Our Investment in Empyrean: A Modern Risk Management Solution


Apr 2021

Risk management is crucial for all types of businesses. The ability to make strategic bets while minimizing potential losses is what helps drive smart and sustainable growth. For financial institutions, managing risk is doubly important as they serve as custodians for all our collective funds – be they savings, investments or premiums we pay. Given the importance of these institutions, government oversight and regulations are strict and set a high bar for compliance.

In the aftermath of the last financial crisis, banks and credit unions have to maintain a holistic view of their sprawling business lines and identify any and all risks, in near real time. They have to be able to cover potential losses and minimize the risk to pools like loan portfolios and pension plans, by smartly matching assets and cashflows to the institution’s liabilities. As either side of the balance sheet changes, institutions need the ability to rapidly model how those changes impact financial health, liquidity, capital and earnings and keep them in compliance with regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, Innovation in this area has sorely lagged behind and incumbent solutions are dominated by technology built during the COBOL era.


Setting out to Provide a Complete Solution

Providing a complete solution to balance sheet and risk management for financial institutions is exactly what Chris Maclin (CEO), Thomas Rutledge (CTO and Co-Founder) and their entire team have set out to do at Empyrean Solutions – offering a robust asset and liability management (ALM) platform.

Empyrean is a comprehensive cloud-based solution purpose built for banks and credit unions, covering everything from liquidity stress testing, deposit analytics, balance sheet planning and capital planning & stress testing, among many other use cases. It provides the fastest, most efficient risk model (minutes / hours processing vs. overnight on legacy platforms) and an intuitive and simple user interface. It also leverages balance sheet data to create a centralized data repository which institutions can use to power new risk and budgeting modules.

Empyrean’s solution already helps power dozens of financial institutions of all sizes, ranging from those with less than US$5B in assets to those with more than US$50B. In an industry that mostly offers legacy ALM technology, Empyrean is a truly modern platform that offers speed, flexible cloud deployment options and has a robust pipeline for future product innovation.

ALM and risk are nothing new for the Empyrean team. Prior to co-founding the business, Thomas spent his entire 25-year career using technology to enable better risk and balance sheet management. He founded DollarMark Systems which was sold to SunGard, and built their ALM system, Monaco. Chris and the rest of the management team also bring decades of experience in risk and compliance having spent their careers at companies like Wolters Kluwer and SunGard / FIS, specifically focused on ALM solutions. As financial institutions look for modern software platforms to serve their risk management needs, this team has the skills, experience and expertise to execute in a way few can.

Over the last few months, we’ve had the opportunity to get to know Chris and his stellar team virtually (hoping to meet in-person as soon as we can!) and hear firsthand from customers, the value Empyrean brings to the table. Institutions are impressed by the model processing speeds, giving them the flexibility to adjust quickly, and the easy UI, letting them effectively cycle through modules and use cases. Empyrean also has a robust product roadmap and will look to add new risk and budgeting modules to best serve their roster of financial institutions.

For us at Information Venture Partners, we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Empyrean, given the company’s ability to meet a core need for financial institutions better than any incumbent, its strong management team with deep subject matter expertise and its product driven growth strategy. We look forward to helping them grow their North American presence and become a category leader in ALM and risk management solutions.

Dave, Jane, Hasan, Brendan and the Information Venture Partners team