SAS acquires Kamakura Corporation to support Risk Technology

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Global AI and analytics leader SAS has acquired Honolulu based Kamakura Corporation. Privately held Kamakura provides specialized software, data and consulting that helps financial organizations across the spectrum banks, insurance companies, asset managers, pension funds and more manage a variety of financial risks.  

SAS’ investment decision comes as post-pandemic optimism is shadowed by war, unyielding supply chain disruption, and the end of many pandemicera financial and social safety net programs. Rising inflation and recession rumblings have emerged as dark clouds on the global economic horizon, signaling potential turbulence ahead a time for financial services organizations large and small to closely examine the liquidity risk and other risks in their portfolios.

SAS co-founder and CEO Jim Goodnight Image:Source

“This acquisition is an extension of tremendous investments already made in SAS’ cloud-ready risk management platform and integrated solutions,” said SAS co-founder and CEO Jim Goodnight. “It signals our intent to advance market-changing risk solutions to solve the most pressing challenges our financial services customers face. We foresee that the resulting strength of SAS technology, paired with Kamakura’s risk analytics and credit models, will prove far greater than the sum of its parts.” 

In acquiring Kamakura, SAS aims to deliver an unparalleled suite of integrated risk solutions, particularly around asset liability management (ALM), and serve additional facets of the financial services industry.

Sidhartha Dash, Research Director at Chartis Image:Source

“The synergistic value in the melding of two highly complementary risk technology portfolios is undeniable to anyone familiar with SAS and Kamakura; it’s like joining matching puzzle pieces,” said Sidhartha Dash, Research Director at Chartis. “Merging Kamakura’s strengths robust ALM and interest rate risk capabilities, proprietary and sophisticated credit models, and risk data – with SAS’ award-winning capabilities in credit risk management and risk and finance integration on SAS Viya is a powerful combination for solutions across the entire balance sheet.” 

A singular vision Kamakura is known for its pioneering vision and quantitative rigor. For more than three decades, it has specialized in software and risk management data for the banking and insurance sectors, currently delivered through two offering Kamakura Risk Manager (KRM). KRM is among the most advanced, fully integrated risk management systems for ALM on the market. The software offers transaction level valuation, simulation, stress testing and cashflow analysis.

Kamakura Risk Information Services (KRIS). This cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) offering is a subscription data service that provides credit risk data and analytics that help companies and countries forecast credit spreads and calculate default probabilities based on proprietary models. 

The acquisition will bring these solutions’ capabilities into the SAS fold, along with Kamakura’s executives, leadership team, employees and contractors a noteworthy accumulation of specialized quantitative risk expertise that would take years to assemble in market.  

Two sides of the same coin Kamakura specifically chose SAS over other potential acquisition suitors based on alignment in the companies’ data-driven, research-oriented cultures and their mutual excellence in modeling and analytics, according to Kamakura Chairman and CEO Don van Deventer, who founded the company in 1990.  

SAS and Kamakura share the same philosophy, he said that successfully managing financial risk, while optimizing returns and meeting regulatory requirements, demands industry-leading research, sound analytics, fully integrated applications, flawless execution, and quantifiable results. 

“Joining the SAS family represents an exciting new chapter in Kamakura’s 32-year history,” said van Deventer. “In combination, our like cultures will produce synergies that fuel customer and marketplace innovation. More concretely, adding SAS’ cloud-native Viya technology, risk domain capabilities and intuitive, user-friendly interfaces to Kamakura’s IP will spawn a top-tier, market-changing ALM offering.” 

Alongside van Deventer, an acclaimed author of four risk books, Kamakura’s executive leadership team includes Research Director Robert Jarrow, renowned in the quantitative risk field for co-creating two prominent risk modeling frameworks

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