Welsh Carson: Financing the Technology of Finance

By Barthel, Matt | American Banker, November 1, 1993 | Go to article overview

Welsh Carson: Financing the Technology of Finance


Barthel, Matt, American Banker


NEW YORK - It's been 15 years since Bruce Anderson held his last job with a technology firm, but it seems he has never been quite able to shake his fascination with the business.

Since 1979, Mr. Anderson, along with his partners in the firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, has worked as a venture capitalist, specializing in benign buyouts and startup fundings of technology concerns.

That focus is far from unique. Any number of investment banking firms have engaged in high-risk, high-reward technology deals.

Scrutiny of Two Industries

But Welsh, Carson has further focused on technology companies in two specific industries, financial services and health care.

"The focus of our investment has been mainly software and services," said Mr. Anderson, a one-time employee of ADP. "Over time, we've narrowed that focus into a couple of specialties, one of which is the financial-services industry."

The firm's attentions have had a profound effect on the development of a number of the financial industry's most influential technology concerns. Deals involving Fiserv Inc., Bisys Group, Inc., Sungard Data Systems Inc., Broadway & Seymour Inc., and ARM Holdings Corp. are among the fruits of Welsh, Carson's labor.

|Not Just Investors'

Although each of these companies came to the firm with different funding needs, they have taken off on strikingly similar paths following their involvement with Welsh, Carson.

"Bruce Anderson and the guys [at Welsh, Carson] have been mentors to, me, no question about it," said George Dalton, chairman and chief executive at Fiserv. "They are not just investors; their contact with other businesses within our industry makes them valuable as consultants for identifying new acquisitions."

Mr. Dalton is not alone in his opinion. William Neal, chairman and chief executive officer at Broadway & Seymour, also credits much of his company's success to Welsh, Carson's advice in acquisition matters.

Computer Expertise

"They are exceptionally good in the post-investment phase," said Mr. Neal, whose company specializes in banking software for International Business Machines Corp. hardware.

Where does Welsh, Carson's good investment sense come from? With his experience at ADP, Mr. Anderson brings some computer expertise to the table. Likewise, another partner, Richard Stowe, an engineer by education, also has a technical background. …

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