Goldman Slashes S&P 500 Forecast, Calling for End to Bull Market

David Kostin just made a bold call: The 11-year-old bull market in U.S. stocks is about to become history. The chief strategist for U.S. equities at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut his year-end forecast for the S&P 500 while trimming his profit estimates for a second time in a month. Earnings will drop at least 12% in each of the next two quarters as plunging oil prices and the spread of the coronavirus hurt businesses, he said. With profits poised to collapse and sentiment to worsen, Kostin now expects the benchmark index to drop to 2,450 by the middle of 2020. That represents a 15% decline from the last close and a 28% slump from its February peak, a loss that if materialized would mean equities enter a bear market.

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Payments

ServiceNow announces five-year strategic alliance with Visa to transform payment services

ServiceNow | January 25, 2024

ServiceNow the leading digital workflow company making the world work better for everyone, announced a five-year strategic alliance with Visa, a world leader in digital payments, to transform payment services. The initial phase includes the launch of ServiceNow Disputes Management, Built with Visa—a single, connected disputes resolution solution for issuers. Managing disputes currently involves multiple systems and teams, and many financial institutions often use siloed solutions that are not fully integrated with one another. This disconnected approach creates complexity, delays crediting and resolving disputes, can create potential losses, and ultimately, impacts the customer experience. ServiceNow Disputes Management, Built with Visa is a streamlined solution that blends the best of ServiceNow’s AI-first platform and the company’s Financial Services Operations solution with Visa’s deep technology investments. Each year, Visa helps prevent $30 billion in fraud for consumers and small businesses using cutting edge technology, including tokenization and AI, deployed throughout the entire payments ecosystem, including disputes management. “At the heart of our alliance is a commitment to build industry-leading products that help financial institutions boost employee productivity, create great customer experiences, and drive business growth,” said John Ball, senior vice president and general manager, customer and industry workflows, ServiceNow. “By making Visa’s services available through ServiceNow’s intelligent, AI-first platform, we’re powering innovation and setting a new standard in the payments industry.” “Solving customer pain points is core to our business at Visa, and collaborating with an industry leader like ServiceNow will allow us to help issuer partners resolve disputes more efficiently,” said Vanessa Colella, global head of innovation and digital partnerships, Visa. “ServiceNow and Visa look forward to offering clients the latest technology solutions, so they can focus on delivering an excellent experience for their customers.” ServiceNow Disputes Management, Built with Visa will unite the entire dispute management process – from the first indication that a charge is questionable to early resolution, investigation, and final resolution. It includes a single experience for solving disputes so that employees can have high quality engagements with cardholders, as well as dashboards, automation, alerts, and the ability to audit all transactions. Two standout features enhance its efficiency: a modern, user-friendly low code platform that allows financial institutions to make swift updates to their disputes management process, and generative AI-powered experiences that improve customer intake and agent investigation. The solution also incorporates ongoing changes to disputes rules and applies industry best practices for processes, workflows, and staying ahead of fraud. “Banks should prioritize their CX efforts around the drivers that most influence customer loyalty. For example, resolving problems and issues quickly remains one of the most important drivers of CX and retention for many banks,” wrote Alyson Clarke, principal analyst at Forrester Research. “Banks that adopt modern and flexible digital banking processing platforms will find it easier and faster to deliver innovative (and profitable) customer solutions.”1 ServiceNow is committed to revolutionizing financial services with new products and services. This initial integration marks the beginning of a more extensive, multi-phased relationship between Visa and ServiceNow. The companies will continue to build new solutions and will distribute Visa products and services to joint customers. Together, ServiceNow and Visa will help clients improve dispute management. 1Forrester, Consumer Banking Trends, 2024: Trends Shaping Retail Consumer Banking In The Current Economic Climate, Jan 17, 2024 About ServiceNow ServiceNow makes the world work better for everyone. Our cloud‑based platform and solutions help digitize and unify organizations so that they can find smarter, faster, better ways to make work flow. So employees and customers can be more connected, more innovative, and more agile. And we can all create the future we imagine. The world works with ServiceNowTM.

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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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Financial Management

Capchase Launches Collections Tool, Expanding Revenue Services for SaaS Companies

Capchase | December 06, 2023

Capchase, the revenue acceleration platform for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, today released Capchase Collect, an invoice collections tool for SaaS. Capchase Collect is the company's latest solution as part of its mission to help SaaS companies manage revenue, access non-dilutive capital, and accelerate growth. The tool was announced alongside a brand refresh for Capchase. In the U.S., 49% of the invoices produced by a business for services become overdue, according to a 2022 industry report. The longer the collection process takes, the likelihood of a customer paying the invoice decreases. Capchase also found average days sales outstanding (DSO) for SaaS companies has increased by 20% in 2023, resulting in less working capital for the business to invest in growth. With macroeconomic uncertainty, companies are looking for more ways to increase their cash position and extend runways, making it ever more imperative to collect on invoices in a timely manner. Businesses already experiencing a burden of overdue invoices, or want to enact a system to prevent falling behind, can expect cash flow to increase by a median amount of 34% per month using Capchase Collect. Capchase Collect automates the invoicing process by sending reminders and offering a system for easy re-payment to expedite revenue growth. Effective revenue management is one of the fastest ways companies can strengthen their capital position. Capchase Collect is a transformative solution for SaaS founders, addressing the core challenge of securing revenue from customers in a consistent and efficient way. With Collect, we streamline the entire process - beyond just invoice generation—ensuring timely payments, reducing errors, and facilitating robust collaborations across departments. Our focus is on boosting cash flow predictability and empowering SaaS companies to harness their financial potential with ease. Miguel Fernandez, co-founder and CEO of Capchase The intuitive product, which connects directly into existing Capchase customer dashboards or can be accessed as a standalone tool, and integrates with accounting systems like Quickbooks and Xero, provides the following benefits to users: A holistic and sortable view of accounts receivable balances including, total outstanding, upcoming, and overdue balances for buyers and unpaid invoices. An overview of total aging balances to easily track past due payments. Customizable emails for personalized notices based on customer and invoice status with the ability to automate and edit the frequency of reminders. "Capchase Collect has proven to be a valuable addition to our financial toolkit, enhancing the way we handle our invoicing tasks," said Juan Sebastian Angel, COO at Audiense, an early Collect user. "It offers seamless integration with our existing systems, allowing us to automate and streamline our invoicing like never before. Collect has had a massive impact in unblocking cash sitting on receivables." Capchase Collect joins Capchase Grow and Capchase Pay in the company's suite of tools for SaaS companies. Capchase's flagship product, Grow, has recently reached profitability, which has enabled the company to fund additional innovations to further its mission in accelerating revenue growth for SaaS companies. Capchase Collect is available today for small- to- large size SaaS companies that want to automate their collection process and improve cash flow. To learn more about Capchase's revenue services for SaaS, visit www.capchase.com. About Capchase Capchase empowers B2B SaaS companies to grow faster through non-dilutive capital and revenue acceleration tools. Our capital solution, Grow, has made more than $2B in funding available to the SaaS industry. Our revenue management tools, Pay and Collect, help SaaS vendors sell more and collect cash faster. Founded in 2020 and headquartered in NYC, we've worked with over 5,000 businesses and partners to date. Capchase operates in 10 countries in North America and Europe, and was recognized as one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies and Forbes' Next Billion Dollar Startups in 2023. To learn more about Capchase, visit capchase.com.

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Fintech

Renovus Capital Partners Announces Investment In Behavioral Framework

Renovus Capital Partners | January 05, 2024

Renovus Capital Partners announced an investment in Behavioral Framework, a leading provider of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Framework was founded in 2017 in Rockville, Maryland by Angela West, with the mission of helping children diagnosed with autism and their families understand, improve, and lead functional, productive lives. Behavioral Framework's best-in-class clinical model leverages the scientific principles of ABA, a family-focused mindset, and an organization-wide commitment to excellence to unlock each child's potential. Pathways, a division of Behavioral Framework, provides autism diagnostic services. Behavioral Framework's dedicated team serves children and families across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. "We're thrilled to welcome Renovus to Behavioral Framework and usher in the next chapter of our growth as we continue to build a world-class autism services organization focused squarely on the needs of our clients and their families," said Kyle West, Behavioral Framework CEO. "There is a critical need nationwide for autism diagnostics and ABA therapy. Operating from our shared values and vision, the Renovus team will help us accelerate our growth and provide life-changing diagnostics and therapy to as many children and families as possible." "Kyle and Angela have established a strong leadership position in the growing ABA space with a unique focus on compassion for the people they serve and achieving measurable results on their behalf," said Jesse Serventi, Founding Partner at Renovus. "We are proud to support a passionate team as we seek to advance the important impact Behavioral Framework is making in the lives of children and families affected by autism, while growing to reach new communities." "Our success in helping our clients achieve meaningful outcomes is built around holding ourselves to the absolute highest standards, individualized care, and a family focus," said Angela West, Behavioral Framework Chief Clinical Officer. "Our decades of experience have taught us that strong leadership combined with research-based programming and compassionate care are fundamental keys to better outcomes for patients on their path to independence. Renovus shares this commitment and we look forward to their support in the coming years." A team led by senior banker Erika Haanpaa of Cain Brothers, a division of KeyBanc Capital Markets, served as exclusive financial advisor to Behavioral Framework. About Behavioral Framework Behavioral Framework is a leading provider of autism diagnostic services and ABA therapy in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. Since 2017, Behavioral Framework has provided clinically exceptional care and measurable client outcomes for thousands of children diagnosed with autism and their families. Our team of dedicated behavioral experts is committed to providing our diverse community with consistent, quality care based on decades of research and best practices. Passion motivates us, progress sustains us, and measurable results help our clients reach their lifelong potential. About Renovus Capital Partners Founded in 2010, Renovus Capital Partners is a lower middle-market private equity firm specializing in the Knowledge and Talent industries. From its base in the Philadelphia area, Renovus manages over $1 billion across its three sector focused funds and other strategies. The firm's current portfolio includes over 25 U.S. based businesses specializing in education and training, healthcare services, technology services and professional services. Renovus typically partners with founder-led businesses, leveraging its experience within the industry and access to debt and equity capital to make operational improvements, recruit top talent, pursue add-on acquisitions and oversee strategic growth initiatives.

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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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