SAS Acquires Kamakura To Propel Risk Technology Innovation


The acquisition will enable SAS to grow its risk solutions portfolio

SAS has acquired Kamakura, a company that provides specialised software, data and consulting that helps financial organisations across the spectrum – banks, insurance companies, asset managers, pension funds and more – manage various financial risks.

SAS’ investment decision comes as post-pandemic optimism is shadowed by war, unyielding supply chain disruption, and the end of many pandemic-era financial and social safety-net programs.

“This acquisition is an extension of tremendous investments already made in SAS’ cloud-ready risk management platform and integrated solutions. It signals our intent to advance market-changing risk solutions to solve our financial services customers’ most pressing challenges. 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,” said Jim Goodnight, Co-founder and CEO, SAS.

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

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

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 modelling and analytics.

“Joining the SAS family represents an exciting new chapter in Kamakura’s 32-year history,” said van Deventer. “Together, 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,” said Don van Deventer,  Chairman and CEO, Kamakura.

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 modelling frameworks: the Heath-Jarrow-Morton interest rate model and the Jarrow-Turnbull reduced-form credit risk model. Both van Deventer and Jarrow, along with Kamakura COO Martin Zorn, will join SAS to help facilitate the transition and lead the development of future-forward ALM and integrated balance sheet offerings and other risk solution advances.

Troy Haines, Senior Vice President and Head of Risk Research and Quantitative Solutions at SAS said, “The fragmented and siloed ways financial organisations have traditionally done asset liability and balance sheet management are becoming cost-prohibitive and unsustainable. Augmenting and combining SAS’ decades-long expertise in risk management and finance solutions with Kamakura’s advanced capabilities in ALM will better support the industry’s computationally heavy regulatory risk burdens and promote data-driven decisioning.”