Tax Planning

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Acquires 55ip

J.P. Morgan Asset Management today reported that it has gone into a complete consent to procure 55ip, a financial technology company with proprietary capabilities empowering financial advisors to convey tax-smart investment strategies at scale. The company will keep on operating as a separate element, under its own image, with the full support of J.P. Morgan and stays focused on serving its current customers and enterprise partners. The details of the arrangement were not revealed.

55ip is a pioneer in automated tax technology and has provided financial advisors with a tax-smart investment technique motor for almost five years. Its natural experience and astute computerization improve portfolio plan and conveyance, sparing advisors time and helping to drive better results for financial specialists. At the core of the experience is 55ip's ActiveTax Technology®, which incorporates tax-smart advances, management (counting deliberate tax-misfortune reaping), and withdrawals. 55ip additionally helps advisors convey continuous tax-smart exchanging and tax advantage reporting to customers.

"Advisors are increasingly seeking intelligent, automated tools to provide simplicity, scale and efficiency, and by acquiring 55ip we are accelerating our significant investments in advanced advisor technology," said George Gatch, CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. "This is an exciting development that signifies broad collaboration between fintech and asset managers, aimed toward improving capabilities and outcomes for advisors and their clients."

"55ip's unique application of automated tax management to the model portfolio universe has tremendous potential in today's market environment. Automating sophisticated strategies while also allowing for customization for tax and individual preferences is a differentiator and will be a key driver of success," said Jed Laskowitz, Global Head of Asset Management Solutions at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. "We are excited to work together to build a leading platform for asset managers to deliver model portfolio capabilities to financial advisors."

"55ip combines investment intelligence and modern technology to provide personalized and automated investment solutions with a focus on reducing barriers investors face," said Dr. Vinay Nair, Founder and Executive Chairman of 55ip. "Tax-related savings are first order, especially in a world with lower rates, lower returns and higher taxes. We are delighted that J.P. Morgan shares our vision to democratize sophisticated tax management."  Dr. Nair will stay on as a consultant and special advisor to J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

"Joining forces with J.P. Morgan will provide greater resources for our current clients and enterprise partners, accelerate our innovation and broaden access to our solutions," added Paul Gamble, CEO of 55ip. "55ip's purpose is to break down barriers to financial progress, by finding better ways to help more people through intelligent automation. Being part of J.P. Morgan will accelerate our ability to do just that, as the industry standard tax-smart investment strategy engine."

55ip remaining parts focused on its partnerships with outsider asset supervisors, tacticians and abundance management platforms to drive model portfolio use as an important part of its general technique. The potential addressable market for asset director and outsider tactician models is as much as $3.6T*, exhibiting the craving for financial advisors to carry simplicity and scale to their practices, while conveying tax-smart management and investment results.

About 55ip
55ip is a financial technology company whose purpose is to break down barriers to financial progress. Financial advisors use 55ip's tax-smart investment strategy engine to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. 55ip's intuitive experience and intelligent automation elevate portfolio design and delivery, helping advisors save time and drive better outcomes for their clients. At the heart of the experience is 55ip's ActiveTax Technology®, which includes tax-smart transitions, management, and withdrawals.

About J.P. Morgan Asset Management
J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with assets under management of USD 2.2 trillion (as of 30 September 2020), is a global leader in investment management. J.P. Morgan Asset Management's clients include institutions, retail investors and high net worth individuals in every major market throughout the world. J.P. Morgan Asset Management offers global investment management in equities, fixed income, real estate, hedge funds, private equity and liquidity

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As digital transformation strategies take hold and organizations embrace a philosophy of data-driven decision-making, many functions that have traditionally communicated little with each other are coming together around a shared need for current and relevant information. In this environment, IT and tax departments have a signifi


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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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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

Synechron Launches 'Synechron Nexus' AI Solutions Suite in Fulfilling the Promise of AI With Ready-to-use Solutions

Synechron | February 02, 2024

Synechron, Inc., a leading global digital transformation consulting firm focused on financial services and technology organizations, announces the launch of its Synechron Nexus suite of nine Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions that are ready to be deployed within weeks. This array of generative AI-led solutions was designed to span the nexus between human expertise and AI, while enabling users to automate manually intensive tasks, increase project speed, drive operational efficiencies, and reduce costs across various key business tasks. Each solution, divided among three value streams, allows Synechron clients to improve their operations, reduce friction in their processes and boost productivity. Business Growth: Practical, innovative applications that enhance business capabilities Synechron Amplifai is a GenAI-powered market research solution. Its automated research capability saves significant time in a wide range of use-cases, reducing the tedium of gathering, analyzing and reporting market news, trends and strategies. Synechron Clarifai is a tool for summarizing and analyzing call-center transcripts. Conversations are flagged for non-compliance and further human review/actions. Synechron Simplifai centralizes project portfolio data and metrics for streamlined executive decision-making, informing effortless, data-backed decisions for executive and steering committee groups. Operational Efficiency: Advanced solutions to streamline processes and elevate internal operations Synechron Nexus Chat is built on a conversational AI model, understands and engages in a comprehensive range of scenarios and supports plug-ins for real-time data and integration, while delivering human-like conversational responses and text, safely and securely. Synechron Replai is an AI-driven, RFP and proposals tool, streamlining proposal creation with high-quality, insightful responses, with the ability to search the internal knowledge repository for fast access and content re-use. Synechron Unifai is an AI-driven HR solution, designed to simplify interactions between company HR functions and employees, such as policy information and employee-specific payroll details. Synechron Identifai collects comprehensive online market intelligence and provides an in-depth understanding of business, emerging technology trends, or any research topic. Developer Productivity: Toolkit to optimize timelines, minimize costs, and automate practices across the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) Synechron Codifai is an SDLC productivity improvement tool, using automation in code generation, unit test case generation, legacy code migration, code optimizations, and automatic code documentation. It works closely with Synechron Verifai which addresses software testing aspects. Synechron Verifai is a GenAI tool for SDLC productivity, using automation in code generation with a focus on QA test case generation, automated test script generation, synthetic test data generation, and bug detection and bug fixing. It works closely with Synechron Codifai which addresses software development efficiency. This new Synechron Nexus AI suite of real-world, practical business solutions, combined with the five formalized RiskTech.AI Accelerators (launched in October 2023), leverages Synechron's AI Practice expertise globally. The creation of AI-led business solutions has been a passion of Synechron's for over a decade, and the firm's commitment to innovative excellence has won the firm eight prestigious AI industry awards to date. Faisal Husain, Synechron's Co-founder and CEO, said of the launch of the Synechron Nexus AI Suite of solutions, "We are proud to be releasing this extensive array of AI-enhanced solutions that go beyond the hype, and provide significant, tangible benefits to business operations. AI and GenAI-rich tools are not just ideas we offer to our clients, but key process accelerators that we ourselves at Synechron are deploying across our company, as we offer ways to integrate the benefits of this technology with human expertise." Ryan Cox, Co-head of Synechron's AI Practice in the UK, added, "Our team has developed, tested, and successfully integrated these advanced AI solutions. Our approach is to strategically guide our clients to integrate AI effectively within their business processes. We identify the key areas where AI can bring the most impact, aligning our solutions to their unique business needs. This targeted approach ensures significant value creation with maximum benefit." Prabhakar Srinivasan, Co-head of Synechron's AI Practice in Bangalore, India, commented, "Artificial Intelligence has proven to be a wonderful force for driving business enhancements by quickly synthesizing extraordinarily large data sets. The Large Language Models used learn over short span of time on how to optimize each firm's proprietary information, thereby boosting productivity and allowing businesses to realize time and cost savings as they optimize tasks." About Synechron At Synechron, we believe in the power of digital to transform businesses for the better. Our global consulting firm combines creativity and innovative technology to deliver industry-leading digital solutions. Synechron's progressive technologies and optimization strategies span end-to-end Artificial Intelligence, Consulting, Digital, Cloud & DevOps, Data, and Software Engineering, servicing an array of noteworthy financial services and technology firms. Through research and development initiatives in our FinLabs we develop solutions for modernization, from Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to Data Science models, Digital Underwriting, mobile-first applications and more. Over the last 20+ years, our company has been honored with multiple employer awards, recognizing our commitment to our talented teams. With top clients to boast about, Synechron has a global workforce of 15,000+, and has 48 offices in 19 countries within key global markets.

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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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Spotlight

As digital transformation strategies take hold and organizations embrace a philosophy of data-driven decision-making, many functions that have traditionally communicated little with each other are coming together around a shared need for current and relevant information. In this environment, IT and tax departments have a signifi

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