Surrey city entrepreneurs going global

July 2, 2014

Surrey City Entrepreneurs Going Global

July 2014 (BIV) – FINCAD, Conquer Mobile and Emergo discuss their decision to locate in Surrey.

“Someone once said to me, ‘You know, being in Surrey isn’t a very fashionable part of the Lower Mainland,’” Fincad CEO Bob Park said from his office in Whalley’s Central City Tower, where the financial analytics software firm has been headquartered for a decade.

The suburb hasn’t quite cultivated the chic image carried by London or New York, two cities in which Fincad opened branch offices this past May in the midst of double-digit revenue growth.

But in the last few months at least two other tech firms have been lured to Surrey, in part due to city hall’s recent development of the Innovation Boulevard tech business centre.

Park said Fincad was fortunate in that it moved to the area before it was known as Innovation Boulevard and retooled its software platforms just before the 2008 financial crisis.

When it launched 24 years ago, Fincad was mainly offering desktop tools designed for financial professionals. In 2006, the company began looking to math whizzes with Wall Street experience to collaborate with software developers designing more complex enterprise-valuation and risk-analytics platforms.

“The risk-management tools and techniques that were being used before the financial crisis were not up to the task,” Park said, adding that software sales ground to halt in the months after the meltdown.

But by the spring of 2009, the market opened up for the more complex risk-analysis software Fincad had begun developing before the crisis.

Park said the company’s revenue grew by 20% last year, which helped convince Fincad that it needed more worldwide offices.

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