How many times have we said this? The venture capital and private equity flowing into fintech is staggering and just keeps growing. Enter a new player to the field – Chicago-based private equity firm Waud Capital, which issued a press release on Wednesday announcing the appointment of a new operating partner for a fintech carve-out which will receive a minimum of $100M initially for investments in the payments and fintech sectors. In the words of the late, great Yogi Berra, “It’s like deja vu all over again!” (Cindy Taylor, Publisher)
Waud Capital Partners (“Waud Capital” or the “Firm”), a leading growth-oriented lower middle-market private equity firm with $2.1 billion in assets under management, announces the appointment of Andrew Rueff as an operating partner, effective immediately. In this new position, Mr. Rueff will work with the Firm’s business and technology services investment team and pursue new platform investments in the payments and financial technology sector, an initiative to which Waud Capital has initially committed at least $100 million of equity capital.
Mr. Rueff is a veteran of the payments industry with over 20 years of experience. In 2000, he was one of the original founders and architects of the recapitalization of TransFirst Holdings, Inc., a leading private equity-backed U.S. merchant solutions provider that was acquired by TSYS (NYSE: TSS) in January 2016 for $2.35 billion. During his tenure at TransFirst Holdings, Mr. Rueff served as one of the top executive management members and held several senior executive positions, playing a significant role to transform the company into a top payments business in the U.S. From 2000-2014, he was responsible for the company’s strategy and corporate development, where he completed more than 25 acquisitions that helped grow the company from less than $20 million of net revenue to over $250 million of net revenue and significant profitability. Previously, he was a vice president of mergers and acquisitions for Nova, an Atlanta-based transaction processing company. Mr. Rueff also currently serves on the board of CyberGrants, a Waud Capital portfolio company, where he advises on payments strategy.
“In partnering with Andrew, Waud Capital underscores its commitment to finding and partnering with the best CEOs and senior executives in our focus industries,” said Justin DuPere, Principal at Waud Capital. “We have identified payments as one of the top business and technology services sectors to build and scale a new platform, and we are thrilled to be partnering with a world class executive like Andrew with whom we plan to create significant value.”
“I am excited to join the Waud Capital team and to establish and grow new platforms in the payments and financial technology sector,” said Mr. Rueff. “It is an opportune time to invest in these industries, in particular the integrated payments space, as an evolving competitive and technology landscape creates significant runway to build market-leading companies of scale. Waud Capital provides significant financial resources and access to world-class investment, research and human capital resources, which will serve us well as we establish a strategy and seek investments in this high growth industry.”
“Andrew brings to Waud Capital the right blend of business development experience and deep industry relationships, and he has a distinguished track record of generating attractive risk-adjusted returns for investors,” added Matt Clary, Partner at Waud Capital. “He significantly strengthens the Firm’s ecosystem to build and scale a leading platform in the payments space.”