Abu Dhabi-based billionaire and owner of UAE Exchange B.R. Shetty has formed a new holding company called Finablr, consolidating all his financial services firms under one company.
The new company will leverage the strengths of its brands across financial services sector UAE Exchange, Travelex, Xpress Money and Remit2India. Finablr will have more than 18,000 employees handling more than 150 million customer transactions annually. It will have a direct presence in 45 countries and has a network reach across 165 countries.
The new company will be incorporated in the U.K.
Finablr has also set up an incubator Innovation Hubs or i-Hubs that will identify disruptive trends and provide solutions for them. The holding company’s investment arm will continue to carry out acquisitions within the financial services sector.
Shetty began the expansion of his financial services portfolio in 2015 when his firm BRS Ventures acquired Travelex for around $1.4 billion. The company later went on to acquire Remit2India that would help it expand further within the remittance space. UAE Exchange has also invested in smaller companies like digital gifting platform Swych and comparison website Souqalmal but with the latest structural change the process of investment would be a lot more streamlined, officials said
“With Finablr coming in we will structure this (investments),” said Promoth Manghat, Executive director at Finablr. “Operational companies like UAE Exchange and Travelex will have focus on incremental growth.”
Manghat added that with Finablr, the acquisition capability of the group will rise as it would have pooled its resources to leverage the strength of its various subsidiaries. UAE Exchange has continued to be an active investor in money transfer firms across various geographies. It has recently acquired money transfer firms in Singapore and South Africa while also investing in companies like Swych and Loyal that provides them with the digital capabilities.
Manghat said that more such deals are in the pipeline but did not reveal any further details.
Shetty had previously spoken about listing UAE Exchange but such a deal has yet to materialize. Manghat said that it is not completely off the table but it would be Finablr that would be floated instead of UAE Exchange.