Dutch banking company acquires industry peer


20-09-2017

Chris Zadeh:  "People with domain knowledge are very difficult to find. We need experts who really understand banking processes"

Ohpen, the fast-growing FinTech company that handles accounts administration for Robeco, Volksbank and Aegon, has acquired Fynn Advice.

Fynn Advice implements critical systems for banks and provides consulting services in areas such as investment, savings, payments, monitoring, risk analysis and IT.

Ohpen provides an online platform that allows financial services companies to manage their savings and account administration. The company sells this system to banks, asset managers and insurers. Recently, Aegon Bank and its subsidiary Knab chose Ohpen as their core banking platform.

In the battle for talent, a solid team is as valuable as a good product. This talent-based acquisition or “acqui-hire” is a proven way to recruit new staff. It will allow Ohpen to avoid long-term recruitment processes by acquiring another company without necessarily acquiring its running business. Acqui-hires are common in technology centres like Silicon Valley. Ohpen will pay for the acquisition in shares.

“We are growing fast,” Ohpen founder Chris Zadeh explains. “People with domain knowledge are very difficult to find. We need experts who really understand banking processes and can translate them for our programmers. In this market, every FinTech company competes for the same skills.”

Ohpen grew to become a 120-person team in a very short amount of time. Zadeh: ‘We already employ four recruiters, that’s a lot for a company our size.”

Eight of Fynn Advice’s nine employees will make the transition to Ohphen. Fynn Advice’s founder, Pieter Aartsen, will take over Chris Zadeh’s role as Netherlands CEO. Aartsen was previously part of BinckBank’s Board of Directors and worked as manager at Deutsche Bank and KAS Bank. Zadeh will focus on the technology behind Ohpen’s platform and the company’s expansion to new markets, including Germany and the United States.

Ohpen has offices in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Spain. The company recently received €15 million in growth funding. The investment round was led by Amerborgh – a venture capital firm led by Alex Mulder, founder of the recruitment agency Unique. According to Zadeh, the company is working to close a new funding round to continue driving its growth.

Written by Rutger Betlem, originally published in Dutch, on the FD Website