Issue 6 2022

acquisition international the voice of modern business - est. 2010 • Issue 6 2022 The arts are a powerful way to send a message – music, literature, theatre, fine-art, and more, are consumed by people daily. Puffin Foundation West is a non-profit funding organisation that supports cultural and artistic projects, such as prison choirs, dance performances, and the provision of instruments to school children. In operation since 2010, Puffin Foundation West has contributed in abundance to the betterment of society – and it only plans to continue. Most Dedicated Cultural NPO Funding Organization - USA

2 Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 From our Editor Welcome to the June edition of Acquisition International Magazine, bringing you the latest news, features, and success stories from businesses all over the world. The promise of summer is in the air. With intermittent bursts of sunshine, heat, and longer days, we find ourselves feeling motivated to get more done. The slow winter has left us, we have planted many seeds throughout spring, and we have a short amount of time before summer hits – pushing our ideas forwards and exciting us from all angles. Here we would like to explore some businesses that are dazzling us and their industries – it is obvious that they have much experience under their belts, and we are proud to feature them in this month’s issue. As a fine example, Puffin Foundation West is a conduit foundation that aids non-profit organisations to make a difference to the world we live in. The projects that are carried out are all focused on improving the environment and our society and, with Puffin Foundation West, these projects swiftly become tangible, manageable, and successful. Art is one of the greatest forms of expression and this can have a huge impact on mental health, emotional states, and societal views. It is this sort of dedication to local artists and art organisations that inspires us in our creative endeavours. We are happy to wish you a prosperous month ahead, with many positive developments and success. We hope you enjoy this issue and we look forward to welcoming you back next month. Sofi Bajor - Editor 4 News 6 Most Dedicated Cultural NPO Funding Organization - USA PUFFIN FOUNDATION WEST, LTD. 10 Leading the New Frontier of Private Investment Management Industry FinTech 12 The Best Innovations for the Best Metalwork Retech 14 First Impressions Count! Meet Parker 15 Cradle to Cradle Design Innovations, Rethinking the Way We Make Things EPEA Switzerland GmbH 16 Agile. Integrated. Transformative. Jesta I.S. 18 Find the Home of Your Dreams Radius Realty 19 Equestrian MD of the Year 2022: Alex Maclean Macleans of London Ltd 20 Changing the World One Cell at a Time AGC Biologics 21 Playing The Long Game Orbian 22 Never Say No Allen Consulting 23 Overcoming The Odds Guo Law Corporation 24 O.B.S. Sales Services Ltd: Premier Services Provider to the FinTech Sector No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. Editorial Team Sif Brookes, Senior Editor Sofi Bajor, Editor Daniel Long, Writer Gabriel Muers, Writer Rebecca Scotland, Writer Amelia Walker, Writer Design Team Daniela Levinte, Graphic Designer Lauren Baldwin, Junior Graphic Designer 25 Leading Enterprise Storage Solutions SoftIron 26 Perfection in a Progressive Platform BrightInsight. 28 Aesthetic Treatments Fit For Royalty Vie Aesthetics Ltd 29 Award-Winning Dentistry Scott Arms Dental Practice 30 Going Above And Beyond! Johnson & Co Accountants 31 A Chemical-free Way to Keep the Ticks at Bay ProtectOne Ltd. 32 A Class Act! TWA Law 33 Big, Bold, and Built To Last LHT Holdings Limited 34 Putting People First Global Immigration Law 36 Education Done Right Top Score Writing, Inc. 37 Keeping One Step Ahead KJELST SEARCH GROUP A/S 38 Food For Thought SIRIO Europe 39 Unleashing The Power of Art Wingates Gallery Limited 40 Brave New Worlds LUXE Technologies 41 Best Field Service Management Software Provider – UK Clockwork IT Ltd 42 A Home From Home Comfy Workers 44 Winners’ Listings

Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 3 33 24 22 26

4 Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 News: from around the world BeMyEye Acquires Computer Vision Company Metaliquid London based BeMyEye, Europe’s leading provider of retail execution management solutions for CPGs like J&J, Peroni, Microsoft and GSK, has announced the acquisition of Metaliquid, a Computer Vision company specialising in audio and video analysis based on deep-learning technology. With the integration of Metaliquid’s cutting edge Computer Vision technology, BeMyEye’s clients will now obtain, in real-time, corrective actions from complex retail scenes at scale. Metaliquid’s AI technology dramatically improves the performance and ROI of field teams at a time when CPGs are under significant pressure to improve efficiency across the board. Metaliquid has developed an innovative deep-learning solution specifically designed for extracting descriptive, time-coded metadata from audio, image, and video contents in real-time. Leveraging proprietary deep-learning frameworks and neural network architectures, Metaliquid’s solution is proven to deliver production-grade AI applications with exceptional accuracy levels to a broad range of industries including media and broadcasting, retail and security. Luca Pagano, CEO of BeMyEye, said: “Most of our clients already experience up to 20% improvements in key store execution metrics like Assortment Compliance and Share of Shelf, which result in double-digit revenue growth. Leveraging Metaliquid’s real-time Computer Vision capabilities will take our clients’ in-store execution to the next level, significantly boosting their market share.” “We’ve worked with Metaliquid for over 18 months and have been impressed with the way their tech and capabilities have improved success in-store,” added Pagano. Mauro pretolani, Lead Investor at BeMyEye and Senior partner at Fii Tech Growth, said: “This acquisition brings great new IP and a strong competitive advantage to BeMyEye, but also exciting opportunities for market expansion.” Simone Bronzin, formerly CEO of Metaliquid and now CTO of BeMyEye, said: “We are very excited to join a company with such a great product and portfolio of clients like BeMyEye. Moreover, BeMyEye’s crowd can be a game changer in the world of Computer Vision as it enables the labelling and annotation of datasets on a very large scale, thus reducing time and cost of deployment on any AI-based solution.”

Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 5 ClearScore Becomes Significant Enabler of Open Banking in the UK With 1.5m Sign-ups ClearScore Group, which owns ClearScore, the UK’s leading credit marketplace, today announced that it has hit a milestone of over 1.5m users having enabled Open Banking functionality through its platform. This puts ClearScore as one of the largest enablers of Open Banking in the UK, in just six months. In November 2021, ClearScore launched its unique Affordability Score. Based on analysis of transaction history, it gives users - for the first time - a clearer sense of the credit that they can afford in the context of their overall financial wellbeing. Plus, it gives an indication of how a lender will see their application from an affordability perspective. ClearScore is partnering with more than ten financial institutions to allow users, with their permission, to share their bank account data with these lenders to secure better rates on credit cards and loans. To support this rapid growth in Open Banking, the ClearScore Group is announcing a significant investment in Edinburgh, Scotland, to build an Open Banking centre of excellence. Over the next few years, the Group plans to employ over 100 people in Edinburgh, including developers, data engineers, data scientists and product and design professionals. Edinburgh has been selected given its excellent talent base and world-class universities. As part of this expansion, the ClearScore Group is announcing the acquisition of Money Dashboard, the personal financial management and B2B data business, which completed earlier this year. This acquisition is an important step as the Group continues to execute on its growth strategy in its existing markets, driving further international expansion and product diversification. Justin Basini, CEO and Co-founder of The ClearScore Group, said: “Open Banking has the potential to transform the credit industry and give people the opportunity to actively take control of their financial wellbeing. The tremendous growth we have seen in consumers securely sharing their banking data to simplify their personal finances shows clearly that Open Banking is moving to the mainstream. “Money Dashboard enhances ClearScore’s offer to customers and users, and we are delighted that Edinburgh is to be the location for ClearScore’s second UK technology hub. Scotland has a rich history of establishing and growing leading technology businesses, and we are privileged to now have access to a large, highly skilled talent pool, enabling us to continue to drive ClearScore forward to the benefit of our 16 million global users.” ClearScore’s plans for Edinburgh have been welcomed by the Scottish Government. Digital Finance was identified as an area of opportunity in the Scottish Government’s Inward Investment Plan published in 2020 and Scotland’s international trade and investment agency, Scottish Development International, has been promoting the country’s fintech strengths in target markets across the world. Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Economy Kate Forbes said: “The Scottish Government welcomes the expansion of the ClearScore Group into Edinburgh, this move will bring a significant number of secure, high-value jobs to the city and further strengthen Scotland’s position as a leading hub for Digital Financial Services. “ClearScore’s decision to invest highlights the appeal of Scotland’s dynamic, vibrant Fintech ecosystem, highly skilled talent pool, and access to world-class universities. “We look forward to supporting ClearScore’s ambitions in Scotland as the company scales up its offering to a growing user base.” Money Dashboard is a market leader in Open Banking data, with a leading technology stack and categorisation engine. This acquisition will help the Group deliver further innovative services to users through the ClearScore and DriveScore apps. Furthermore, the acquisition provides an entry for ClearScore into the exciting and rapidly growing alternative data space.

6 Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 Apr22539 Most Dedicated Cultural NPO Funding Organization - USA he world – especially in recent years – has become an increasingly difficult place to live in. Tactics employed by the divisive media, politics, and financial status have caused a rupture in society, leading to intolerance, hate, and anxiety rearing their heads. However, the world isn’t all like this. Indeed, beneath the vitriol spewed on social media, the fake news, and instability, there is hope. There are people across the globe who are pushing for the betterment of society, who hope to reintroduce community, care, and positivity back into towns and cities. Non-profit organisations are a primary example of this force for good. Be it advocating for the environment, animals, or the vulnerable, nonprofits are centred around improving life and society for no monetary or superficial gain. According to Finances Online, there are nearly two million non-profit organisations and 501(c)(3) charities in the United States, and over 180,000 charities in the United Kingdom. Projects developed by these organisations are typically funded by public donations; however, they can also be supported by non-profit funding organisations. Each year, Puffin Foundation West, LTD, a conduit foundation, supplies grants to a range of non-profit applicants. Opening its doors more than a decade ago, the organisation has aided thousands of non-profit organisations in making an impact in driving society towards an enlightened and more peaceful place to live and grow. In essence, Puffin Foundation West embodies hope. Through its work, it is trying to lift people from despair, hunger, fear, homelessness, violence, loneliness, and evils like bullying, ageism, racism, and the many issues that are epidemic in the USA. Specialising in the arts, Puffin West Foundation focuses primarily upon non-profits that spawn a discussion. Moreover, the organisation opts to deliver grassroots grant awards to non-profits whose purpose is to reach across biases and create dialogues that are peaceably transforming, educational, and forward-thinking. It believes that the arts are a universal language through which change can be implemented, biases can be challenged, and repressed narratives can be heard without interruption. As such, through focusing on this T area, Puffin West Foundation is aiding the most marginalised groups in society – allowing them to establish or amplify their own voice. The stories of those who have faced discrimination, violence, and repression deserve to be told. This is, essentially, what Puffin West Foundation’s mission encompasses. It actively works against the ideas formed by social media, the news, and biases, to rebuild or create new connections between communities. Java Kitrick, the organisation’s director, describes this connection as ‘rainbow-colored fabrics that [bind] us all together.’ Such ideas, over the years, have torn these fabrics apart. Consequently, Puffin West Foundation serves as an egalitarian organisation, believing that in order to move forward, it is imperative for history, culture, and traditions to be shared peacefully, with respect, and without judgement. In turn, it cannot be an organisation that supports handgun violence, rioting, terrorism, destruction of private property, and gross intolerance. These elements fundamentally go against everything that the company stands for – Puffin Foundation West firmly believes that each upcoming generation should harbour an understanding that oppressing people – no matter their race, gender, or age – is inherently wrong. This belief is abundantly clear throughout the organisation’s work. Puffin Foundation West has worked with a diverse group of non-profits over the years, ranging from performance companies to state parks. These organisations have found Puffin Foundation West on their own accord, as Puffin Foundation West does not advertise its services. Clients are attracted to the non-profit because of its devotion to its morals – Puffin Foundation West will not deviate from its ethos for anyone, no matter how prestigious the enquirer may be. Therefore, this plays a key role in the organisation’s selective awards process. When Puffin Foundation West receives an application, it pictures the people that the grant will serve and how its grassroots granting can help. Every application is thoroughly analysed – with both the pros and the cons coming into consideration – prior to their acceptance. Be it The arts are a powerful way to send a message – music, literature, theatre, fine-art, and more, are consumed by people daily. Puffin Foundation West is a non-profit funding organisation that supports cultural and artistic projects, such as prison choirs, dance performances, and the provision of instruments to school children. In operation since 2010, Puffin Foundation West has contributed in abundance to the betterment of society – and it only plans to continue.

Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 7 Most Dedicated Cultural NPO Funding Organization - USA

8 Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 a typed document, or a handwritten note in crayon, Puffin Foundation West takes each application seriously. As Java Kitrick states, ‘we are NOT the National Endowment for the ARTS.’ Everyone’s goals, dreams, and ambitions are taken seriously – ‘We have railroaded over the cliff as a people, as people forgot that we all once had a DREAM.’ As a result, Puffin Foundation West’s portfolio is highly diverse, and filled with important organisations. One leading example is that of Photo Voice, a non-profit organisation that originates in the United Kingdom, which gives cameras to particular groups to record their stories. Puffin Foundation West provided the organisation with a grant that enabled the provision of cameras to a number of trafficked young women, which resulted in the women documenting their lives over the course of a few weeks, many of these photos-with permission-were exhibited in a gallery. A young girl, aged only 14, was sat on the steps to her house when she witnessed a fatal drive-by shooting. Her school came together and decided to clean up the area, removing litter, and making the street habitable for its residents. In the grand scheme of things, this was a small action; however, it had a notable, positive impact on the street’s residents. Puffin Foundation West was contacted by the local neighbourhood centre who asked for a grant to hire a sculptor. The artist created a wire-mesh, life-sized sculpture of a native, wild buffalo, within which, the garbage collected was placed. This sculpture is one of three in the city that Puffin Foundation West has funded. In addition, Puffin Foundation West has had a great amount of experience contributing to prison-oriented projects. It is undisputed that the United States’ legal system is flawed – according to the Prison Policy Initiative, the US has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. This is further supported by Statista’s research that shows that as of May 2021, the United States had the highest prisoner rate, with 639 prisoners per 100,000 of the national population. In 2020, 2.12 million people were held in American prisons – in comparison, China’s prison population reached an estimated 1.71 million people that year. A significant project that Puffin Foundation West funded was centred around former inmates that faced homelessness. The ex-inmates were brought together via a theatre organisation that allowed each man to tell their stories within the framework of a play – not only is this cathartic, but it also provides them with support that they may not have elsewhere. They build skills creating set pieces, lighting, sound, and costumes, and are provided with the opportunity to take part in a performance for a paying audience. Furthermore, Puffin Foundation West has funded a similar organisation that goes into prisons and establishes choirs. This project was exceptionally beneficial, as music is known to have a great effect on the psyche and is often used as a from of therapy. Cleveland Clinic confirms that music therapy displays a positive impact psychologically, emotionally, physically, spiritually, cognitively, and socially. It has been shown to improve memory, lower blood pressure, enhance self-regulation, and much more. Additionally, Puffin Foundation West has worked on a project that focuses on dance – the inmates are encouraged to express their emotions through movement, but they are not allowed to touch. Puffin Foundation West’s most recent venture comes in the form of the project, which has been designed to start a virtual movement across the United States. Inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt, a project that began in 1985 and has culminated in a 54-ton tapestry that includes nearly 50,000 panels dedicated to more than 110,000 individuals. The project hopes to have a similar impact. ‘We want to show the world that the American flag is not just a symbol. Instead, we are a UNITED people who are loving, stalwart, caring, compassionate, empathetic, have integrity, are loving and we are kind. We have forgiveness, respect, we are thoughtful and considerate, responsible, devoted, friendly, warm, and sympathetic, concerned, reverent, faithful, and so on. We are sure you can come up your own words that demonstrate our wonderful qualities as egalitarian people through 50 million stories, be they long or short, drawn or photographed,’ writes Java Kitrick in the projects mission statement. The project hopes to cultivate a virtual highway that displays positivity, radiating the positive aspects of life across the United States. Additions must be written respectfully; however, they do not need to include names. Simply, all the writers must include is where they are from, be it north, south, east, or west, and share positive news or stories. Java finishes the mission statement by exclaiming that there is ‘strength in numbers.’

Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 9 Java Kitrick has been mentioned numerous times throughout this article, but who is the woman behind the organisation? Establishing the foundation in 2010, Java strives to integrate the arts into communities, with the overall aim to bolster the conversations surrounding social issues. She is hugely passionate about the organisations cause and has devoted herself to furthering Puffin Foundation West’s work. In 2019, Finances Online writes, nine organisations from the top nonprofits in the US reported investment incomes of more than $100 million. Yet most non-profits do not see this type of income – for example, Puffin Foundation West possesses a corpus of $5 million. Statistics published by The NonProfit Times shows that across the top 100 non-profits in the United States, public donations contributed to approximately $44.6 billion in income. Considering that there are over 1.8 million non-profit organizations in the US, this is a great amount of income for a small handful of charities. Henceforth, this emphasises the need for organisations such as Puffin Foundation West. The organisation provides non-profits that fly under the radar or receive limited public funding to fulfil their important work. Indeed, it reduces the financial burden on smaller non-profits, allowing them to freely contribute to the communities within which they operate. Puffin Foundation West’s work is vital. The importance of the organisation’s work was further emphasised by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic had an enormous impact across a multitude of industries, forcing many to temporarily – or in some cases, permanently – close their doors. The charitable sector around the globe was shaken by the turbulent period. CAF America conducted a study documenting the Covid-19 crisis’ ramifications across 544 organisations throughout 93 countries, and its findings were telling. 94.84% of the contributors stated that there was an immediate impact on their organisations when restrictions were introduced, which is backed by 96.50% of respondents agreeing that Covid-19 had negative consequences for their organisation. Financial securitywas anoverwhelming challenge for theorganisations, with 97.4% projecting a decrease in their funding between March 2020 and 2021. This was, perhaps, an inevitability considering the redistribution of government funding and the priorities of individuals changing. 41% of the respondents expected their funding to drop more than 21%, with a select few organisations forecasting alarming rates of reduced funding by as much as 50%, 70%, or even 100%. Going forward, it can be assumed that Puffin Foundation West will be devoting many of its awards to aiding non-profits out of this hole. As of 2022, however, it is only supplying grants to virtual performances or projects that do not involve the gathering of people. It believes in science, noting the fact that vaccination does not guarantee total protection, or mean that the virus cannot be spread. Puffin Foundation West will not contribute to projects that could potentially cause harm or even death. In lieu of this, its work will continue with a focus on digital projects, and Puffin Foundation West will continue to support and promote connection, kindness, and peace. Contact: Java Kitrick Company: PUFFIN FOUNDATION WEST, LTD. Web Address: Most Dedicated Cultural NPO Funding Organization - USA

10 Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 Apr22110 Leading the New Frontier of Private Investment Management Industry FinTech, the ‘Best Fund Administration’ for 2022 in Florida, has made a name for itself across the United States of America with its front-running, highly technologically enabled, and legally compliant services. By giving its entrepreneurs and private firms access to new and innovative ways to manage capital raising and private funding – abolishing the usual amount of red tape and gate-keeping that is so often involved – it is shaping the future of its industry one client at a time. tech-enabled, turn-key, 3rd party administration and backoffice services platform, Industry FinTech has been designed for private firms that are supported by private investors. In short, its efforts are accomplished through its online platform, an on-demand solution for Funds, SPVs, investment companies, startups, and private entities wishing to scale up quicker and easier whilst reducing costs. Nominally – and in full compliance with critical industry rules and regulations – IFT acts as a trusted 3rd party support network to investors, making sure that corporate controls are maintained, innovation reports are handled in a timely manner, and every professional who needs them are provided with the correct reports and analytics. Thus, IFT has successfully created a business that brings standards, transparency, and trust to the world of private capital. This has been a huge step forward for the industry in the macro scale, as it is so often a sector that is mired in mystery and buried behind miles of red tape; IFT bucks this trend in favour of standing behind entrepreneurs as the primary drivers of innovation and growth in the United States, helping them to build and maintain the internal back-office infrastructure that would allow them to achieve sophisticated, private capital sources. With this invaluable support of the growth of a company’s infrastructure in mind, it is easy to see how IFT has quickly become a favourite of entrepreneurs all over the country, bringing them together with private capital partners in order to foster more sustainable, healthier growth. In general, therefore, its clients come to it through networking, and through being referred by attorneys and accountants alike to those who need its help. This allows it to differentiate itself from its peers, as right from the very start a customer can see the trust its fellow professionals put in it, and it is often recommended based on its ability to drive down costs whilst improving performance. Critically, a low-cost but high-innovation philosophy is what has allowed it to keep nimble and flexible in its solutions, whilst still being friendly to start-ups and budding businesses who may not have the level of revenue enjoyed by more established companies in their field. These purveyors of the new and innovative contemporary business scene also appreciate its ability to speak their language. Unlike so many of its competitors hoping to help companies design processes through A which they can accept private capital, it has a true understanding of the importance of integrating new technologies into itself. Remaining at the head of the pack thanks to this dedication to innovation, it implements the latest and greatest new processes in order to foster an attitude of ‘out with the old, in with the new’, hoping to inspire the rest of its industry in the macro scale to start taking a similar approach. Crucially, as with all things, IFT wishes to lead from the front. Operating with a simpler, more effective, and more efficient approach to each of its platform’s processes, it has been able to build a compliant and perfectly operable service the can grow and maintain itself without the need to replace or rebuild expensive new infrastructure within a client’s own business. Moreover, it also bucks the need for costly, long-term professional service contracts, as IFT can work quickly and reliably to provide the client exactly what the need, and be on hand for support on an asneeded basis. The IFT team has built itself up from this philosophy. The professionals found within its ranks are each of them incredibly helpful, charismatic, intelligent, and forthright, ready and willing to go the extra mile to help a client and to ensure that their backoffice infrastructure is sound. Its pillars of excellence, dedication, and dependability have allowed it to cultivate this kind of attitude – one that its clients universally applaud – and one which allows the staff to support the client and each other impeccably. Highly motivated, highly dedicated, and high achievers, it has its own culture of entrepreneurship within the business proper. This ensures that it can understand the professionals it works with on a fundamental level, getting right into the nitty gritty of their wishes and requirements in order to show a comprehensive understanding of what will aid them in their future growth. IFT’s team, therefore, is what has driven it to such great heights of success, heights that continue to develop alongside the industry proper. Indeed, the growth of the wider sector has presented both challenge and opportunity to IFT throughout the years, but in the coming times it hopes to work together with its peers to see that the rising tide lifts all ships. As one of the leading companies providing technological 3rd party administration services, it has found itself in a better

Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 11 The Future of Italian Venture Building position than ever to be able to do this, building itself better and more effective approaches such as new remote working innovations to help it adapt to Covid-19, a service that it has since been able to extend out to its clients. With such great protocols in mind, and a private client third party administration platform on the horizon, it looks forward to leveraging its technology and expertise in order to support Family Offices in the same way that it supports entrepreneurs. Between this, its past work, and the further innovations that are surely on the way, it is only fair to end this article with a hearty ‘watch this space.’ Company: Industry FinTech Contact: Sandy Fliderman Website:

12 Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 Apr22186 The Best Innovations for the Best Metalwork aving been in operation since 1963, Retech is a company emboldened by the knowledge of the past and the innovation of the future. Its industry, the global metallurgy sector, is demanding and ever-changing, and thus Retech has dedicated itself to keeping its finger on the pulse of these changing demands and developments so that it can continue to be competitive and relevant to what its customers need. Since its inception, Retech’s advanced processes and technologies have been bought and used by the foremost experts in melting, refining, and casting reactive and refractory metals, from titanium and titanium alloys, super alloys, and rare earth metals. As expected, this has all empowered it in its mission to become the premier supplier of equipment for advanced thermal metal processing in controlled atmospheres. In addition, Retech has pioneered new applications for electron beam cold hearth melting, plasma cold hearth melting, and cold wall induction, showing its industry its adaptability when it comes to the types of systems and their applications. Having developed a critically important solutions for its industry in the Rototrode non-consumable arc and Plasma Arc Centrifugal Treatment – or PACT – it has garnered an outstanding reputation for engineering customised, tailor made, and reliable system products with unique metallurgical and geometric properties that are required by nature of the application. In terms of the Retech mission, it has been focused on the creation of innovative products that provide customers with the safest, most dependable, and most environmentally responsible metallurgical solutions on the market. Critically, it recognises that this is a mission with goalposts that are ever-shifting due to the exponential nature of innovations, and it is excited by this fact, always looking to improve, develop, and grow both as a company as well as a dedicated group of professionals who are passionate about metalwork. With the experience of its employees, the co-operation of its business partners, and the support of its customer base, it is the Retech promise that every product it delivers will be safe, efficient, and effective. Essentially, this is a point of honor for the team behind Retech, and something it seeks to show by operating with integrity in everything it does. This has earned it a huge amount of return customers for whom it is their trusted one-stop-shop for metallurgical machinery, with more new clients in the aerospace and defense industries coming to it daily. However, despite these traditional industries being the most common amongst its clientele, Retech has been seeing a growing interest in its H work from the medical and recycling industries, as well as those that use energy-intensive materials and powdered metals, many of whom are seeking more sustainable fabrication methods. Thus, its efforts in outreach are predominantly in relationship building with current clients, allowing them to become not just customers, but lifelong partners. Because of the focus on relationship building with customers, as an alternative to individual sales, Retech has a relatively small, but loyal, customer base when compared to many other industries. However, Working in one of the most demanding markets in the world, Retech has become a global leader in metallurgical processing equipment supply. In short, its technical acumen, customer service, and dedication to reliable machinery that its clients can trust has made it a true front-runner, allowing it to pull ahead of the competition to serve clients across the metalworking industry, including those working with super alloys and rare earth metals. Having successfully made itself the ‘Most Innovative Metallurgical Equipment Specialists’ in 2022 for the USA, it looks forward to continuing to take the international industry by storm.

Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 13 Architect in Embedded Physical IP this is not a pitfall, but a feature that commands respect, as it fosters the success of its customers through its relationships within niche markets and cultivates a small, specialist clientele that it will always go above and beyond for. Most current market participants in the niche fields it invests in have been, are, or will be Retech customers at some point, and its customizable nature has made it the best choice for companies with highly specific needs. Its skilled, dedicated, and dependable staff often wear multiple hats, and are invigorated by the challenge of serving such a myriad of different clients, all of whom request hugely different things that tell a tale of their specific corporate mission. Therefore, it hires people who are exemplary team players and great communicators, as well as those who believe in pushing the envelope in an industry to continually make it a better place for both the employees within it and the end user of the created items. These people then go on to shape the culture into something comfortable, respectful, and diligent, something that has aided it in its staunch survival of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the niche nature of its industry, having only three key suppliers – of which Retech is one – it is profoundly affected by changes in supply and demand, both of which were impacted greatly during the outbreak and have been on a slow recovery ever since. Thus, working with airplane groundings, material issues, and a need for alternative production methods, Retech found a need to become more efficient and to cut the fat from many of its processes, a metamorphosis that has ultimately been to its benefit despite the initial tumult. This means that it is now able to continue empowering its work and improving its services, and that it will be continuing with its research and development, excited to dive into the nitty gritty of customers looking to capitalize on its capabilities. Company: Retech Contact: Christopher Jackson Website:

14 Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 Apr22289 First Impressions Count! Every website seems to have a chatbot nowadays, offering varied advice that is only occasionally helpful. Meet Parker is the solution for the mortgage, insurance and property world, taking this technology to the next level. We take a closer look at the team behind this stunning development in order to discover not only how they’ve done it, but how it is certain to become a stalwart of the industry for many years to come. he power of AI is only just being realised by businesses, both as a tool to enhance what is being offered and to allow employees to focus on specific tasks. The team at Meet Parker have not only realised the potential of AI in chat boxes, but have unleashed its own on behalf of the financial sector. Meet Parker is an evolution of what has gone before, offering a sophisticated solution to the standard chatbot or live-chat plugins often littered throughout Financial Services. This intelligent assistant is the ideal partner to most businesses, treating every customer fairly in a way which they often don’t anticipate. Meet Parker is programmed with a host of mortgage and insurance products, rates lending criteria as well as information on the majority of the UK’s mortgage lenders and property market. The benefit of AI is that this information can be interpreted through an intelligence layer within the program. Meet Parker is powered by some of the best machine learning in the world and programmed with mortgage terminology, acronyms and phrases. Having learned how customers want to engage with it, it is able to adapt and overcome problems that arise. Meet Parker gives growing businesses the capacity to handle 100,000 enquiries a month without having to recruit new staff or slow down chat times. The clients that turn to Meet Parker are primarily lenders and mortgage brokers, with a property solution recently deployed. This has been designed to help estate agents and developers offer an experience that is seamless for both renters and prospective buyers. The flexibility of Meet Parker as a system means that it has incredible appeal in a range of different markets. Meet Parker was a firm that began during the pandemic, and in many ways it is still trying to deal with the problems presented by it. At its heart was the need for a better solution for the financial services sector in terms of digital engagement. One of the biggest difficulties facing the team came in the form of working out which service systems could be catered for by Meet Parker. Businesses have relied upon Zoom, Teams, Slack and Google Meet to name but a few and it’s important that Meet Parker fit every business it is part of. The team has built numerous integrations, some of which are harder than others, to reach the widest range of people. As the situation has returned to a new sort of normal, the team are still tackling the challenges of the pandemic, with coworking and video communications methods being the norm. The teamwork that has ensured the success of Meet Parker has come from a commitment to the product. Those who are hired for the T firm are often recommended from within the team, to ensure a good team fit. As such, no one is ever a stranger. The future is one which embraces the potential of technology to benefit everyone. Looking ahead, the team at Meet Parker has plans to help transform the house buying process, from sourcing a flat to helping brokers field complex enquiries. The heart of this dynamic program is that it helps to connect seekers with experts. It’s an invaluable service that takes the strain from businesses that are moving into the digital age. Modern problems demand modern solutions, and that’s precisely what this team aims to bring to the financial services sector. Company: Meet Parker Name: Freddie Savundra Email: [email protected] Web Address:

Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 15 EPEA Switzerland GmbH supports companies by developing and implementing Cradle to Cradle Design Concepts and is accredited assessor for the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Certification. Its experienced, internationally oriented, and interdisciplinary working management team specialise in executing these projects across all industries globally. Acquisition International has recognised the company as Best Specialist Cradle to Cradle Products & Services Provider – 2022, so we take a closer look at how it is positively impacting the planet, one completely upcycled product at a time. Apr22329 PEA Switzerland’s clients are leaders in their specific expertise, and they are always searching for innovative solutions – EPEA Switzerland is a company able to provide them with professional expertise on cradle to cradle and circular economy. The company believes that we all have a responsibility towards future generations to provide them with safe, circular, good quality and sufficient quantity of resources, so they can design their own products based on their individual values. EPEA Switzerland supports companies, brands to develop products with the aim of maintaining the quality of raw materials over multiple lifecycles, taking the production processes, the use, and the reutilisation into account. This means no waste. And only pure, assessed safe chemicals are used. Cradle to Cradle Certified® owned by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is the most ambitious, actionable standard yet for designing and making products today which enable a healthy, equitable, and sustainable tomorrow. Additionally, it is regarded as the most trusted and advanced science-based standard for reaching a new quality dimension while ensuring high economic value as well as no environmental damage. The goal is to strive for a new level of quality and safety in endless cycles. Indeed, it is the company’s team that makes this all happen, with EPEA Switzerland’s CEO, Albin Kaelin saying, “A team is more capable than an individual, and that eye-level communication together with professionalism enables the valuable respect to create an open-minded culture.” But none of it comes without its challenges. Supply chains have proven to be one, since they are global, complex, dependent, and fragile. However, EPEA Switzerland’s Supply Chain Domino Knowledge Transformation methodology speeds up the project time, taking it down to 12 months. And with covid forcing it to move from physical presence to digital, the company has become stronger than ever before. E Ultimately, if businesses continue to do business like it is done today, there will be no future; as Albin says, it will be “cradle to grave”. He goes on to say, “We need cradle to cradle. Circular economy will become legislation in the EU member states. Business will get a new framework. Do the homework now and become a winner.” Company: EPEA Switzerland GmbH Contact: Albin Kaelin Email: [email protected] Website: Social Media: epeaswitzerland Cradle to Cradle Certified® is a registered trademark of the C2CPII Cradle to Cradle® is a registered trademark of MBDC Cradle to Cradle Design Innovations, Rethinking the Way We Make Things

16 Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 Apr22287 Best Enterprise Retail Software Provider 2022 – Canada Jesta I.S. is a global developer and supplier of integrated cloud-based software which is 100% focused on manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers specializing in fashion apparel, footwear, housewares, and consumer discretionary industries. For 53 years, the company has been providing end-to-end solutions to streamline clients’ day-to-day operations throughout their entire supply chain while keeping their customers at the forefront. In light of Jesta I.S. achieving such extraordinary success as Best Enterprise Retail Software Provider 2022 – Canada in this issue of Acquisition International, we take a closer look at what it can do for clients. ver the course of more than five decades, Jesta I.S. has organically grown to provide complete ERP, supply chain, store, and omnichannel solutions. Its portfolio runs in the cloud and provides tools to manage clients’ enterprise data regarding their customers, sales, inventory, orders, and supply chain, whether local or overseas. Realtime access to data is critical, so Jesta’s solutions enable clients to gain critical insights into changing business dynamics, and to make immediate adjustments in response to shifts in demand, sourcing of goods, and overall scheduling. This provides tremendous flexibility and agility in a global supply chain that leverages a network of off-shore and near-shore distributors and partners. Since its inception, Jesta has evolved in response to the changing retail and fashion landscape and embodies a holistic view of the overall product lifecycle, and how retailers and brands can best satisfy current consumer needs and expectations. Jesta has grown alongside some of the biggest retail and wholesale brands, with an impressive global footprint of some of the world’s best-known brands. Not one to stand still, Jesta I.S. has continued to navigate a steep curve of innovation, helping clients in their transition to the new world of digitization. When working with a client, Jesta goes well beyond building a typical transactional relationship but establishes a long-term value-based partnership that begins with an understanding of each company’s unique needs and requirements and extends to the realization of a solution that allows each client to truly differentiate themselves in the market. The beneficiary being the consumer themselves. Jesta’s President, Arvind Gupta says, “Jesta truly sees tremendous value in partnerships. We are not looking for a transactional relationship but are hoping to become fully engaged in each unique business in order to ensure success.” Fashion brands, clothing, and footwear are in the customer discretionary space where consumers do not need to buy anything but would like to. As a result, they are most often seeking convenience and experience. Arvind explains, “Any brand today O must offer a holistic shopping experience that addresses both online and in-store engagement, and to provide capabilities that make the experience memorable. This is the core of our client base. They are typically beyond the early stages of growth and are hitting an entirely new trajectory and look up to us as their partner in the realization of business goals. Our clients find great value in our partnership because they see a commitment to innovation and agility, but also a commitment to understanding their unique business. Thus, allowing them to navigate whatever challenges or growth opportunities they may face. Whether going into other global markets, opening new channels, or accelerating their digitization journeys, Jesta is there to assist.” The partnership that Jesta offers is based on years of experience. While many technology companies offer ERP solutions, Jesta stands out from the crowd by recognizing the unique needs of the retail and wholesale fashion industry. For over 50 years, Jesta stayed focused on retail and wholesale as they recognize the unique challenges of the industry. One size does not fit all, and retail and fashion have very specific needs that other industries do not. Jesta’s success has been based on the recognition that decades of real-world experience and relationship building have positioned them to comprehend and appreciate the unique nature of the industry, and the ability to appreciate not only what the consumer is asking for today, but what they might be asking for in the future. With the challenges of today’s marketplace, kinks in the supply chain armour are becoming apparent. In fact, they are becoming magnified. But many of the challenges highlighted today could have been mitigated. While supply chains are getting more and more intertwined and complex, practical solutions can be deployed that minimize the impact of this complexity. Flexible supply chain and flexible logistics approaches can be deployed to address the broader question of “what if”. What if a shipment is delayed? What if it is a partial shipment? What if items are damaged? All of these can be addressed with a structured approach to the overall supply chain, and a templated process to address these unknowns.

Acquisition International - Issue 6 2022 17 Best Enterprise Retail Software Provider 2022 – Canada Jesta is one of the few companies today that has grown its capabilities holistically, rather than through acquisition. As a result, all solutions within the portfolio work as one but can be deployed in a modular fashion as well. The Vision Suite offers a complete endto-end solution, as well as a modular plug-and-play approach to addressing the needs of each client whether retailer, fashion brand manufacturer or wholesaler. This ensures continuity and gives the client comfort in knowing that the same team is with them throughout the implementation, on-boarding, go-live, and beyond. Jesta prides itself in the composition of its staff. With a majority of the team (known as Jestonians), coming from either retail, fashion, wholesale, or retail & fashion technology enterprises. Jesta boasts hundreds of years of combined experience, with a plethora of experience on the front lines, providing a first-hand perspective of both needs, and approaches to address these demands. They have the ability to navigate the heavily complex supply chains, and in Arvind’s words, they are “by far the biggest asset Jesta has.” Indeed, the Jesta team is always challenging itself, with Arvind saying, “Even though we are 53 years old, we consider ourselves a young start-up. There’s a tremendous entrepreneurial spirit that permeates the organization. This approach, while often disruptive, is in fact a key component of success. This environment translates into some really creative ideas and innovation.” So, how does the Jesta team go about facing challenges, as for example the covid-19 pandemic? Arvind tells us, “When the pandemic hit, and the world changed overnight, three things came to the surface for every business. First, was the need for agility. Having the ability to rapidly identify ways to offer the same service, experience, and convenience to the customer when the customer, and associate for that matter, was unable to physically interact with the products. The digital nature of the Jesta products enabled considerable agility. Some clients were forced to shut down stores but were still able to conduct business due to the digital nature of the solutions, and the shift toward digital demand.” The second challenge is labour. As physical stores closed due to the pandemic, associates found alternative options. Once they began to reopen, the prior staff was dramatically reduced. Arvind went on to say, “We are navigating one of the most interesting times in that the labour market has never been tighter. Businesses are wanting to do more with less. The Vision Suite enables our clients to do just this, through automated and streamlined business processes. While technologies were moving in this overall direction, the pandemic most certainly accelerated the shift toward digital retail and omnichannel, or unified commerce. Our ability to address these challenges rapidly was a key to our success, and that of our clients.” Finally, the need to look for alternative sourcing of goods became apparent. Most businesses have modified their strategies to address inventory needs toward alternative sources, and perhaps more importantly, near-shore resources that move the goods closer to the customer and minimize time to delivery. Jesta is an ambitious and thriving company that is guided by an understanding of the future. While they have a five-year plan, they approach this timeline in an iterative manner in order to remain as flexible and agile as possible. The same drivers that accelerated the Vision Suite platform during the pandemic are still very much in play. The importance of the supply chain has been spotlighted, and this is an area of focus that Jesta is more than ready to address. Arvind says, “Consumer engagement has been changing over the years, and the pandemic has served to accelerate the process. We believe these changes will continue over the next few years, and the purpose and vision of the store will continue to evolve. It will no longer be TikTok versus going to the store. Shopping is going to blend in with entertainment, gamification, social events, and more.” He also observes that supply chains are going through a major reckoning. Right now, it takes 100+ days for a container to leave a factory in China and arrive at a warehouse in North America – and that is after the goods have been produced. This cycle is not sustainable, so as things change and supply chains get nearer shore, Jesta plans to take its cloud-based supply chain framework to a whole new level that allows the supplier to become agile and deliver products to the customer in a matter of weeks, if not days. Arvind explains, “While Just in Time inventory has been a concept for years, for countless retailers and brands, they still source goods in the Far East. Due to the current supply chain issues, there is a move to identify suppliers that are more localized. Businesses are beginning to recognize that customers are willing to pay a little bit more if you are producing a product closer to home. As a result, we are seeing that we need to enable a larger platform ecosystem for this localized supply chain to deliver products and services for our clients to the consumer in a very, very narrow timeframe.” And we are rooting for the company as it heads toward its bright and innovative future. Company: Jesta I.S. Contact: Mr Arvind Gupta Email: [email protected] Website: