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Financial Services, North America

AML firm to be acquired by Nasdaq in major multi-billion dollar deal

NASDAQ acquires Verafin

By Dan Byrne for AMLi

NASDAQ will acquire the Candian-based AML firm Verafin for a price of $2.75 billion.

The agreement, announced Thursday, has been praised by Nasdaq as one which will “create a global SaaS [software as a service] leader in the fight against financial crime – a worldwide problem that demands innovative action.”

Acquiring Verafin will allow Nasdaq to access the full range of the company’s extensive AML products and client network.

“Together with Verafin’s founders and employees, we will multiply our efforts to solve a significant global issue,” said Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman.  

Verafin, based in Newfoundland and founded in 2003, specialises in cloud-based software that detects, investigates and reports any instances of money laundering and other forms of financial fraud.

Their services are used by over 2,000 financial institutions across North America.

The entire range of Verafin’s capabilities are now expected to be made available to nearly 250 prominent banks and other financial institutions that use Nasdaq’s technology in AML efforts.

In a statement, the company boasted that the deal would strengthen Nasdaq’s trade monitoring, market surveillance and compliance products.

“Financial crime is a huge challenge globally,” said Valerie-Bannert-Thurner, SVP of Market Technology. “Over $2 trillion of illicit funds is laundered in one year alone, according to the United Nations.”

“With the addition of Verafin’s leading AML and fraud solutions, we can further our mission to safeguard the financial system and its participants.”

Bannert-Thurner stressed her belief that the main challenge facing the financial world was that current fincrime solutions fall short in detection.

Illicit behaviours are often missed, largely because of outdated software – technologies which are “siloed in their nature and often cause a huge amount of operational overhead to deal with the vast amount of false positives.”

“Verafin is heavily invested in innovation and has an agile product development process,” she said. “It enables them to quickly develop, enhance and deploy cutting-edge analytical models to uncover advanced suspicious activity.”

With this announcement, Nasdaq – the second-largest stock exchange in the world – is continuing its push to offer more efficient software to its vast worldwide network.

In September, the company announced the launch of a new AI system which could replicate human behaviour and decision-making as it searches for dirty money. 

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