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Belfast insurance software firm sold to US buyer

By Yvette Shapiro

Published 10/08/2016

Major acquisition: Reid French
Major acquisition: Reid French

The Belfast-based company, Relay Software, has been bought by a leading American insurance technology firm.

Relay, which employs around 100 people in Belfast, Dublin and Galway, specialises in software for the insurance industry in Ireland.

Owned since 2014 by the private equity firm HgCapital, its pre-tax profit last year was £1.98m on turnover of £5.53m.

Its new owner, Applied Systems, is a major international player in the market for cloud-based software used by insurers and brokers.

"This acquisition brings together the largest provider of broker management systems in the world with the leading provider of insurance automation in Ireland," said Reid French, chief executive officer of Applied Systems, which has its headquarters in Illinois and employs more than 1,400 people in North America and the UK.

Relay was set up in 1985 and its software products are well-known in the Irish insurance market. They include back office software and an e-trading platform for motor, home, commercial vehicle, life and commercial insurance.

Managing director, Michael Bell, has been with the firm since 1987, and has led it since 1999.

"As the insurance industry continues to evolve, we recognise an opportunity with Applied for our customers to benefit from greater technical resources and a broader product portfolio," Mr Bell said.

Relay Software was acquired in early 2014 by HgCapital's Mercury Fund. The private equity fund's director, David Issott, said it had been a successful partnership.

"The Mercury team is delighted to have worked with Relay's experienced management team, to support the growth of the business and invest in enhancing further their technology solutions.

"This is a strong base from which Relay can continue to grow under new ownership and we are glad to have found the ideal future partner in Applied."

Belfast Telegraph

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