Financial Services and Technology
Technology has swept the financial services industry over the past several years, and banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions that initially resisted this seismic shift are now rushing to catch up. Many established companies, challenged by system conversions that strain budgets and customer relationships, have been forced to merge with competitors because they cannot afford the cost of technology upgrades needed to compete with newer companies that have a “clean slate” advantage. Indeed, technology has become the driving force of the industry, and the distinction between traditional financial companies and newly established FinTech companies is quickly disappearing. Lakewood Advisors has been closely involved in several important areas of this changing landscape.
Technology has decreased the time and expense involved in originating, underwriting and servicing loans, and firms that offer technology-enhanced lending through proprietary systems have recently commanded investment premiums that are significantly higher than those traditional lenders have been able to secure. In response, large lenders have built their own platforms, challenging the business models of smaller, tech-based lenders and making it increasingly difficult for these companies to raise equity and grow. Our extensive experience with tech-lending firms in consumer and small to mid-sized business markets leads us to expect that many of these companies will be acquired by larger firms in the next several years. Lakewood Advisors can help both traditional lenders and FinTech companies respond to these industry trends.
Our advisors have also worked closely with business development companies, community banks and other traditional lenders that face significant challenges due to regulatory change. We address our clients’ regulatory needs by maintaining close working relationships with federal and state banking regulators, and we have successfully helped several banks and insurance companies overcome regulatory threats to their survival.
Lakewood Advisors works with many financial services companies that larger investment banks are ill-equipped to serve. In the growing field of payment processing, for example, we have advised firms that specialize in providing services to un-banked and under-banked residents of the United States. Our long-standing relationships with private equity firms, family offices and individual investors enables us to help companies at all stages of development to find strategic capital or merger and acquisition opportunities. As required, our advisors serve on the boards of directors of companies and in interim management positions.
Lakewood Advisors is available for confidential consultations with management, investors and board members.