(Reuters) — The Rockefeller family’s money manager, Rockefeller & Co, is close to selling a technology platform it created to financial technology firm Fi-Tek LLC, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, taking advantage of the surge in demand for tools to serve the fragmented wealth management industry.
With registered investment advisers setting up offices every day as large banks sell or exit their U.S. wealth management businesses, demand has increased for the sophisticated technology platforms needed for compliance, trade reconciliation and reporting that are critical tools for the blossoming industry.
Rockefeller & Co’s sale of the platform, which could be announced as soon as Thursday, will allow it to concentrate on the business of managing client money, people familiar with the matter said.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deal is not yet public. Representatives for Rockefeller and Fi-Tek declined to comment.
Rockefeller & Co and its affiliates administer over $40 billion for clients, which include institutions, non-profits and high-net-worth individuals. It was founded in 1882 when tycoon John D. Rockefeller needed a manager for his Standard Oil Company fortune.
The software platform, Rockit Solutions LLC, is a reporting system that generates client statements, assists in internal accounting and reconciles transactions, even taking into account fine art holdings.
Fi-Tek, which already counts banks such as Citigroup (C.N) and hedge funds as clients, will use the acquisition as a springboard to bolster its offerings to family offices, a growing group of investment advisers, the people said. With about 5000 family offices in the United States, Fi-Tek can provide services to the vast market without having to ramp up a product from scratch, they said.
The Rockefeller family office invented Rockit 15 years ago for internal purposes, the people said. In 2005 it began offering its to other family offices, investment advisers, private trust companies and other financial institutions as clients, the people added.
Financial technology companies have been attractive targets for buyers because of their high margins. Paris-based eFront, which sells software to private equity firms, was acquired last year by European private equity firm Bridgepoint for about 300 million Euros.
Edison, New Jersey-based Fi-Tek was founded in 1998 and has evolved to help provide technology solutions to more than 100 banks and 3000 hedge funds.