Fintech

Rocket Companies to Acquire Truebill to Empower its FinTech Expansion

Rocket_Companies_to
Rocket companies, the Detroit-based platform company, announced its agreement to acquire Truebill. Rocket companies being a tech-driven company that deals with real estate, mortgage, and financial services businesses – including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes and Rocket Auto is going to take on personal finance with Truebill—an app that assists consumers to manage every aspect of their financial lives.

Truebill has gained immense popularity among consumers looking to live their best financial lives. It has helped them  manage subscriptions, improve credit scores, track expenditures, and more through an easy-to-use app. The company also tries to negotiate bills on its clients’ behalf and saves 20 percent on financial services such as telephone and cable bills.

Truebill was founded in 2015, and currently has 2.5 million members. The number has been doubled with an extreme increase in its user base last year.

We are very impressed with what Truebill has created – providing a simple, intuitive client experience to help its users save significant money. The company is a perfect fit for the Rocket platform. Truebill's work in helping Americans to keep track of their finances and providing guidance leads to better financial outcomes. It follows the same philosophy as Rocket Companies – leveraging the power of technology to remove the friction from complex transactions – and applies it to everyday life."

Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Companies.

Truebill has leveraged technology to improve its clients’ financial well-being. This adds to Rocket Companies' end-to-end real estate and home financing platform. As a result of this, Rocket Company can grow its marketplace and achieve the goal of creating a centralized destination for consumers to manage their entire financial activities.

Rocket Companies interacts with tens of millions of potential clients each year looking to purchase a car, buy or sell a home, or get a mortgage. Where most consumers only investigate investing options. So, with the help of Truebill's financial wellness services, Rocket Companies will have a novel organic growth opportunity and a significant channel to nurture clients. The company's FinTech ecosystem will provide a value between the large financial transactions.

The entire new business will also add consistent monthly revenue for Rocket Companies. Today, the company's mortgage servicing operations generate $1.3 billion annually. Rocket Companies boasts 2.5 million serviced clients with an industry-best retention rate of 91 percent.

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Core Banking

Backbase Enters Into an Agreement With Danske Bank to Enhance Its Digital Customer Experience

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.” About Backbase 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.

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Investment Management

AffiniPay Launches AffiniPay IQ, Generative AI for Legal Tech Industry

AffiniPay | January 24, 2024

AffiniPay, the leader in online payments and software solutions for professionals, announced the launch of generative AI embedded in its leading legal technology products, MyCase, CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise. “At AffiniPay, we believe generative AI can drive the type of efficiencies and insights that will result in better outcomes for our customers and their clients,” said Dru Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer of AffiniPay, parent company of MyCase, CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise. “As a trusted technology partner, we have big plans to empower our customers with AI, and are excited to announce the launch of AffiniPay IQ.” According to the newly released 2024 LawPay and MyCase Legal Industry Report, productivity is a key driver for generative AI investment, with 75% of law firms citing it as the top reason for their interest in AI. To meet this demand, AffiniPay is investing in generative AI and plans to roll out new solutions in a phased manner across the legal product suite. Starting with a MyCase beta, AffiniPay plans to extend various AI solutions to CASEpeer, LawPay, and Docketwise in the coming months. The company’s vision is that customers will be able to utilize AI-powered conversational interface that will enable users to access their data and generate insights using natural language, directly within the interface. These future features will include Case and firm search: Attorneys and staff can quickly get answers to their questions around a specific case or client, saving time in their day Intelligent insights: Law firms can receive customized recommendations to optimize intake, productivity, cash flow, and more Automation: Firms can create workflows, send payments, and open files - all by interacting with the platforms in a conversational way, just like they would with a trusted assistant The first beta release of AffiniPay IQ features include document summarization and text editing, both of which will be woven seamlessly into the suite of AffiniPay’s legal products. Starting with MyCase and CASEpeer, the following AI features will be built into daily workflows Document summarization: Empowers law firms to review case documents quickly using AI-generated summaries of their contents Text editing: AI-powered text editing embedded into the product to allow style updating, tone changes, and summarization “We are committed to our responsible approach to innovation, and are excited to launch generative AI functionality into our software that serves our customers and their needs, and no one else,” said Bryan Thompson, Chief Technology Officer of AffiniPay. “This is the first of many thoughtful generative AI features that our team will be weaving into our product suite over the coming months.” The second release of AffiniPay IQ features will include Communication drafts: Attorneys and staff can quickly generate first drafts of client communications or invoice reminders Translations: Users can translate text into different languages instantly Task & event generation: Law firms can select and analyze text in notes, documents, or emails, and receive suggestions for tasks or events, saving time at every step Data population: Docketwise-specific AI feature that instantly extracts key information from copies of passports, drivers’ licenses, and birth certificates, to automatically populate immigration SmartForms AffiniPay invites legal professionals to experience AffiniPay IQ from Jan. 29 - Feb. 2, during Legalweek in New York, where both LawPay and MyCase are sponsors. About AffiniPay AffiniPay is a market leader in practice management software and online payments for professionals serving legal, accounting, architectural, engineering, and construction firms. AffiniPay has been recognized as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies for 12 years in a row. Each of its brands leads the market it serves with solutions purpose-built by industry including LawPay, MyCase, CASEpeer, Docketwise, CPACharge, and AffiniPay for Associations. AffiniPay’s solutions are trusted by more than 245,000 legal & accounting professionals with more than 150 strategic partnerships and endorsements, including the American Bar Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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Investments

Green Home Loans from PrimeLending Finance Energy Efficient Upgrades for Homeowners

PrimeLending | December 07, 2023

National residential mortgage lender PrimeLending, a PlainsCapital Company (PrimeLending), proudly offers Green Home Loans, a range of mortgage solutions for homeowners who want to finance environmentally beneficial upgrades to homes they are purchasing or already own. Energy efficient upgrades not only reduce a home’s carbon footprint, they also can increase property values and save money over time. Energy efficiency is a growing concern for American homeowners according to a 2023 study by Thumbtack1 that found 71% of homeowners said sustainability is absolutely a priority for this year’s home projects, yet nearly one-third (32%) still consider sustainable, energy efficient home upgrades too expensive. “Green Home Loans are a huge win for PrimeLending customers by helping to remove financial obstacles to making energy efficient upgrades,” said Tim Elkins, Chief Production Officer at PrimeLending. “We are committed to offering mortgage solutions that align with our customers' goals, such as saving money, increasing property value, and protecting the planet.” PrimeLending’s Green Home Loans are mortgage solutions that allow borrowers to finance certain green improvements, such as: Energy-efficient windows and doors Solar panels or solar-powered appliances Roof, floor, or wall insulation Energy-saving HVAC systems and appliances PrimeLending’s Green Home Loans include FHA, VA, USDA, conventional and renovation loan options and may offer favorable interest rates, repayment terms, and other benefits for the borrower. Consumers can connect with a PrimeLending home loan expert for more information. About PrimeLending PrimeLending is a national home lender combining personal guidance and local expertise with fast service, more choices and the flexibility to meet homeowners’ unique needs. PrimeLending is focused on empowering its customers to pursue their homeownership goals, whether they’re looking to buy, refinance, renovate or build a home. The PrimeLending team works alongside our customers in all 50 states, helping them make home financing decisions and have a rewarding experience along the way. PrimeLending is a wholly owned subsidiary of PlainsCapital Bank, which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTH). More information at www.PrimeLending.com. Equal Housing Lender. All loans subject to credit approval. Rates and fees subject to change.

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Fintech, Investments

KSL Capital Partners Announces Promotions, Including Four New Partners

KSL Capital Partners | December 15, 2023

KSL Capital Partners, LLC ("KSL"), a leading investor in travel and leisure businesses, today announced its 2024 promotions, including the addition of four individuals to the firm's partnership. The following individuals have been promoted to Partner effective January 1, 2024. Kirk Adamson Martin Edsinger Kevin Rohnstock Tina Yu "Our people are our single most important asset, and we could not be more pleased to welcome four new Partners who reflect the strength of our firm and global team," said Eric Resnick, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of KSL. "On behalf of the entire KSL team, I want to congratulate Kirk, Martin, Kevin and Tina on their well-deserved promotions to Partner and thank them for their unique strengths and exceptional leadership, which have been instrumental to KSL's success to date. Each will support our continued growth in the years to come." KSL also announced Michael Acierno and Harris Levinson have been promoted to Principal, effective January 1, 2024. "KSL is committed to building the next generation of private equity leaders and promoting from within our firm, and we are thrilled to see the continued progression of our team," said Peter McDermott, Chief Investment Officer and co-founder of KSL. "Mike and Harris both joined us as associates and are now key leaders in our tactical opportunities and credit fund strategies, and we thank them for their hard work and commitment. We look forward to their continued growth at KSL." Mr. Acierno, who focuses on tactical opportunities, and Mr. Levinson, who focuses on credit investments, are also members of the firm's Investment Committee. About Kirk Adamson Prior to joining KSL in 2017, Kirk was a Principal in Blackstone's Real Estate Debt Strategies team (BREDS) based in London. Prior to Blackstone, Kirk was an Associate in Deutsche Bank's Commercial Real Estate Group from 2010 to 2012. Earlier in his career, Kirk worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Deutsche Bank, based in both New York and London. Kirk holds a B.S. in Accounting & Business Administration from Washington & Lee University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Kirk focuses on North American investments. About Martin Edsinger Prior to joining KSL in 2017, Martin worked as an Investment Manager with ARLE Capital Partners. Prior to ARLE Capital Partners, Martin worked as an Experienced Associate Consultant with Bain & Company and an Economic Analyst with NERA Economic Consulting. Martin graduated from The Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), where he holds a degree in Accounting and Financial Management and an MSc in Economics and Business. Martin focuses on European investments. About Kevin Rohnstock Kevin serves as the firm's General Counsel. Prior to joining KSL in 2011 as Chief Compliance Officer, Kevin served as Associate General Counsel of Royal Gold, Inc. from 2009 to 2011 and as Senior Corporate Counsel for Newmont Mining Corporation from 2005 to 2009. Kevin began his legal career in 2002 as an Associate in the Corporate and Securities Department of Brownstein Hyatt & Farber, P.C. Kevin is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado. Kevin holds a B.A. from Holy Cross and a J.D. from the University of Denver. About Tina Yu Prior to joining KSL in 2011, Tina was an Investment Banking Analyst at Citigroup in the Real Estate group. Tina was awarded in 2018 The International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) and The International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) Young Leader Award and featured as one of the Influential Women in Hospitality by Hotel Magazine in 2018. Tina graduated magna cum laude from The University of Pennsylvania, where she holds a B.S. in Finance and Real Estate from the Wharton School and a B.A. in International Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences. Tina focuses on European investments. About KSL Capital Partners KSL Capital Partners, LLC is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL has offices in Denver, Colorado; Stamford, Connecticut; New York, New York; and London, England. KSL invests across three primary strategies through its equity, credit and tactical opportunities funds. KSL's current portfolio includes some of the premier properties in travel and leisure.

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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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