Private Equity MSP Investment: FFL Partners Backs Abacus Group

Private equity firm FFL Partners has made a strategic growth investment in Abacus Group, a financial services-focused MSP. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Abacus Group previously was backed by WestView Capital Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm focused on middle market growth companies.

This is technology M&A deal number 588 that ChannelE2E has covered so far in 2022. See more than 1,000 technology M&A deals involving MSPs, MSSPs & IT service providers listed here.

FFL Partners Invests Financial Services MSP

FFL Partners, founded in 1997, is based in San Francisco, California. The company has 73 employees listed on LinkedIn. FFL Partners’ areas of expertise include venture capital and private equity for middle-market companies.

Abacus Group, founded in 2008, has offices in New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; Greenwich, CT; Los Angeles, CA; Charlotte, NC; and London, England. The company has 198 employees listed on LinkedIn. Abacus Group’s areas of expertise include managed IT services, disaster recovery services, application hosting, helpdesk/on-site support, full-life cycle software services, including process & data analysis, as well as software architecture, development and production support, fintech, hosted IT, hedge fund technology, financial services technology, outsourced IT and ITaaS.

Abacus itself is no stranger to the M&A scene. In November 2021, Abacus Group acquired Echo Technology Solutions — a San Francisco-based MSP that supports venture capital firms. In 2019, Abacus acquired Proactive Technologies, an MSP that has deep expertise in alternative investment firms (i.e., hedge funds).

Jonathon Bunt, director, FFL Partners

Chris Grandi, CEO, Abacus Group

Jonathon Bunt, director at FFL, commented on the news:

“We look forward to partnering with Abacus Founder and CEO Chris Grandi and his management team as they invest further in supporting their existing clients and expand to new clients both organically and through strategic acquisitions.”

Chris Grandi, CEO, Abacus Group, said:

“FFL has a deep understanding of our business and our target markets and has a great reputation for partnering with founder-led businesses like Abacus to help them scale. I am confident that the resources, business acumen and energy the FFL team brings makes them the ideal partner for Abacus as we enter our next chapter of growth.”

Cas Schneller, managing partner at FFL, added:

“The increasing focus on cybersecurity, transition to the cloud, need for enhanced data and analytics, and consistent difficulty of attracting and retaining IT talent only increases the importance of a world-class MSP like Abacus. This is even more relevant in highly regulated industries like financial services, where the specialization and deep industry knowledge Abacus brings should continue to help the company expand its private equity, venture capital, family office and wealth management client base.”

FFL: Investing in MSPs and IT service

Abacus marks FFL’s third IT services investment. In December 2021 FFL made an investment in Optomi Professional Services, a specialized provider of technology consulting, team augmentation and IT outsourcing services. In July 2019, FFL Partners invested in ALKU, an Andover, Mass.-based IT and life sciences consulting firm.

Guggenheim Securities, LLC and Lazard served as sell-side advisors to Abacus and outgoing investment partner Westview Capital Partners. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to FFL and Latham & Watkins, LLP and Lowenstein Sandler LLP served as legal counsel to Abacus and Westview on the transaction.

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