Regional entrepreneurs looking to grow or actualise an exit strategy, and who are looking for advice and support in the process, can meet the sparring partners and investors of CapitalChange on 22, 23 and 24 September. CapitalChange consists of a group of specialists in the fields of growth, value creation, fusions and mergers, who also have the option to invest. A unique opportunity We spoke with AWI Software from Ede, a company that – partly thanks to the collaboration with CapitalChange – has been experiencing significant growth over the past few years.
AWI Software from Ede and its overarching holding 4 Insurance are undergoing rapid development. Partly because of acquisitions, the business is growing and expanding its market position. The partnership with CapitalChange is very important in that context. AWI’s Manon Borsboom and Robert van der Plas of CapitalChange have been meeting at least once a week for the last few years.
Manon Borsboom and Paul Hijmans have been co-CEOs of AWI Software for the last year and a half. AWI predominantly develops software for underwriting agencies and service providers, as well as for insurers and end customers. Both co-CEOs are also shareholders of the overarching holding 4 Insurance.
Manon Borsboom has known CapitalChange’s Robert van der Plas for over 15 years. Together with CapitalChange colleague Albert Marseille, Van der Plas has owned sixty percent of AWI Software (and later 4 Insurance) since 2017. During the repositioning of the company, he asked Borsboom to become co-director. Furthermore, multiple acquisitions and mergers took place: Differ Solutions in 2019, EURO-motive last year and currently FinConnect. Partly because of that, AWI now has a wider range as well as access to new target groups, like insurers.
During the repositioning and acquisitions, the different forms of expertise of the CapitalChange partners – a group of experienced entrepreneurs and investors acting as sparring partners for companies – came into play. “On the one hand our role has to do with acquiring, structuring and merging, and everything related to that”, says Van der Plas. “On the other, our role has to do with creating and calculating new business models and anything related to the positioning. That’s how we support Manon and Paul.”
Borsboom: “During acquisitions – like the current one regarding FinConnect – we spar about the approach and how we’re going to set things down on paper. What is important to focus on in a ‘letter of intent’, for instance? What should be written down and what can be expected from the other party in good faith? Robert and Albert are teaching us the tricks of that particular trade. In addition, we analyse the results and market trends. Are we doing the right things? Is our focus correct? Or do we need to take some things off our plate?”
Borsboom says she speaks to Van der Plas at least once every week. “We discuss everything relating to business. It’s great that Robert knows this industry inside out. With Albert Marseille we mostly spar about the financial aspects, and merger and acquisition processes. Both really complement each other. We are very happy with the partnership.”