The history of Cordium began in the UK in 1997 when Scott Wilson founded a compliance consultancy called IMS Consulting focusing on the wholesale sector. For 16 years IMS built itself the reputation as the UK’s leading compliance provider, offering its clients pragmatic solutions that are appropriate for their business needs.
As the business grew, various support services were developed to address the needs of clients. In 2000 IMS founded IMS Recruitment, which offers bespoke retained search and contingency services to the wholesale asset management and securities industries.
From the outset, IMS invested a great deal of time and effort training and educating its clients on compliance related topics, resulting in the formation of Education and Training. The goal of this approach has been to provide the necessary tools that empower clients to make better compliance decisions.
In January 2010 IMS acquired Mirabella Financial Services, which was set up in 1998. Mirabella offers its regulatory permissions solutions to investment firms who need a high quality and time efficient means of accessing financial markets. Mirabella has helped many dozens of investment firms establish or continue their businesses by extending its own regulatory permissions to its clients.
IMS accelerated its growth plan via a majority investment from Sovereign Capital, the UK’s Buy and Build specialist. Sovereign Capital provided IMS with the ideal combination of financial backing and business acceleration experience from the Sovereign Capital investment team, enabling IMS to grow and build on its existing expertise in assisting clients with forthcoming challenges.
IMS acquired MMS Regulatory Solutions “RSL” in February 2011. RSL was recognised as one of London’s leading compliance consultancies and had built an excellent reputation for the quality of its service among its client base.
Meanwhile, in the US in 2001, Bill Mulligan founded HedgeOp Compliance in New York City with a focus on providing regulatory and compliance support to private fund advisers. For 11 years HedgeOp built itself the reputation as the US’ leading compliance provider offering its clients, practical advice and day-to-day pro-active support in operating their compliance programs.
In addition, HedgeOp was at the forefront of utilizing technology in the provision of compliance program support services. In 2007, HedgeOp released ComplianceTrak and ComplianceELF compliance support software applications that have proved to be invaluable to a wide variety of financial firms. In 2011, HedgeOp rebranded its software division under the name EvenWheel Solutions.
HedgeOp expanded its geographic presence throughout the United States by opening offices in Boston (2007) and San Francisco (2011).
In January 2012 HedgeOp Compliance merged with IMS to form the world’s leading compliance consultancy.
In March 2013, IMS HedgeOp launched its first Asian office, in Hong Kong. The office, headed up by Derek McGibney, former Managing Consultant of the Regulatory Transactions Team, provides compliance consultancy, training and software services.
In May 2013, IMS, HedgeOp and Evenwheel came together to form the new brand Cordium a new name in compliance for the alternatives industry.
In December 2013, Cordium acquired Sigma Partnership, a London based compliance and accounting firm, a move that bolstered Cordium’s existing accountancy offering in the UK. Then shortly afterwards, Cordium completed the acquisition of HedgeStart in January 2014. HedgeStart, based in London, was formed on 2000 offering a unique blend of tax, accounting and regulatory compliance consulting to the investment management and securities industry. This provided a further boost to Cordium’s regulatory accounting division in its London office, and allowed Cordium to add a highly regarded corporate and private client tax capability to its wide range of client services.
In February 2014, Cordium acquired Zodiac Advisory Services (‘Zodiac’), a leading provider of compliance, risk, accounting and governance services for the investment management industry in Malta, which is rapidly becoming a prime jurisdiction for asset managers across the globe for setting up both funds and fund management companies.
In January 2015 European Capital, a wholly-owned affiliate of American Capital, a Nasdaq listed private equity firm and global asset manager with more than $19 billion in assets under management, acquired a majority stake in Cordium, with management and staff retaining the balance.
European Capital has invested in Cordium, recognising that the company is a global business with huge potential for further growth, especially for our proprietary technology platform.
Today, Cordium has offices in London, Malta, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Hong Kong, and supports more than 1,500 investment firms globally. At Cordium we make the process of meeting regulatory demands a positive contribution in the drive towards business excellence, this turns compliance from a ‘have-to-have’ into a ‘must-have business advantage’.
The founding ethos of Cordium was, and remains today, to build long term relationships with our clients and never to compromise on quality or standards.