INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

Mastercard Unveils Next-Generation Virtual Card Solution for Instant B2B Payments

Mastercard | January 24, 2022

Mastercard_Unveils_Next
Mastercard today announced the launch of Mastercard TrackTM Instant Pay, a next-generation virtual card solution that uses machine learning and straight-through processing to enable instant payment of supplier invoices. Integrated with Mastercard Track Business Payment Service, Mastercard’s open-loop B2B network, the new, first-of-its-kind virtual card solution delivers greater choice, efficiency and automation for buyers and suppliers to help streamline and speed business payments.

Slow and inefficient payment processes continue to create challenges for businesses. Lengthy payment terms and late invoice payments impact cash flow for suppliers, while manual invoice approval and check processing is costly and time consuming for buyers. Other payment methods, like ACH, require buyers to safeguard sensitive bank account information, adding another layer of complexity. Research shows a growing demand from businesses to automate supplier payments with virtual cards, but existing solutions aren’t meeting these needs, with 90% of virtual card transactions still being processed manually1.

Mastercard Track Instant Pay is the first virtual card solution that can safely and intelligently authorize an immediate payment to a supplier once they submit an invoice. The solution uses sophisticated machine learning to analyze invoices and identify those likely to be rejected, enabling the rest to be authorized for payment on the same day they’re received. Using straight-through processing, digital payments are sent directly and securely to a supplier’s bank account via a Mastercard virtual card, with no manual intervention required.

Delayed payments create significant challenges for businesses financially and operationally, especially in today’s environment. New Payment Flows, North America at Mastercard. “Track Instant Pay helps solve these pain points by enabling buyers and suppliers to automate their manual payment processes, unlocking valuable time, working capital and choice. This innovative new solution is the latest step in our ongoing commitment to support multiple payment rails and mission to modernize B2B payments.”

Ron Shultz, executive vice president

Mastercard Track Instant Pay combines machine learning capabilities from Previse, an artificial intelligence and data science company, with Mastercard’s core commercial solutions and global payment network to transform how businesses send and receive payments. The solution is part of Mastercard’s comprehensive suite of B2B products and services designed to reduce complexity and risk, cut costs, and automate processes for businesses around the world.

About Mastercard
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments, and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

Spotlight

After having played a relatively minor role, the global financial crisis put the spotlight back onto liquidity risk. Cases like the German Hypo Real Estate show that liquidity still is a critical factor that determines success as well as means of existence of credit institutions. In 2008 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published the „Principles for Sound Liquidity Risk Management and Supervision“ (hereinafter called “Sound Principles“) which qualitatively represent fundamentals of adequate liquidity risk management. “Principle 8” addresses the management of intraday liquidity...


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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT,FINTECH

BlackRock Expands Megatrends Platform with the Launch of the Future Financial and Technology ETF

BlackRock and iShares | August 19, 2022

BlackRock has expanded its Megatrends platform with the launch of the BlackRock Future Financial and Technology ETF. The Fund is actively managed by BlackRock’s Fundamental Equity (FE) franchise and seeks to maximize total return by investing in companies delivering innovative and emerging technologies that are driving disruption within the financial services industry. “In the United States alone, the use of fintech increased by 30% during the pandemic1, Through BPAY, investors are granted direct access to global companies that are driving the next leg of growth and leading the digital revolution in areas across the entire value chain such as payment systems, banking, investments, lending, and insurance and software.” - Vasco Moreno, Lead Portfolio Manager of BPAY BPAY is the sixth active ETF in BlackRock’s U.S. Megatrends platform, and the fifth from the FE franchise, which includes other future-focused actively managed thematic ETFs targeting technology, innovators, health, and environmental economy. The FE organization harnesses the power of human intellect, industry-leading technology and the global scale of BlackRock in their mission to deliver consistent, risk-managed alpha. With a long history in thematic investing, BlackRock is committed to providing access to forward-looking investment themes via targeted, transparent and cost-effective vehicles, BPAY is representative of the firm’s deep fundamental research expertise, strong active and index platforms, and focus on innovation,said Jay Jacobs, U.S. Head of Thematics and Active Equity ETFs at BlackRock. BlackRock offers the largest active and index thematic platform in the world, spanning 44 products with over $50 billion in AUM2. About BlackRock 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. About iShares iShares unlocks opportunity across markets to meet the evolving needs of investors. With more than twenty years of experience, a global line-up of 900+ exchange traded funds (ETFs) and $2.78 trillion in assets under management as of June 30, 2022, iShares continues to drive progress for the financial industry. iShares funds are powered by the expert portfolio and risk management of BlackRock.

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FINTECH

Fintech and Cleantech Win as Global Venture Capital Investments Become More Focused

KPMG International | July 26, 2022

According to the Q2’22 edition of Venture Pulse — a quarterly report, published by KPMG Private Enterprise, that analyzes key VC deals and trends globally — fintech, cybersecurity, supply chain management and alternative energy and energy storage opportunities are continuing to attract significant interest from investors. This is despite global VC investment dropping to $120.2 billion across 8,420 deals in Q2’22. The Americas attracted $66.2 billion in VC investment — over half of the total global VC investment — during Q2’22, with the US accounting for $62.3 billion of this amount. Europe’s market showed strong resilience during the quarter, attracting $27.2 billion in investment during Q2’22. Despite the second successive quarter of decline, VC investment in Europe remained high compared to pre Q2’21. Q2’22 was the most subdued in Asia, dropping to an eight-quarter low of $24.5 billion across 2,206 deals. Investor interest in supply chain and logistics continues to grow as industry challenges continue to have an impact. Soaring global energy prices and increased concerns around energy security has driven investors to look at alternative energy and storage options. Investments in electric vehicles, battery technologies and increasingly hydrogen are becoming more attractive. The US attracted the world’s largest VC deals during Q2’22, including a $2 billion raise by Epic Games, a $1.7 billion raise by Space X, and a $1.5 billion raise by Gopuff. With its $1.2 billion raise, Germany-based fintech company Trade Republic accounted for the fourth spot — the only company outside of the US to raise a $1 billion plus round during the quarter. In Asia, the largest deal of the quarter was an $805 million raise by India-based Dailyhunt. “With valuations declining, many tech companies performing poorly on the public markets, and no end in sight to the level of geopolitical uncertainty, notwithstanding other challenges facing the VC market globally, we’re starting to see investors instructing their portfolio companies to preserve cash,” said Jonathan Lavender, Global Head, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG International. “With valuations declining, many tech companies performing poorly on the public markets, and no end in sight to the level of geopolitical uncertainty, notwithstanding other challenges facing the VC market globally, we’re starting to see investors instructing their portfolio companies to preserve cash,” said Jonathan Lavender, Global Head, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG International. “Heading into Q3’22, this trend is expected to continue as start-ups look to survive in an increasingly challenging environment where profitability will be of critical importance.” Key Highlights – Q2’22 Global VC investment dropped considerably, from $165.3 billion across 11,468 deals in Q1’22 to $120.2 billion across 8,420 deals in Q2’22. VC investment in the Americas dropped from $89.3 billion across 5,034 deals in Q1’22 to $66.2 billion across 3,778 deals in Q2’22. The US accounted for $62.3 billion of Q2’22 investment in the Americas, down from $81.9 billion in Q1’22. VC investment in Asia sunk to an eight-quarter low of $24.5 billion across 2,206 deals in Q2’22. Despite a drop to $27.2 billion in Q2’22, VC investment in Europe remained quite strong compared to historical trends. Global fundraising remained very strong, with $158.6 billion raised by the end of Q2’22 — well on track to exceed the $$252.2 billion record high set in calendar 2021. After plummeting from $355 billion in Q4’21 to $70 billion in Q1’22, exit value dropped even further to just $50.8 billion in Q2’22. Global CVC-affiliated investment dropped from $76.6 billion in Q1’22 to $49.7 billion in Q2’22. Global fundraising remains on record pace, driven by activity in the US Global fundraising activity remained on record pace at mid-year, with $158.2 billion in fundraising by the end of Q2’22. The US helped buoy global fundraising amounts, accounting for $121.5 billion at mid-year, compared to the $138.9 billion annual record high the region saw in 2021. VC investment in cybersecurity, alternative energy, electric vehicles, and battery storage in the US held strong in Q2’22 and is well-positioned to remain hot heading into Q3’22. Fundraising activity in Europe fell off record pace, with $13.3 billion in fundraising at mid-year, while fundraising in Asia remained very subdued compared to previous highs, with $16.9 billion raised in the first half of 2022. No end in sight to uncertainty but interest in new tech to grow Heading into Q3’22, the global uncertainty plaguing the world is expected to continue, which will likely continue to keep the IPO window shut and VC investment soft. Down rounds could become more common as companies are forced to raise funding rounds despite the challenging fundraising environment. M&A activity globally could increase as investors look for deals among companies experiencing challenges and start-ups in various industries look to consolidate to improve their economies of scale and market positions. In tech, the crypto tide is likely to turn with further consolidation among firms heading into Q3’22 as many try to cope with a major sell-off in assets. “While there’s still dry powder out there, over the next quarter, VC investors are going to become a lot more critical of targets and are likely to place increasing emphasis on profitability,” said Conor Moore, Head of KPMG Private Enterprise in the Americas Region & Partner at KPMG in the US. “We’ve been talking about potential consolidations for a while, particularly in more mature industries like e-commerce. While the top one or two or three companies in a particular space might continue to be attractive to investors, the rest will likely see a pullback. This will likely drive consolidation as companies run out of cash.” About KPMG International KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. KPMG is the brand under which the member firms of KPMG International Limited (“KPMG International”) operate and provide professional services. “KPMG” is used to refer to individual member firms within the KPMG organization or to one or more member firms collectively. KPMG firms operate in 144 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. Each KPMG member firm is responsible for its own obligations and liabilities. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Avalara to be Acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $8.4 Billion

Avalara | August 09, 2022

Avalara, Inc., a leading provider of tax compliance automation for businesses of all sizes, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a leading global investment firm focused exclusively on enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses, in partnership with institutional co-investors. Under the terms of the agreement, Vista will acquire all outstanding shares of Avalara common stock for $93.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $8.4 billion, inclusive of Avalara’s net debt. The per share purchase price represents a premium of 27 percent over the Company’s closing share price as of July 6, 2022, the last trading day prior to media reports regarding a potential transaction. Founded in 2004, Avalara’s success is built up on an extensive partner network; large tax content data and repository to help customers stay up to date on dynamic tax rules and regulations; and its cloud-native, end-to-end multi-product tax compliance portfolio. In partnering with Vista, Avalara will look to build on its successful platform by refining its go-to-market strategy, expanding its international workforce, streamlining its systems architecture, and continuing to pursue value-accretive M&A opportunities. "For nearly two decades, Avalara has ambitiously pursued its vision to automate global compliance, making tax less taxing for businesses and governments around the world. As a leader in this category, we believe our continued investment in innovation and experience is exciting for our customers, partners, and employees. We are pleased to partner with Vista and will benefit from their expertise in enterprise software as we build and improve upon our cloud compliance platform.” - Scott McFarlane, co-founder and CEO of Avalara Vista has built a reputation as a preferred partner for founder-led, next-generation software companies, We look forward to working with Scott and the entire Avalara team to advance their vision and continue delivering innovative solutions to customers,said Monti Saroya, Co-Head of Vista’s Flagship Fund and Senior Managing Director. Avalara is a mission-critical platform serving customers in a variety of end-markets, including retail, manufacturing, hospitality, and software, Avalara’s solutions, its commitment to product innovation, and its network of extensive partner integrations, resellers, and accountants make it a true leader in the space,said Adrian Alonso, Managing Director at Vista. Transaction Details The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the Avalara Board of Directors, is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Avalara shareholders and receipt of regulatory approval. Closing of the transaction is not subject to a financing condition. Upon completion of the transaction, Avalara’s shares will no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange, and Avalara will become a private company. The company will continue to operate under the Avalara name and brand. Advisors Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Avalara, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Perkins Coie LLP are acting as legal counsel. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel for Vista. About Avalara Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, ecommerce, and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloud-based compliance solutions for various transaction taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in Brazil, Europe, and India. More information at avalara.com. About Vista Equity Partners Vista is a leading global investment firm with $96 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2022. The firm exclusively invests in enterprise software, data and technology-enabled organizations across private equity, permanent capital, credit and public equity strategies, bringing an approach that prioritizes creating enduring market value for the benefit of its global ecosystem of investors, companies, customers and employees. Vista's investments are anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions and proven, flexible management techniques that drive sustainable growth. Vista believes the transformative power of technology is the key to an even better future – a healthier planet, a smarter economy, a diverse and inclusive community and a broader path to prosperity.

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FUNDING

USQ Expands Investment Platform with PREDEX Acquisition

USQ, Chatham Financial | August 02, 2022

Union Square Capital Partners, LLC, announced today it acquired the management of PREDEX, a real estate-focused interval fund. PREDEX (Ticker: PRDEX) has $163 million in AUM as of July 27, 2022, bringing total assets of USQ interval funds to approximately $400 million. “True diversification matters, and most investors have been reminded of that over the first half of this year,” said Thomas Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Union Square Capital Partners. Since both funds were launched, they have consistently demonstrated that non-correlation to the broader markets while still delivering strong risk-adjusted returns is possible, both having a three-year correlation of just -0.02 to the S&P 500 Index as of June 30, 2022. During the same period, the USQ Core Real Estate Fund (Ticker: USQIX) delivered an annualized return of 10.46%, while PRDEX delivered an annualized return of 12.09%. USQ’s first fund, USQIX, has a primary investment objective to generate a return comprised of both current income and long-term capital appreciation with moderate volatility and low correlation to the broader markets. USQ implements this strategy by investing in the core private equity real estate funds that comprise the NCREIF Fund Index — Open-end Diversified Core Equity (“NFI-ODCE”). PREDEX likewise serves as a gateway to private core real estate but implements a slightly different approach that allows for a portion of assets to be held in funds outside of the NFI-ODCE Index. “We are excited to join the USQ team and feel they are a perfect partner to support growing the PREDEX fund,” said J. Grayson Sanders, founder of PREDEX. “We are excited to join the USQ team and feel they are a perfect partner to support growing the PREDEX fund,” said J. Grayson Sanders, founder of PREDEX. The expansion of the USQ strategies is aligned with long-term plans for the firm. “This acquisition highlights our commitment to growing our asset management business through both organic growth and strategic acquisitions,” said Matt Henry, Managing Partner and Founder of USQ and Chief Executive Officer of Chatham Financial. The performance quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted. The investment return and principal value of the Fund will fluctuate; an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Performance data current to the most recent month end may be obtained by calling 1-833-877-3863 for USQIX or 1-877-940-7202 for PRDEX. Fund returns reflect actual fee waivers and reimbursement of expenses for the time periods represented. Had fees and expenses not been waived and reimbursed, returns would have been lower. See each fund’s prospectus for more information on current fees and expenses. About USQ USQ, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chatham Financial Corp., is an investment management firm providing access to inventive strategies for real asset investing. The USQ platform leverages in-depth knowledge of real estate financing complexities to offer modern investing approaches spanning the needs from registered investment advisors to institutional investors. Union Square Capital Partners, LLC brings low-cost, institutional private real estate to wealth managers. About Chatham Financial Chatham Financial is the largest independent financial risk management advisory and technology firm. A leader in debt and derivative solutions, Chatham provides clients with access to in-depth knowledge, innovative tools, and an incomparable team of over 600 employees to help mitigate risks associated with interest rate, foreign currency, and commodity exposures. Founded in 1991, Chatham serves more than 3,000 companies across a wide range of industries — handling over $750 billion in transaction volume annually and helping businesses maximize their value in the capital markets, every day. To learn more, visit chathamfinancial.com.

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Spotlight

After having played a relatively minor role, the global financial crisis put the spotlight back onto liquidity risk. Cases like the German Hypo Real Estate show that liquidity still is a critical factor that determines success as well as means of existence of credit institutions. In 2008 the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published the „Principles for Sound Liquidity Risk Management and Supervision“ (hereinafter called “Sound Principles“) which qualitatively represent fundamentals of adequate liquidity risk management. “Principle 8” addresses the management of intraday liquidity...

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