Bill Neville, president of Davis + Henderson’s USA group, has a message about the meaning of the D + H acquisition of Harland Financial Solutions: “For us it is all about revenue. It’s not about cost savings.”
Neville’s point is that D + H is acquiring the business - “we expect to close in three to four weeks,” said Neville in an interview -- because Toronto, Canada-based D + H wanted to grow its presence in financial services in the United States. “This acquisition gives us a lot more scale.”
Possibly good news for credit unions running on Harland Financial Services core systems - some 385, according to Callahan & Associates data, with most on UltraData - is that D + H’s intent, suggested Neville, is to grow the core system business, a technology that had not been in the D + H portfolio.
“A core is so important to the financial industry. Keeping it modern requires investment,” said Neville.
“We absolutely will invest in the Harland cores, UltraData and Phoenix. Both are strong, both are impressive,” said Neville.
Industry reaction to the announced acquisition so far has been guarded, as experts attempt to parse the meaning of a large Canadian player seeking to expand its U.S. footprint.
Brad Smith, CEO of Austin, Texas-based consulting firm Abound Resources, offered his perspective: “D+H is a strong company in lending technology. They have an integrated commercial–consumer mortgage loan origination system that is much higher tech than Harland’s Credit Quest and Decision Pro.
"But D&H has traditionally been geared toward large banks from a price and tech resources standpoint. I would love to see them come down-market with it. One of our consultants actually had that discussion with them recently and the sales rep said that it was on their roadmap, so we’ll see if that’s where this is going.”
Smith added: “But I’d be worried that the Phoenix core will continue to remain in no man’s land with yet another owner that doesn’t know the core processing business.”