As volatility tics up across trading, wealth and capital markets in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for institutional fintech persists, according to this Princeton-based growth equity firm, which is marking its third exit in the space in 2020.
Edison Partners said Thursday it completed its exit from Clearpool Group to BMO Financial Group, where the firm will persist as a separate brand and separate broker-dealer. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
New York-based Clearpool provides holistic electronic trading solutions. The deal is Edison Partners’ second portfolio company exit with Joe Wald, Clearpool’s chief executive officer, and the third fintech business backed by Edison Partners to have Wald at the helm. He also served as CEO and co-founder of EdgeTrade – on which Edison saw a four-times return in 2008 – and served as executive vice president at GAIN Capital – which Edison saw a 17-times return on in 2014.
“Strategic buyers are building their fintech muscle knowing they need to respond both to the challenges that smaller, nimble fintechs are bringing to the market and what is likely to be a prolonged period of increased market volatility,” Edison Partners Managing Partner Chris Sugden said in a prepared statement. “Joe Wald has been one of our most successful, repeat CEOs. With Clearpool, he and his team built a sound, high growth, profitable business with strong unit economics and ROI. They helped to modernize electronic trading to give investors and traders greater transparency and control.”
Sugden led Edison’s investment in Clearpool and also served on the company’s board.
“While unicorn hunting and momentum investing get fanfare, Clearpool is the type of business Edison really appreciates—capital efficient with a focus on value creation versus vanity metrics,” Sugden added.
Edison Partners has financed and steered more than 235 private companies – and more than 46 in the fintech space – with over 120 exits across its 34-year history. Its active portfolio has created market value at more than $10 billion and it manages more than $1.4 billion in assets in the eastern U.S.