Frankfurt, January 2 2019

Universal-Investment acquires labs from Lupus alpha

The Universal-Investment group, based in in Frankfurt am Main and Luxembourg, is acquiring the Frankfurt-based IT service provider for financial companies, labs, from its former owner, Lupus alpha Asset Management AG – likewise headquartered in Frankfurt. labs will continue to operate as an independent company under the “UI labs” brand.

Key facts

IT data specialist for front-office and data solutions diversifies service portfolio

Further milestone for Universal-Investment towards becoming the leading European fund-service platform for all asset classes

Universal-Investment as an innovation leader for driving digitalisation in the fund industry

For Universal-Investment, the acquisition of the IT data specialist – which focuses on front-office and data solutions for financial companies – is yet another step towards becoming the leading European fund-service platform for all asset classes. In doing so, the company will round off its 360-degree portfolio for institutional investors, asset managers and fund initiators.

labs, which was formed in 2009, is amongst the industry’s leading software and IT consultancies. The company integrates heterogeneous data ecosystems, creates data-management solutions compliant with regulatory requirements, and visualises the data. It offers its customers the entire process from a single source – from the initial analysis through to implementation; in doing so, labs specialises in areas such as front-office solutions based on Software-as-a-Service models, data warehousing and analytics, PRIIPs (Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products) or the German Investment Tax Reform Act (“Investmentsteuerreform”). labs develops software products for asset managers, investment companies, custodians, insurance companies, wealth managers and family offices. In doing so, its team concentrates on the areas of front-office solutions, data management and reporting.

Further diversification of joint portfolio of intelligent IT services such as front-office solutions

For labs, the acquisition by a leading, independent master KVG will offer it a significant competitive advantage. In its capacity as a neutral and independent platform, Universal-Investment can help it establish new contacts with asset managers and institutional investors, and acquire new customers who are already using the UI platform. The companies already have joint customers, particularly in the area of front-office solutions based on SimCorp Dimension. In future, labs and Universal-Investment will jointly step up their marketing of integrated front-office solutions based on the Software-as-a-Service model for asset managers and institutional investors with in-house portfolio management. This could include e.g. inventories management or a decision-making tool as a portfolio-management system with integrated pre-trade investment-compliance monitoring.

Joint investments in research and development are another goal of the acquisition, and the planned setup of a fintech pool by Universal-Investment, a further step here. The company already invests heavily in IT and new technologies, having already implemented robotic process automation in practice, and set up a business intelligence platform, for example. It is also currently establishing an Emerging Tech Team and a team of data scientist experts. With its investments, Universal-Investment has emerged as an innovation leader, driving digitalisation in the fund industry, and guaranteeing its clients their accustomed level of service excellence in the future.

Independence maintained

labs – with its approximately 25 staff – will continue to operate with its team as an independent company on the market and, as such, also continue to work for other providers in the financial sector. labs’ co-founder and Managing Director, Matthias Biedenkapp, will continue to run the company, and will be joined by Universal-Investment Board Member and Head of Sales & Relationship Management, Katja Müller, as co-Managing Director.

Universal-Investment CEO, Bernd Vorbeck, explains: “Digitalisation, in particular, is an important competitive factor in the financial sector. For Universal-Investment’s business model as an infrastructure platform for the fund industry, it is without doubt the decisive one. Especially, providing and optimising data services is a central issue for developing intelligent, innovative asset management solutions, streamlining processes and boosting efficiency. We’re therefore delighted that labs will become part of our growth strategy.“

Ralf Lochmüller, founding partner and CEO of Lupus alpha, confirms: “We successfully developed labs from an IT startup to an established supplier; we are convinced it will optimally leverage its continued growth potential at Universal-Investment in future.“

ABOUT LABS

labs is a data specialist for financial companies. With products and services for data harmonisation, data management and customised data output, labs is one of the leading software and consulting companies in the industry.

More information available at: www.labs.de

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