Rhyme Systems is a provider of middle and back office systems to investment management companies.
The business had several owners before becoming part of Misys plc. Their two key product suites, Quasar and Fiscal, provided leading functionality to the asset management industry and were challenged only by companies’ own in-house systems. Misys plc did not see Rhyme as a core part of its global strategy and therefore decided to sell it. The Rhyme management team was equally keen to develop the business further and welcomed the opportunity to work with a private equity firm to buy the business from Misys. The team felt there was strong chemistry with Primary and were able to persuade Misys that Primary would be able to deliver the deal. We financed the management buy-out of the business in November 2003.
The Big Idea
Whilst the investment management market was only growing at a modest rate, many participants were looking to make their back offices more efficient through a combination of more systemisation and/or outsourcing to independent providers of back office services. Rhyme saw the opportunity to provide systems both direct to investment managers and to the outsourcers who needed robust, proven solutions.
The Grand Plan
We helped Rhyme by supporting its investment in the development of a new product, rhymeSIGHT, which provided a single environment and experience for a wide range of functions within asset administration. This product is used by several leading UK asset managers.
The Bottom Line
The improved focus of the business on its end market and the redevelopment of the software proposition significantly enhanced the strategic value of Rhyme’s business and we sold to an Indian IT business, 3i Infotech, in October 2006, generating a return of almost three times the original cost of the investment.
Date of investment: November 2003
Deal status: Realised
Date of realisation: October 2006
Investment return multiple: 2.9x cost
For more information talk to: Peter Jacobs or Rob Foreman