement capabilities of GIP and BlackRock’s global corporate and sovereign relationships provides a platform for diversified, large-scale sourcing to support deal flow and co-investment opportunities for clients. We believe bringing GIP and BlackRock together will deliver to clients the benefits of broader origination and business improvement capabilities.
Founded in 2006, world leading independent infrastructure investor GIP manages over $100 billion in client assets across infrastructure equity and debt, with a focus on energy, transport, water and waste, and digital sectors. GIP’s performance has been driven by proprietary origination, operational improvements, and timely exits. They have successfully scaled their global equity flagship series, with the most recent fully invested flagship fund in 2019 surpassing $22 billion.
BlackRock’s over $50 billion of infrastructure client AUM is comprised of infrastructure equity, debt and solutions, and has grown both organically and inorganically since inception in 2011. Top investment talent at BlackRock lead franchises that include Diversified Infrastructure, Infra Debt, Infra Solutions, Climate Infrastructure and Decarbonization Partners.
The GIP management team, led by Bayo Ogunlesi and four of its founding partners, will lead the combined infrastructure platform. They will bring with them talented investment, and operationally focused business improvement teams with a strong track-record of building and running high-performing private markets businesses. GIP’s founders and teams remain highly committed to clients, and we expect the integration with BlackRock’s broader platform will generate even greater opportunities. Subject to completion of customary onboarding procedures, BlackRock has also agreed to appoint Bayo Ogunlesi, GIP Founding Partner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, to the Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting following the closing of the transaction.
“Infrastructure is one of the most exciting long-term investment opportunities, as a number of structural shifts re-shape the global economy. We believe the expansion of both physical and digital infrastructure will continue to accelerate, as governments prioritize self-sufficiency and security through increased domestic industrial capacity, energy independence, and onshoring or near-shoring of critical sectors. Policymakers are only just beginning to implement once-in-a-generation financial incentives for new infrastructure technologies and projects,” said Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock Chairman and CEO.
“I’m delighted for the opportunity to welcome Bayo and the GIP team to BlackRock, and happy to announce our plans to have Bayo join our Board of Directors post-closing. We founded BlackRock 35 years ago based on a unique understanding of investment risk and the factors and forces driving investment returns. GIP’s deep understanding of the factors and forces driving operational efficiency for long-term value creation have made them a global leader in infrastructure investing. Bringing these two firms together will create the infrastructure platform to deliver best-in-class investment opportunities for clients globally, and we couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities ahead of us.”
“I’m excited about the power of this combination and the prospect of working with Larry and his talented team. We share with BlackRock a culture of collaboration, client focus, investment partnership, and commitment to excellence. Investors have adopted private infrastructure investing for its ability to provide stable cashflows, less correlated returns, and a hedge against inflation. Global corporates have turned to private infrastructure as a fast innovator and a more commercially agile owner of infrastructure assets that aren't core to their commercial businesses. This platform is set to be the preeminent, one-stop infrastructure solutions provider for global corporates and the public sector, mobilizing long-term private capital through long-standing firm relationships,” said Bayo Ogunlesi, GIP Founding Partner, Chairman, and CEO. “We are convinced that together we can create the world’s premier infrastructure investment firm.”
BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, we help millions of people build savings that serve them throughout their lives by making investing easier and more affordable.
Backbase | January 12, 2024
Backbase, the global leader in Engagement Banking, has made an agreement with Danske Bank, a leading Nordic bank based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
This agreement provides Danske Bank with access to Backbase's Engagement Banking Platform, which will progressively be implemented across our digital channels in the coming years. This will enable Danske Bank to offer its customers a continuously improved digital customer experience, as the enhanced flexibility allows it to tailor its business operations around customer journeys.
Frans Woelders, Chief Operating Officer at Danske Bank, highlights: “This engagement is a testament to our customer focus and our commitment to ensuring the best digital banking experience for the future. A new platform that works across the web, mobile apps, and our adviser tools is one of the ambitions in Danske Bank’s Forward ’28 strategy, and the agreement with Backbase is the next step towards achieving that ambition.”
Our Engagement Banking Platform plays a pivotal role in achieving
Modernization and simplification of the existing IT landscape by reducing the number of silo-ed channel applications.
Mobile-first engagement model, establishing a customer-centric approach, seamlessly guiding customers between automated and expert advice.
Unified platform, consolidating data, business logic, and workflows into a single, customer-centric platform for efficient journey orchestration, benefiting both customers and bank employees.
Agility and freedom, enhancing flexibility to swiftly implement business capabilities and adapt to evolving market dynamics.
Christian Bornfeld, Head of Personal Customers and Financial Crime Risk and Prevention at Danske Bank, says: “This platform will allow us to take our interaction with customers through our digital solutions to the next level and to introduce enhancements at greater speed than ever before. It will thus enable us to provide market-leading convenience and personalization for our customers with great insights, increased proactivity, and easy access to assistance and advice.”
Jouk Pleiter, Founder and CEO of Backbase, shares, “We are thrilled to announce the engagement with Danske Bank, a visionary collaboration set to redefine the future of banking. Together, we will execute a bank-wide, digital transformation program and elevate Danske Bank's customer experience to new heights.”
Backbase is on a mission to re-architect banking around the customer.
Backbase created the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform – a unified platform with the customer at the center, empowering banks to accelerate their digital transformation. From customer onboarding to servicing, loyalty, and loan origination, our single platform — open and frictionless, with ready-to-go apps — improves every aspect of the customer experience. Built from the ground up with the customer at the heart, our Engagement Banking Platform easily plugs into existing core banking systems and comes pre-integrated with the latest fintechs so financial institutions can innovate at scale.
Industry analysts Forrester, Gartner, Celent, Omdia, and IDC continuously recognize Backbase’s category leadership. Over 120 financials around the world have embraced the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform - including AIB, Banorte, Barclays, BIAT, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO, Banque Saudi Fransi, BRD, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Discovery Bank, First National Bank, HDFC, Ila Bank, KeyBank, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest, Navy Federal Credit Union, OTP Group, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, RBC, Standard Bank, Saudi National Bank, Société Générale, Truist, and TPBank.
Finix | January 10, 2024
Finix, the payments technology provider enabling businesses to accept and send payments online or in-person, announced the launch of Payouts, its latest standalone product line. Payouts enables businesses across all industries to efficiently send money at scale, regardless of whether they utilize the broader Finix payments platform.
Businesses often encounter challenges when they need to disburse funds due to siloed payment flows and needing to manage multiple vendor relationships to send and receive payments through various payment methods. In addition, businesses can be delayed waiting for bank approvals and integration resources. Now, Finix Payouts enables fast and reliable money movement–to one or many recipients at once–via a single developer-friendly API. Payouts has many use cases such as business-to-business (B2B) account payables, gig economy wages, insurance claims, tax refunds, sales commissions, tips, contractor payouts, and more.
"Businesses can encounter many challenges when sending money at scale. Teams may face cumbersome technical integrations, manual payment operation workflows, and cash flow challenges, which can create a reconciliation nightmare," said Richie Serna, CEO and co-founder of Finix. "With Finix Payouts, companies of all sizes can get started in a few hours, configure their payment flows and methods to satisfy their business needs, help alleviate complications and intermediaries, and start sending money without spending an extensive amount of time or resources. Instead, they can focus on what matters most: their product, customers, and business growth."
"Launching this separate product line, Payouts, is further evidence that Finix is continually and rapidly evolving to meet the dynamic needs of businesses," said Anthony Sharett, President of Pathward®, N.A. and Pathward Financial, Inc. "Pathward is proud to deepen our partnership with Finix and continue working together to broaden accessibility to the financial system."
Finix will utilize Mastercard Send™ and Visa Direct to enable card-based payouts allowing U.S. businesses to quickly send money to bank accounts or eligible cards.
Key features of Payouts include
24/7 Card Payout Availability
Disburse funds to cards in near real-time1, 365 days a year – including weekends and holidays.
Real-time Bank Account Validation
With Finix's integrations, businesses can get up and running quickly and seamlessly link and validate bank accounts in real-time.
Flexible Payment Maximums Based on Industry:
Businesses can have custom disbursement limits for push-to-card and bank transfers to effortlessly scale their processes.
By integrating with Finix's complete solution, users can send payments via ACH, real-time payments, and to cards with Mastercard Send™ and Visa Direct, in a single API.
Finix conducts the necessary compliance checks on recipients ahead of sending money between parties.
Reliable, Detailed Reporting
Businesses can manage their payout services with out of the box tools, customizable reporting, and detailed recordkeeping.
"In today's digital environment, it's vital that businesses of all sizes can securely access and send funds in near real-time, whenever and wherever their work takes them," said Silvana Hernandez, Executive Vice President, Product and Engineering, North America, Mastercard. "By working with Finix, we're helping businesses meet the demands of our always-on digital world, enabling them to seamlessly integrate Mastercard Send into their day-to-day operations to move money safer, faster and more efficiently."
"Visa Direct provides a single point of access and reach to over 8.5B+ endpoints capability, including 3B+ eligible cards, 3B+ bank accounts and 2.5B+ wallets around the world," said Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore, North America Head, Visa Direct. "This collaboration reflects our shared commitment to streamlining global money movement and we're excited to bring streamlined disbursement capabilities to more businesses across the U.S., enabled by Visa Direct."
Finix is a full-stack payment processor and infrastructure provider powering customers such as Clubessential, Passport, and Kabbage. From startups to publicly traded companies, Finix offers everything needed to deliver a world-class payments experience. Leading software platforms, marketplaces, retail, and e-commerce businesses use Finix's universal payments API and dashboard to accept payments, automate workflows, enhance customer experiences, and quickly grow revenue.