Ovation Payroll – Ovation Payroll Acquired by Heartland Payment Systems #ovation, #ovation #payroll, #e-chx,
Acquisition designed to speed Ovation growth with sale to Heartland Payment Systems
For years, Anthony Tortorella has been searching for the opportunity to take Ovation Payroll Inc. into what he calls hyper-accelerated growth. That opportunity presented itself in the form of Heartland Payment Systems Inc. One of the nation s largest payments processors, Heartland has agreed to acquire Ovation. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
For Tortorella, Ovation s president and CEO, the acquisition is a chance for his company to accelerate growth using Heartland s built-in nationwide distribution channel. It also brings more staffers. Ovation will take on more than 100 employees from Heartland, bringing total employment to more than 300. Heartland Payroll Services offers customizable payroll processing products, including an employee self-service portal and a paperless offering with standard direct deposit and prepaid card options.
The company is the sixth-largest payments processor in the United States. Its service areas include credit/debit/prepaid card processing, loyalty marketing services, payroll services and services to schools and colleges. Ovation, which until 2010 was known as E-chx Inc. is on the move. In the last few years, it has grown to more than 10,000 clients across 48 states and has been listed on the Inc. 5000 list of America s Fastest Growing Companies. Ovation also has offices in California and New York City. In 2011 it opened more offices in North Carolina and South Carolina, connecting to its hub around Atlanta and helping the company achieve 20 percent revenue growth that year. At the time of those openings, Tortorella said Ovation would look into moving into Texas and Florida once payroll distribution centers could be placed there.
I think Ovation became very attractive for Heartland because of our expansion that was going very well, Tortorella said. Heartland had their existing payroll business and wanted to be able to accelerate its growth, and acquire a leadership team and a process and procedure payroll company that fit into their strategy to grow across the country.
Ovation s leadership team will remain in Rochester, and the company will absorb Heartland s existing payroll centers. The sales force at Ovation will grow, Tortorella added. The company currently has 30 sales staffers, each of whom finds about 100 clients a year, he said. Ovation now hopes to increase that payroll staff to some 100 sales representatives. Because of the growth, Ovation is looking to expand its office space in Rochester. Tortorella said the company is looking to expand its Brighton headquarters and find new space. The deal lets both companies keep their brand identities, Tortorella noted.
My expectations are that we position Heartland and Ovation Payroll as a payroll provider choice for clients looking for a full-time, dedicated payroll service provider, Tortorella said. We have the jet fuel now to do that, and I m thrilled about expanding that and our service personnel.
The Princeton, N.J.-based Heartland expects to leverage sales leads from Ovation s affinity partner network and enhance its product and service offerings, Heartland officials said. Integrating Ovation Payroll within Heartland will allow us to further market the advantages of being the only large, public, highly service-oriented, merchant advocate payroll provider offering three-year price lock agreements, said David Gilbert, president of the hospitality group at Heartland Payment Systems.
The consolidated payroll business now will serve more than 22,000 clients. Heartland officials believe this greater scale will offer merchants the ability to save money and increase productivity by creating one partner that bundles an enhanced payroll service platform with payments processing and other solutions.
A Fortune 1000 company, Heartland has been involved in public advocacy education about fair credit card and debit card processing services. The company also has been a leader in developing encryption technology designed to protect cardholder data and to secure against identity theft.
I think it s kind of a marriage made in heaven, Tortorella said. Both companies are very fulfilled by this acquisition.
Story reprinted with the permission of the Rochester Business Journal