A few days ago, Brady Technologies announced that its commodities side was being acquired by STG and our inquiries to Brady for further details resulted in an informative call with Tasja Botha, CEO of Brady Commodities and Craig Vintcent, CRO Brady Technologies. Brady Commodities, for the time being, is sharing a location and a website with Brady Technologies and will continue to utilize the Brady name for a short time, according to Tasja. “The new brand is being worked on and we will emerge in a few months with a new identity, website and collateral,” she told me. “The relationship with Brady Technologies remains friendly and supportive.” Brady staff associated with the commodities side of the house have all moved across to the new entity including Fabienne Kangayan, who is the new CFO, and Harry Knot on the product side and the business will also be making some new hires soon.
“We had looked carefully at our options to invest in our software products, which are among the leading products in the industry including Fintrade and Trinity,” she told me. “Both these software solutions are integral to many customers businesses and, they are still functionally richer than any competing product.” The decision to go with STG was an easy one, she said, as that entity has a lot of expertise in building successful software companies and a rich portfolio of vendors. “We want to retain our #1 position in metals and build from there,” she said.
For Craig, three things are key – “Focus, continuity, and opportunity. Now, there will be equal focus on both sides of the business and investment in the products and services. Both entities are building new brands and websites,” he said. “STG is focused on commodities and Hanover on energy.” For customers, there will be continuity not just in terms of software but in terms of the people who build and maintain the software and customer focus is the number one priority right now for both sides of Brady, he said. Both Tasja and Craig were quick to point out that the amicable split had been welcomed broadly by their customers. Finally, there is opportunity for growth in both areas.
For Tasja, the next steps are about working with the customers to modernize the products and expand them functionality where it makes sense. “The software products are extremely functionally rich and that is why customers continue to use them – they are their core trading products,” she explained. She also wants to embed the solutions more closely into the software ecosystem utilized by customers. Meanwhile, she is very keen to show that Brady Commodities is here to stay, means business and to grow. “STG isn’t a VC firm but a partner who knows how to extract the value out of software for customers,” she said. “STG saw value in the customer base, functionality of the software and core people at Brady Commodities and will now invest in that business to help it to thrive.”
From an analyst’s perspective, this makes sense. By pursing an aggressive acquisition strategy a few years ago, the vendor had probably spread its focus too broadly and as a public company at that time was unable to access the investment capital it really needed to modernize and leverage the software solutions it had built and acquired. Now quite clearly, Brady Technologies is acutely focused on power and risk and backed by Hannover while Brady Commodities is free to focus on broader commodities backed by STG. Now it is all about the execution.