Apex Clearing Holdings LLC, the Dallas-based fintech behind a custody and clearing engine that’s powering the future of digital wealth management, has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Northern Star Investment Corp. II, a ‘blank check’ special purpose acquisition company.
With the closing of the transaction, Apex is expected to go public. The company would become listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol APX.
The deal with Northern Star gives Apex a total enterprise value of around $4.7 billion post-money. Once complete, it’s expected to provide up to $850 million of gross cash proceeds, according to a statement.
Apex’s digital solutions and products act as the infrastructure for an addressable market of more than $100 trillion in assets. To date, the company has provided custody for $14 billion in new assets, powered innovation for more than 200 clients, and opened more than 13 million customer accounts. In 2021 alone, it has already opened 3.2 million accounts, more than 1 million of them being crypto.
Described as the “fintech for fintechs,” Apex offers a secure, reliable digital custody and clearing platform that aims to drive transformation of the financial services industry. Apex Clearing gives clients—online brokerages, traditional wealth managers, wealth-tech, professional traders, and more—the ability to instantly open and fund an account, execute trades across a variety of asset classes, and streamline how to move digital assets.
The end goal? To bring financial services into the 21st century and make investing accessible for everyone.
“Apex combines modern technology, operational excellence, risk management, compliance and discipline to deliver dynamic, seamless and secure custody and clearing solutions for our global clients. Today, our business encompasses a comprehensive platform applying these founding principles to the full financial services spectrum,” Apex CEO William Capuzzi said in a statement.
“We are in the first inning of the digital revolution in financial services, and our merger with Northern Star will provide Apex with the resources and flexibility to accelerate our growth, scale our platform, and expand our offerings and market share alongside our clients.”
Last year, Apex generated operating revenues of around $236 million and adjusted EBITDA of about $86 million. The team plans to use proceeds from the deal to accelerate and support the build-out of their digital infrastructure platform. Its parent company is PEAK6, a financial technology company headquartered in Chicago.
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When the Northern Star merger is complete, Capuzzi and Apex President Tricia Rothschild will remain in their current roles at the combined company. Joanna Coles, the chairwoman and CEO at Northern Star, will join the combined company’s Board of Directors.
“Apex is the independent, invisible architecture that has helped launch many of the most notable fintech disruptors of our time, enabling the frictionless experiences we have all come to expect when interfacing with digital investing products,” Coles said in a statement. “Apex is at the nexus of the digital financial services revolution and is poised to thrive amid the powerful secular tailwinds and generational shift towards digitization of investment management.”
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