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Press Release
4 Minutes

PaymentGenes Partners with Stepstone Corporate Finance+

PaymentGenes is extremely excited to announce its partnership with StepStone Corporate Finance+ to assist and prepare companies in the M&A process. Check out our interview with Ruud van Hoek, Jurgen van Dijk, and Ward Hagenaar (PG) to learn more about how this combination of FinTech & M&A expertise will provide unique, yet highly strategic assessments.

An introduction to Stepstone Corporate Finance+

Ruud van Hoek and myself, Jurgen van Dijk founded what we call an M&A boutique. We are investment bankers which means that we help in buying or selling companies. We work with business owners, large corporations and private equity firms when they decide to acquire or dispose of a business. We consider ourselves process managers. Our service is about assisting and advising during the processes of acquiring and selling of companies. StepsStone Corporate Finance+ is a quite a newer firm which was founded circa a year ago. It is actually a coming together of three former colleagues. The + indicates we do more than just M&A and aim to help entrepreneurs at different stages. We therefore work with a team of both corporate finance and corporate growth development professionals. Our team today consists of 6 highly experienced M&A team members and 7 associate partners (functional and industrial experts). We do this personal, professional and profitable. StepStone Corporate Finance+ closed 5 transactions in the last half year and is an exclusive Dutch member of an international M&A network. Now also teaming up with PaymentGenes to utilize their industry knowledge in tech environments like fintech and the payments industry.

How important is niche knowledge in M&A? 

Niche knowledge in our line of work is crucial. By combining corporate finance knowledge with industry knowledge, we’re able to find the best opportunities and we are able to know how to value the position of the company. It is essential to prove the deep knowledge of niches within the industry to gain a competitive advantage. By having niche knowledge we are able to provide specific thorough research, instead of a generic analysis. Many fintech solutions focus on a very small process or service, taking over market share from incumbents. Our industry expertise can help determine the value and scalability of the solution add hand. 

It is known that many M&A’s fail, and lack of industry knowledge is a major reason why they do. Usually buyer companies only look at the books of the company they are considering buying, failing to look under the hood for underlying systems and technologies that need to be integrated. Niche knowledge is what allows us to evaluate the opportunity in its vertical and take the not so visible technologies and factors into consideration.

Curious how leveraging niche knowledge could propel your potential M&A aspirations? Read more Here

“How ING was caught up in blind fintech ambitions” - Dutch Article

What challenges do you see in the market?

Another challenge common in M&A is operating in foreign markets. We also observe that many companies fail to localise their services correctly in different geographic markets. These companies are often reluctant with adapting to local requirements. We find it very important to speak to local experts from our network when the assignment involves a foreign market. As part of the Global Fintech Impact Foundation we have access to a global expert network that covers all areas of fintech and payments. 

"We observe that many companies fail to localise their services correctly in different geographic markets"
What  can a company that intends on being acquired do in advance to prepare for acquisition?

Normally we do a fit for sale scan, looking if they are ready and if they are “quick wins”. And based on the scan we sometimes recommend postponing sales for a year to produce additional value in the company. We are not there for a quick deal but for a good deal. What is very important to do if a company intends on being acquired is to have a database of all your legal and important documents like contracts in English from day 1. It might be taking it to the extreme but it is essential to have the English documentation of all valuable papers and documents available. 

What can be expected from a collaboration between StepStone and PaymentGenes?

StepStone and PaymentGenes both bring different aspects of market insights and multiple views. We have the financial overview, the market position overview, the technical overview and we can combine that to create a strategic assessment.

We know how competitors are acting and we know the track record of other transactions in the field. Ultimately performing a fast scan on the case to decide if it's of interest to us to take the assignment and if we can provide value to the client. Speed and being able to provide the right assessment is the most important. A team of combined real industry experts on Fintech, payments and M&A is very unique. PaymentGenes can provide insight on the market trends and determine the attractiveness of the solution and StepStone can provide insight on the financial and M&A aspect. Needless to say, the huge network PaymentGenes has in the market also enables us to better position the companies. 

Want to know more about our FinTech M&A proposition? Click Here

Stepstone Corporate Finance M&A Experts Team
About PaymentGenes:

The PaymentGenes FinTech magazine"Voices In Payments" Podcast are initiatives to positively impact the payments community, by educating and connecting the market with vertical-specific industry expertise.

PaymentGenes Empowers Business growth by providing expertise-driven Recruitment, Contracting, Consultancy Services. These services all resolve and intersect around payments. Get in touch and learn more about how we can help your business here.

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