With a new CEO and an infusion of private equity funding, Cynergy Data plans to grow both organically and through acquisitions.
That means signing up more independent sales organizations and sales agents to solicit merchants for transaction services, as well as buying ISOs merchant portfolios and purchasing whole companies, says Afshin Yazdian, whos held the top spot at the company for all of three weeks.
Its a renewed focus on that channel, he says of ISOs and agents. They can use our platform to help manage their business.
Yazdian, a Nashville, Tenn.-based acquiring exec with a law degree, plans to remain in the Volunteer State for the time being and shuttle back-and-forth between Cynergys offices in New York City and Atlanta.
Hes leaving his job as president of TouchSuite, where the company strategy called for combining a proprietary point of sale system with merchant services in a few carefully chosen niches. The company plans to expand partly by adding different kinds of merchants.
That experience in integrating transaction services and value-added products should serve Yazdian well in his new post. He can also draw upon his experience as executive vice president and general counsel at iPayment Inc., a Boca Raton, Fla.-based super ISO that he helped start and run before joining TouchSuite. That position exposed him to virtually every aspect of the acquiring business, he says.
I was very fortunate to be a big part of nearly everything that happened with the company, he recalls. Eventually, we were able to bring on institutional money. We took the company public and then took it private.
In the early days of iPayment, he was raising money and working on acquisitions. That provided an overview of the industry, teaching him how the business works, who the players are and what makes companies successful, he says.
That process included integrating all of the acquisitions into the company, which linked directly with processors, he notes.
When Cynergy approached Yazdian about becoming CEO, he saw an opportunity to apply what hes learned.
Cynergy had a lot of the infrastructure in place, and my goal is to come in and start growing the company, he says.
Cynergy has been associated with Comvest Partners, an equity investment firm, for several years, Yazdian says. That relationship has helped Comvest understand the acquiring business and recognize Cynergy as an asset poised for growth, he says.
One engine for growth is Cynergys VIMAS platform, a merchant portfolio management tool that the company developed in-house to handle every step in connecting agents with processors.
Yazdian describes VIMAS as everything from the boarding of the accounts to the management of the merchants to allowing the agents to have access to reporting data.
It calculates residuals for agents and provides merchants with portals to track their transactions online, he says.
Its an unbelievable product because whether its a small office or a large office, it gives ISOs and agents a lot of tools to control their portfolio that they would typically not get with other ISOs, Yazdian maintains.
Using the platform, small ISOs can act as though theyre big without having to develop their own systems, and bigger ISOs that may have departments for boarding or customer support may still need the platform to help manage the portfolio, he says.
Despite the emphasis on aiding salespeople, Cynergy has no sales team of its own to solicit merchants. The company wants to grow by buying merchant portfolios and by working in partnerships with ISOs, Yazdian says. In the latter case, ISOs could retain some control of their businesses, and Cynergy would provide back-office support. In some cases Cynergy would simply buy companies.
A lot of it depends upon the seller, he notes.
For ISOs and agents that want to remain independent, Cynergy maintains a training group to teach them how to work with the company and use the VIMAS platform. Besides briefing them on how the products work, Cynergy outlines effective marketing and selling of the products.
Meanwhile, the company maintains a department to hunt for products and services to integrate into its system.
That integration makes the process of selling it very simple for the ISO and agent, Yazdian says. Well continue to push that.
Products that Cynergy is reviewing for inclusion in its system include point of sale systems, service-related products and data-driven products.
They could be third-party products or products were able to develop internally, he notes.
A number of products are already integrated into Cynergys platform, including customized private-label merchant statements, reporting tools and aids to boarding. The platform, Yazdian believes, will continue to play a key role in Cynergys strategy for growth.
Yazdian succeeds Kim Fitzsimmons as the Cynergys CEO. Fitzsimmons remains on the companys board and is taking on a role at Comvest Partners.