Digital engineering firm Ness said May 20 it acquired Risk Focus, a New York-based provider of consulting and advisory services, in a move to enhance its position in financial services and boost its cloud and data expertise.
The Teaneck-based buyer said the target is an Advanced AWS Partner with the Financial Services, Migration and DevOps competencies, as well as Premier Confluent Systems Integrator, making it one of the top five AWS partners in the financial services industry.
In an interview, Ness Chief Executive Officer Ranjit Tinaikar said meeting the challenges posed by the accelerating digital transformation in technology infrastructure requires competence in three areas: the ability to advise senior executives on how to accomplish that transformation; an understanding of their businesses and business domains; and strength in the core digital technologies — such as the cloud — that make it happen.
“Risk Focus is a fintech advisory firm which checks all those three boxes,” Tinaikar said. “The bench strength to be an advisor to senior executives on digital transformation, it is deep in capital markets and technologies, and it is a strong cloud advisory specifically with AWS.”
Risk Focus founder and CEO Vassil Avramov will serve as chief technology officer for the combined company. “Joining Ness allows Risk Focus to better serve our clients by adding scale-out engineering capabilities to the Risk Focus expertise in Digital Transformation,” Avramov said in a statement. “I look forward to helping drive our continued success as well as deepening our technology excellence in cloud, data and AI in my new role as CTO of Ness.”
Ness designs, builds and integrates digital platforms and enterprise software that helps clients engage customers and differentiate their brands. It is a portfolio company of New York investment firm The Rohatyn Group.
“Ness is one of the few at-scale pure digital engineering players that seamlessly manages projects from strategy through execution,” TRG Managing Director Thomas Kucera said in a statement. “This acquisition strengthens Ness’ position as one of the top providers in digital engineering globally.”
The company has been an active dealmaker and Tinaikar told NJBIZ that acquisitions remain part of its strategy. “We have to deliver organic growth and we’re going to make a lot of investments in our offerings and our front end to continue to drive that,” he said. “But there will always be specific pockets where we would like capabilities that we don’t have — like the kinds that Risk Focus has, they are deep in capital markets and cloud and digital advisory — so we will continue to be on the lookout for more acquisitions that fit our strategy. But we are not going to go willy-nilly and do just acquisitions to roll up things and become big. It’s going to be very selective and focused on which are the strategic areas we want to build on.”
In January 2020, Ness acquired Slovakia-based consultancy CassaCloud, adding to its Salesforce implementation offerings. Ness added a similar company, Sovereign CRM the previous year.
Tinaikar joined Ness as CEO in 2020. He previously served as president of Fitch Solutions and as managing director at Thomson Reuters. As s partner at McKinsey, he founded the firm’s Lean Software Development and IT strategy practices.
The Risk Focus deal is expected to close in the second quarter. Alantra LLC provided financial advice to the target. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The full NJBIZ interview with Ranjit Tinaikar is available here.