Carmel-based Baker Hill accelerating growth with product launch, partnerships

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Carmel-based financial software firm Baker Hill this week announced a strategic partnership it said should accelerate the company’s growth and local employee base.

As part of the deal, Baker Hill will refer Tennessee-based Built Technologies’ construction loan management solution to its financial institution clients, which include some of the top banks and credit unions across the U.S., according to Baker Hill CEO John M. Deignan. And Built will recommend Baker Hill’s NextGen, a cloud-based loan-origination, risk-management and analytics solution, to its list of clients.

Many within the tech sector credit Built Technologies with bringing construction lending into the digital age and say the company’s client base is expanding. One source within the construction industry said large financial transactions—some worth millions of dollars—are still done on paper.

“There’s clearly a demand to be more efficient in this space,” Deignan said.

The agreement comes at a good time for Baker Hill, which has 200 employees—120 of which are based in central Indiana. The firm is releasing the newest version of its NextGen software at the end of this month. It’s the fifth in a five-phase release of NextGen, Deignan explained.

Launched in January 2017, Baker Hill’s NextGen is a cloud-based solution for common loan origination, portfolio risk management and business intelligence and is designed to meet the needs of financial institutions in a single platform. 

“From our perspective, this [partnership with Built Technologies] is about being a total solutions provider,” Deignan told IBJ. “Built is in a different part of the lending space than we’re in, and it doesn’t make sense for us to re-invent what they’re already doing. 

“I look at this partnership as a way to fill out our portfolio of offerings,” Deignan added. “Not having a solution for a client or a partnership to get that done is not a place you want to be.”

Deignan is confident the partnership along with the release of NextGen—and its other strategic partnerships—will fuel the Baker Hill’s growth. 

“This should drive our top line, which should drive profits, which should drive our employee count,” Deignan said.

Baker Hill was founded in 1983 by husband and wife entrepreneurial team Mark and Karen Hill and then sold to global financial information services provider Experian in 2005. In 2015, Experian sold Baker Hill to Riverside Co., a New York City-based private equity firm, for $100 million.

Since Experian sold Baker Hill three years ago, the Carmel-based operation has ramped up research and development and is in growth mode.

“We’re confident we’ll see growth in 2018, 2019 and beyond,” Deignan said.

The partnership with Built Technologies will at first just involve referrals, Deignan said, but could expand to research and development collaboration.

“We want to walk before we run,” he said.

In October, Baker Hill announced partnerships similar to the one announced this week with Allied Solutions, a Carmel-based firm that serves the financial sector, and Experian.

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