Within a span of 14 days in April and May of 2021, private equity firm Francisco Partners acquired Trading Screen and Imagine Software and soon after merged the two to create TS Imagine. By acquiring and subsequently merging two complementary businesses Francisco Partners, an active investor in fintech and investment management technology, formed a fully integrated native Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of trading management and execution capabilities as well as portfolio, risk and compliance software platform.

The Hunt

For 18 months prior to the deal, Francisco Partners had been working with industry veteran Rob Flatley, now at the helm of TS Imagine, to find a platform for him to run as CEO. Francisco Partners’ fintech team used its network to source the opportunity to acquire Trading Screen, a provider of trading execution and order management software, in an unbanked process. Simultaneously, it sourced the opportunity to acquire Imagine Software, a real-time portfolio management, risk and compliance software platform.

With TS Imagine, Francisco Partners identified and executed an opportunity to leverage its operational expertise and track record of helping to scale financial technology and investment management technology companies by combining them into a singular company poised for growth across both the buy and sell-side. The TS Imagine platform is used by 500 financial institutions across the globe.

Initial Skepticism

Imagine Software, a founder-run company for almost 30 years, had never taken outside capital and was initially skeptical. Francisco Partners developed a strong relationship with the founders who bought into the vision that a combined Trading Screen and Imagine were stronger than if the companies were separate.

Trading Screen, meanwhile, was in the midst of a protracted diligence process with another party. Francisco Partners had to convince its principals that it was the better choice, due to the speed and certainty it provided.

For more Deals of the Year coverage, see Mergers and Acquisitions Reveals the 2022 Middle-Market Deals of the Year.