ACA and Foreside merge to form one of largest US GRC specialists

22 November 2021 1 min. read

Genstar Capital has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ACA Group, which it will merge with portfolio company Foreside to create one of the largest governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) consultancies focusing on the financial services industry.

The deal, which is slated to close in the first half of 2022, will see Starr Investment Holdings exit ACA, which it acquired in 2018. Though financial terms were not disclosed, ACA was expected to sell for more than $1 billion, according to Barron’s.

ACA was founded in 2002 by former regulators at the SEC and advises financial services firms on regulatory compliance, cybersecurity, and ESG. The New York-based firm has more than 700 people across nine offices in the US and international locations in London and Malta.

Foreside, which Genstar in September bought from Lovell Minnick Partners, delivers distribution and compliance services to asset and wealth managers. The Portland, ME-based firm was founded in 2005 and has more than 300 people across eight US offices.

ACA and Foreside merge to become one of largest US GRC specialists

Together, the complementary GRC specialists will form an end-to-end GRC platform with more than 1,100 employees serving 5,000+ financial services clients. Shvetank Shah, CEO of ACA Group, will become CEO of the merged company upon completion of the transaction.

Genstar – which is headquartered in San Francisco and has approximately $17 billion in AUM – will own a majority of the combined companies upon the deal’s completion.

“We believe the combined company will be well positioned to capitalize on secular market growth trends and to help global clients navigate an evolving and complex regulatory landscape,” said Tony Salewski, managing director at Genstar, and Sid Ramakrishnan, principal at Genstar. “We are excited to support the team with capital and expertise to execute a growth plan that includes continued organic and inorganic growth.”