HITTING THE SWEET SPOT

Editorial Type: Date: 11-2020 Views: 847 Tags: Security PDF Version:
Digital transformation in the cyber-security sector is forecast to be the big driver for mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and investment for the rest of 2020

Technology-focused investment bank ICON Corporate Finance believes that digital transformation across all industry sectors has accelerated to become the most pressing priority for organisations in the aftermath of Covid-19. ICON predicts this will drive future growth and appetite for acquisition of tech companies worldwide, particularly in the cyber-security sector.

Its assessment is underpinned by a recent ICON survey of some of the most active UK M&A buyers. This showed that there has been no drop in appetite for acquisition in the tech sector in 2020, which remains high, with key areas for expansion expected to be in cyber security, fintech, Cloud, managed services, healthtech, AI (artificial intelligence) and enterprise software.

As organisations adapt to new ways of working, companies in the US tech market will continue to be amongst the most acquisitive, as they continue to seek out deep tech and disruptive young companies that are reshaping the world. To capitalise on future growth in the sector and US market appetite, ICON has extended its footprint into the region with the opening of an office in San Francisco. It aims to bring clients in Europe, Africa and Asia direct access to the epicentre of the world's tech community, where appetite for investment and acquisition in disruptive technology persists. For US clients, it will present new possibilities in both domestic and international markets.

With the West Coast central to its future expansion plans, ICON, which led US-based IQVIA's acquisition of UK-based Optimum Contact and JP Morgan's funding of UK-based Mosaic Smart Data, has appointed former industry analyst at 451 Research and DataTech expert Ben Kolada as head of US Tech Investment Banking. He has more than a decade of experience in the sector and a deep knowledge of the West Coast and US markets.

According to Pitchbook Data's Emerging FinTech research*, increasing cybersecurity threats are forcing organisations to turn to technology to mitigate against business interruption, protecting both systems and remote workers. This is particularly acute for financial institutions, where new areas of risk and regulation have been introduced to address expanding cyberthreats and data security concerns.

CEO and founder of ICON, Alan Bristow, adds: "As the world discovers the new normal, it is the tech sector that will drive societal changes and enable new ways of working. The US West Coast's innovative approach and its dominance in deals origination is the core driver for our new presence in San Francisco. We are excited to be bringing US markets to Europe's doorstep and vice versa."

* Pitchbook Data Inc Emerging FinTech Research Q1 2020