Sector: Financial Products Distribution
Axo AS (“Axo”) is a digitally-led, independent distributor of financial services products in the Nordics, with a focus on the unsecured consumer loan market. Founded in 2008, the business is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and partners with leading banks in the Nordic region to provide financial services products to consumers.
In 2020, Corsair Capital acquired Axo from its founding shareholders and management. Following the acquisition, Corsair Capital controls Axo alongside the company’s management, who rolled a significant portion of their equity as part of the transaction.
Currencies Direct Holdings (“Currencies Direct”) is a leading provider of foreign exchange solutions to retail and business clients in Europe, South Africa, Australia, and the United States in a faster, simpler, and more cost effective fashion than traditional banks. Currencies Direct is a top 10 specialist provider by volume in the U.K. and one of the largest players by operating profit in the country. Currencies Direct is headquartered in London.
In 2015, Corsair Capital and Palamon Capital Partners, L.P. (“Palamon”) acquired Currencies Direct from its founding shareholders. Following the acquisition, Corsair Capital and Palamon jointly control Currencies Direct alongside the company’s founder and management, each of whom rolled a significant portion of their equity as part of the transaction in the form of a minority investment in the company.
Sector: Asset Management
First Eagle Investment Management (“First Eagle”) is an independent, privately-held asset management firm with more than $90 billion of assets under management and a heritage dating back to 1864. The company is based in New York City and focuses on fundamental, flexible, and benchmark agnostic investing across equities, fixed income, and multi-asset strategies.
In 2015, private equity funds managed by Corsair Capital and the Blackstone Group acquired a control stake in First Eagle at a $4 billion enterprise valuation through its holding company, Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Holdings Inc.
Sector: Digital identity and authentication
IDnow is a leading provider of Identity Verification-as-a-Service (“IVAAS”) solutions. IDnow builds proprietary, AI-powered identity verification technologies that address the cybersecurity and digital verification needs of global enterprises by combining seamless, online-only infrastructure with a strong level of security and identity fraud prevention. Covering a wide range of use cases both in regulated sectors in Europe and for completely new digital business models worldwide, the platform allows clients to customize the identity flow to different regional, legal and business requirements on a per-use case basis.
In 2019, Corsair Capital made a $40 million growth equity investment in IDnow. Following the transaction, Raja Hadji-Touma and Edward Wertheim joined the IDnow board of directors.
Sector: Consumer Financial Advice and Services
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service (“Jackson Hewitt”) is the second largest provider of assisted tax preparation services and related financial products to U.S. tax filers. The company operates a nationwide footprint of 5,800 stores through which it offers a comprehensive suite of assisted tax preparation services and ancillary financial products, serving about 2 million U.S. tax filers annually. Jackson Hewitt was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey.
In 2018, Corsair Capital acquired Jackson Hewitt from its existing institutional owner. Following the acquisition, Corsair Capital controls Jackson Hewitt alongside the company’s management, who rolled a significant portion of their equity as part of the transaction.
Sector: Life Insurance
Established in 1958, Kyobo Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (“Kyobo”) is a privately-held, unlisted life insurance company based in Korea that offers a broad range of savings and protection products targeted at middle- and upper-income consumers. In addition to its core insurance products, which include whole life and fixed and variable annuities, as well as health protection products, Kyobo also maintains a complementary lending business, which provides policyholder, real estate, and mortgage loans.
In 2007, Corsair Capital acquired a large minority stake in Kyobo. The Kyobo transaction represented the first private equity investment in the Korean life insurance industry.
Sector: Financial Infrastructure
NoteMachine Financial Technology Services (“NoteMachine”) is a specialist independent ATM deployer and provider of foreign currency and international payment solutions to retail and business customers. It operates a network of more than 8,000 ATMs and 110 branches in the UK, and more than 500 ATMs in Germany. The company has developed a high quality fully integrated business model with market leading technology, which enables it to provide its services more efficiently and cost-effectively.
In 2012, Corsair Capital completed the full acquisition of NoteMachine from Rutland Partners.
Sector: Asset Management
Personal Capital Corporation (“Personal Capital”) is a leading, technology-enabled provider of wealth management services to mass-affluent customers in the U.S. Personal Capital was founded in 2009 and is based in Denver and San Francisco and is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.
In 2014, Corsair Capital led an equity capital raise by the company.
PJT Partners, Inc. (“PJT”) is a global advisory-focused investment bank, founded in October 2015 as part of the Blackstone Group’s spin-off of its financial and strategic advisory businesses. The company provides strategic advisory, restructuring and special situations, and private fund advisory and placement services to corporations, financial sponsors, institutional investors and governments.
In 2016, Corsair Capital acquired a large minority stake in CamberView Partners, LLC (“CamberView”), a privately-held corporate governance and shareholder activism advisory firm. In 2018, CamberView was acquired by PJT. As part of the transaction, Corsair rolled over a portion of its CamberView investment into PJT shares to become a minority shareholder in PJT.
REPAY Holdings (“REPAY”) is a leading provider of payment solutions to the $535+ billion U.S. consumer finance industry. Its offering includes credit and debit cards, Automated Clearing House (“ACH”), electronic bill payment and instant funding. Since inception REPAY has processed over $8.0 billion of credit card payment volumes and currently manages 3,000 customer relationships across all 50 states. The company was founded in 2006 by its current management team and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2016, Corsair Capital acquired a control stake in REPAY from its existing institutional owner. Founding shareholders rolled a significant portion of their equity in the company as part of the transaction and remained part of the senior leadership team. In 2019, REPAY was acquired by Thunder Bridge Acquisition, Ltd., a special purpose acquisition company, and began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol “RPAY.” As part of the transaction, Corsair rolled over a significant portion of its REPAY investment to become a minority shareholder in the combined company.
Sector: Insurance Technology
RGI is one of the leading providers of core systems to the insurance market, providing a comprehensive and modular offering which addresses core insurance processes including policy administration, market management, and sales and distribution. With a team of professionals specialized in IT and insurance, and operating from offices in Italy, Ireland, France, Germany, Tunisia and Luxembourg, RGI has digitized the business of more than 100 insurance companies and 300 brokers across different geographies. RGI is headquartered in Ivrea, Italy.
In 2017, Corsair Capital acquired RGI from Ardian and RGI’s Founding Partner. Following the acquisition, Corsair Capital controls RGI alongside the company’s management, who rolled a significant portion of their equity as part of the transaction.
Sector: Insurance Distribution
Spring Venture Group (“Spring”) is a leading digital direct-to-consumer insurance sales and marketing company with product offerings focused on the senior market. The company specializes in distributing Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and related products via its digital presence and dedicated team of agents. Spring was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 2018, Corsair Capital made a strategic investment in Spring to assist the company in its next stage of growth.
Sector: Trust and Corporate Services
ZEDRA Group (“ZEDRA”) is an independent global specialist in Corporate, Fund and “Active-Wealth” services. Founded in 2016, the business provides a wide variety of specialized trust and administration solutions to its clients across the private client, corporate services and fund administration sectors, offering a global service proposition across 13 jurisdictions.
In 2019, Corsair Capital acquired a majority stake in ZEDRA from the founders of the company. Following the transaction, Corsair Capital controls ZEDRA alongside the company’s management, who rolled a significant portion of their equity as part of the transaction. As part of the transaction, Corsair has partnered with a highly experienced management team with a strong track record in the industry.
Sector: P&C Insurance
Enstar Group Limited (“Enstar”) is a Bermuda-based holding company that was formed in 2001 and became publicly traded on the NASDAQ in 2007. The company’s primary operating subsidiaries are located in Bermuda, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Enstar’s core focus is to acquire and manage insurance and reinsurance companies in run-off. In 2013, the company expanded into the active underwriting business.
In 2010, Corsair Capital bought a large minority stake in Torus Insurance Holdings Ltd. (“Torus”), a privately-held global property and casualty insurance company with operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Lloyd’s insurance markets and Bermuda. In 2013, Torus entered into an agreement to be acquired by Enstar. Following the completion of the acquisition, Corsair Capital rolled over its Torus investment into Enstar shares, thus becoming a minority shareholder in Enstar.
CapStar Bank “CapStar” is a U.S. community bank focused on owner operators serving primarily commercial and high net worth customers in the Nashville, Tennessee market. CapStar was established in 2008 at which time it was the highest capitalized start-up bank in Tennessee history.
In 2008, Corsair Capital participated as an anchor investor in this initial capital raise. In 2016, CapStar completed an IPO on the NASDAQ, and in 2019, Corsair decided to fully exit its investment in the company through public market sales.
Sector: Specialty Finance
NewStar Financial, Inc. (“NewStar”) is a Boston-based commercial finance company that provides customized financing solutions to mid-sized borrowers through four focused groups: Leveraged Finance, Business Credit, Equipment Finance and Real Estate.
In 2004, Corsair Capital partnered with U.S. private equity firm Capital Z to assemble and lead an investor consortium seeking to capitalize and control the board of directors of NewStar. In 2006, NewStar completed an IPO on the NASDAQ.
The Williams & Glyn (“W&G”) business is comprised of branch-based retail and SME banking operations throughout the United Kingdom. It is a fully deposit funded franchise with a network of 314 branches across England, Wales, and Scotland. W&G currently operates as a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (“RBS Group”). In 2013, an investor group led by Corsair Capital and Centerbridge Partners was selected by RBS Group to acquire a large stake in its W&G business. The investor group purchased a senior ranking exchangeable bond issued by RBS Group which will convert into common equity of the newly established bank upon IPO.
In 2016, RBS Group decided not to pursue an IPO of W&G and instead chose to redeem our exchangeable bond.
United Community Banks, Inc. (“UCBI”) was the third largest bank holding company in the U.S. state of Georgia and operates more than 100 banking offices. The bank’s lending activities included residential and commercial real estate, construction, commercial, and consumer loans. In 2011, Corsair Capital and its affiliates anchored the recapitalization of UCBI. This recapitalization enabled UCBI to replenish its capital base following significant loan losses incurred during the U.S. real estate crisis, and to start growing its core business again.
In 2016, Corsair decided to fully exit its investment in UCBI through market sales.
National City Corporation (“NCC”) was founded in 1845 and headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the United States’ 7th largest depository institution, with over $140 billion of assets at the time of its sale to The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. in 2008. NCC operated through an extensive banking network of over 1,400 branches in the U.S. NCC’s core businesses included: (i) commercial and retail banking, (ii) mortgage financing and servicing and (iii) consumer finance and asset management. In 2008, Corsair led the $7 billion recapitalization of the bank to enable NCC to proactively manage its portfolio of troubled loans and withstand further dislocation in the U.S. credit markets. Later that year, the company’s board accepted an offer from The PNC Financial Services Group (“PNC”) to acquire NCC.
Following this transaction, Corsair received a combination of cash and PNC shares in exchange for its NCC shares. During 2009, Corsair sold all of its PNC shares.
Sector: Life Insurance
Polish insurer Powszechny Zakland Ubezpieczen S.A. (“PZU”) was the largest insurance group in central and Eastern Europe in terms of both premiums written and total assets. PZU had the number one market position in Poland in both property & casualty and life insurance and served over 20 million corporate and retail customers. When Corsair made its investment, PZU was a privately-held, unlisted former state enterprise, majority-owned by the Polish State Treasury. In 2005, Corsair’s investment was executed through private purchases of PZU stock from the National Investment Fund of Poland.
In 2010, PZU listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Following the IPO, Corsair exited its investment through public market sales.
Sector: Specialty Finance
CompuCredit Corporation (“CompuCredit”) was an information-based direct marketer of credit card and other fee-based credit products to sub-prime customers throughout the United States. CompuCredit also offered pay-day loans, auto finance loans and pre-paid debit card products to its customers. CompuCredit began operations in 1996 and completed an IPO of its common stock in 1999. In 2000, Corsair made its first investment in CompuCredit. At the time, CompuCredit was in high growth mode with a need for new equity capital. Corsair’s second investment in the company took place in 2001 in the form of convertible preferred securities. In 2012, CompuCredit renamed itself Atlanticus Holdings Corporation.
In 2005, Corsair sold part of the common shares in a block trade and fully exited the remainder of its position in 2010.
East West Bancorp (“East West”) was the 3rd largest U.S. bank headquartered in California and the largest bank in the United States focused primarily on serving the Chinese-American community, with more than $20 billion of assets. The bank was publicly traded on the NASDAQ. In 2009, Corsair led an investment in East West as part of its Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) assisted acquisition of United Commercial Bank (“UCB”), a California-based bank with over $11 billion in assets, that also served the Chinese-American community. Corsair believed that UCB presented a compelling consolidation opportunity for East West given the complementarity of their businesses. Corsair was the first private equity firm to partner with a strategic buyer to complete an FDIC-assisted acquisition following the recently issued FDIC guidelines
In 2010, Corsair decided to fully exit its investment in East West through market sales.
Sector: Asset Management
MPC Münchmeyer Petersen Capital AG (“MPC”) was the largest independent closed-end fund manager in Germany, specializing in the mass affluent market. MPC’s investment products focus primarily on the shipping, real estate, life insurance, and private equity asset classes. In 2004, MPC Group, a company controlled by the Schroeder family, sought to divest part of its majority shareholding in MPC to provide liquidity for other family business activities. Corsair acquired a 20% stake in MPC and worked closely with MPC’s management on a number of strategic initiatives including acquisitions, partnerships and new product lines.
In 2007, Corsair II exited its investment through a block sale transaction. Corsair III continues to hold its investment in MPC.
Sector: P&C Insurance
Axis Capital, headquartered in Bermuda, provided specialty-lines insurance and treaty reinsurance for customers around the world. Axis maintained operating subsidiaries in Bermuda, Ireland, and the United States, through which it focused on coverage for specialized classes of risk including onshore and offshore energy, aviation and aerospace, commercial property and marine. In 2001, Corsair joined a consortium with other financial parties, such as MMC Capital and J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC, to capitalize a new insurer, Axis Capital, and take advantage of a market dislocation.
In 2003, the company successfully completed an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Over 2003-2007, Corsair sold all of its shareholding in Axis on the public markets.
Sector: Financial Advisory
LongAcre Partners Limited (“LongAcre”) was a financial advisory firm servicing clients in the European telecommunications, media and technology sector. The company provided investment banking services, including mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, management buy-outs, strategic alliances and shareholder restructurings to small and mid-sized companies, primarily in the media sector. In 2000, Corsair founded LongAcre in partnership with Olswang Partners, one of the United Kingdom’s pre-eminent media law firms.
In 2007, the company repurchased all shares held by Corsair and Olswang Partners.
Sector: P&C Insurance
Catlin Group was a Bermuda-based property and casualty insurance holding company with multiple operating platforms in the world’s major underwriting markets: Lloyd’s of London, Bermuda, and the non-Lloyd’s London market. Catlin was focused on the insurance and reinsurance markets, operating largely in specialty lines of coverage such as aviation, marine and professional liability. In early 2002, Corsair partnered with U.S. private equity firm Capital Z Partners to assemble and lead an investor consortium that recapitalized Catlin and took control of the company’s board of directors.
In 2004, Catlin successfully completed an IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Over 2004-2005, Corsair sold all of its shareholding in Catlin on the public markets.
Founded in 1983 as a joint venture between the Bank of America and several Korean companies, KorAm Bank (“KorAm”) was the sixth-largest bank in South Korea prior to its acquisition by Citigroup in 2004. The company provided a wide range of corporate, retail, trust and international banking services. In early 2000, Corsair partnered with The Carlyle Group to lead an international investor consortium that recapitalized KorAm Bank in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.
In 2004, Corsair exited this investment when Citigroup acquired KorAm. At that time, Citigroup’s acquisition of KorAm was the largest foreign direct investment in Korean history.
Founded in 1924, Uniao de Bancos Brasilieros, S.A. (“Unibanco”) was a full-service financial institution in Brazil that provided a wide range of financial products and services to all segments of the Brazilian market. In 2008, Unibanco merged with Banco Itaú to form Itaú Unibanco. In 1999, Unibanco raised approximately $400 million of new equity to fund both internal growth and several potential acquisition opportunities. Corsair participated in this private placement.
In 2004, Corsair exited its entire position through a block trade.
Banco Hipotecario Nacional (“BHN”) was one of the oldest financial institutions in Argentina, established in 1886 as a state-owned bank specializing in mortgage lending. The bank pioneered mortgage lending on extended, low-interest terms, and thus contributed to consolidating a modern Argentine economy. In 1999, BHN was privatized through an international offering. Corsair participated in BHN’s 1999 offering as part of a consortium of international private investors led by a Corsair limited partner.
In 2001, Corsair completed a full exit from the investment through open market sales.
Bank Handlowy w Warszawie SA (“Bank Handlowy”) was one of Poland’s oldest financial institutions and acted as the foreign trade bank under the country’s socialist regime. Following the significant political and economic changes of the 1990s, Bank Handlowy was able to transform itself successfully into a premier corporate and mid-size business bank in the domestic Polish marketplace. In 1997, Corsair helped assemble a core shareholder group that acquired 24% of Bank Handlowy as part of the privatization of the bank by the Polish State Treasury following a banking crisis in the mid-1990s.
In 2000, Corsair, working closely with the management and the Polish State Treasury, negotiated a successful strategic sale of the company to Citibank.
Sparbanken Sverige A.B. (“Swedbank”) was formed in 1992 through the merger of Sweden’s central commercial bank for the savings bank sector and 11 regional savings banks. Following the company’s merger with Foreningsbanken in 1997, the new institution became the second largest banking firm and the most recognizable financial brand name in Sweden. In 1994, Corsair provided the first private sector capital for the Swedish savings bank sector by leading a recapitalization of the bank during the Swedish banking crisis of the early 1990s.
In 1997, Corsair exited this investment through a block sale.
The portfolio companies in this section are intended to be representative of the types of investments that have been made by Corsair and do not include all investments made.