[Article from Forbes Australia]
ICS, an investment data management firm based in Australia, is focused on building strategic partnerships as it continues to expand its global operations.
ICS was formed in 2016 by a trio of co-founders – “the hipster, hacker, and hustler”; chief operating officer Mike Small, chief technology officer James Ingham, and chief commercial officer Christian Eriksen – and it remains independently owned to date. The company works with investment firms offering the ATHENA investment data platform, adhering to 3 core pillars of data management – centralizing the data, building trust in data, and providing best-in-class reporting capabilities.
ATHENA is a software-as-a-service, cloud-native data platform that allows investment firms to automatically acquire, aggregate and centralize all their data in the cloud, validate the data’s accuracy to build trust, and ensure that it is accessible by the entire organization when needed. It requires only a web browser to operate, without need for a heavy technological footprint from the investment firm. According to ICS, ATHENA enables its customers to maximize the value of their data and access high-quality insights into their investments.
In 2020, ICS embarked on an international expansion, opening its first offshore office in the UK. The company has since landed several major clients in Europe, including a large British asset manager and a couple of Switzerland’s leading pension funds. Last year, ICS decided to open its North American office, and it is now in the process of acquiring clients in the US. Over the past two years, ICS has doubled its annual recurring revenue, despite the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.
“I believe we are fortunate to have grown up in the Australian pension fund industry as they are some of the most advanced organisatons when it comes to how they look at and use data. As we started from a high base with complex clients, it gives us some unique capabilities that allows us to easily slot in with the global community.”
Eriksen says that North America and Europe are the two global regions where he sees great potential to accelerate the growth of ICS, with a two-fold opportunity for partnerships.
“This year, we are looking to enter a number of partnerships which will be hugely important in accelerating our international expansion and growth. On the technology side, we want to partner with what I call the elephants in the industry. These are companies that have a really wide reach and a large number of clients, and we want to offer their client base something they currently don’t have. We also want to partner with boutique consulting firms in our industry to help expand our client base. They will increase our operational capacities and they also form an important part in the system and platform selections for our clients.”
Eriksen adds that the three co-founders of ICS have a dynamic where they bring a range of complementary skill sets to the business, essential in building the foundations of a SaaS company.
“Having all three roles brings balance to the company, with each one having a unique part to play. When we’re looking at partners, we consider those that can quickly mesh into our dynamic and enhance our capabilities to take ICS to the next level globally.”
Link to original Forbes article here.