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Employee Spotlight: Urvashi Kadam

Employee Spotlight: Urvashi Kadam

As an acquirer of vertical market software businesses, Vertus Group's success begins with strong Corporate Development and much of that success is owed to Urvashi Kadam, Director of Corporate Development. When Vertus Group (formerly known as the Jonas Club & Hospitality Portfolio) began decentralizing from its parent company, Jonas Software, Urvashi was tasked with maintaining an acquisition funnel in the core verticals and expanding acquisitions into new industries. Since 2021, Vertus Group has consistently acquired businesses in new verticals while nurturing its core verticals, a testament to the hard work and dedication of Urvashi and her Corporate Development team. 

We sat down with Urvashi to learn more about her experience with Vertus Group and how her Corporate Development team approaches M&A.


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Tell us about your background. 

After I completed my MBA, I was fortunate to start my career with PwC India as part of the M&A Transaction Tax team there. As time went by, I became increasingly intrigued by what was on the other side of M&A, in particular the buy side. After I moved to Toronto in 2019, I made the decision to move to the buy side and that is when I heard of Jonas Software and Constellation Software and the whole ecosystem that we have here.

The rest is history. I've been at Jonas Software for five years and four of which have been within Vertus Group.


How has your career developed within Vertus Group?

I joined Jonas in 2019 as an M&A Corporate Development Associate, and as we acquired more businesses things at Jonas became further decentralized. That's when I got the opportunity to move into what was then called the "Jonas Club & Hospitality Portfolio", we call it Vertus Group now. At the time I was the only person on the Corporate Development team, and I was responsible not only for bringing in acquisitions in our core verticals but also for expanding our scope of operations in new industries and geographies.

Fast-forward two years and a couple of acquisitions in, I was elevated to the position of Director of Corporate Development and today we are a team of seven. We have continued to grow and expand as we bring more acquisitions in.


What is rewarding about your role at Vertus Group?

It is the ability to significantly contribute to where Vertus will go tomorrow. It is what we do as part of Corporate Development today and every day that has a direct impact on the years that will follow based purely on the acquisitions that we bring in. They could be acquisitions in our core verticals that strengthen them or acquisitions in a completely new geography or industry where we can build out our presence.

Just being with a company that is highly acquisitive you see how much growth is associated with acquisitions. When we bring in acquisitions, we need people to step into leadership roles and we need to hire more whether it be in finance, legal, HR, accounting, sales and development and the list doesn't end there. But I believe all of this growth starts here with this role and this team and that is exceptionally rewarding. 


What is challenging about your role at Vertus Group?

There are so many variables associated with a deal or a transaction. There are always hindrances and hurdles along the way that you have to overcome to achieve the outcome that you desire. We come fully equipped to deal with that sort of uncertainty. We live on it. We thrive on it. This is what we are built for. That sort of confidence only comes from a place of experience, and we have decades of experience of acquiring businesses and come with a solid pedigree in M&A. If you put that all together it puts you in the best possible position for success and that is all you can ask for. 

It's challenging but also rewarding. 


What accomplishments are you most proud of at Vertus Group? 

When I joined Vertus Group in 2020 we had only acquired businesses in two verticals [Club & Hospitality]. We remain deeply rooted in our core and continue to acquire and nurture businesses in those two industries, but we always had an aspiration of branching out and replicating the success we've had with our core. That goal of expansion coincided with the pandemic in 2020 which was a tumultuous time in the Hospitality industry in general. 

We were looking to reinvent ourselves and that is what we did. We turned a challenge into an opportunity, and we acquired Lean Industries in 2021 marking our first acquisition outside of our core. Personally, for me, that is one of the acquisitions that I am most proud of. It was a pivotal moment for our group, and we have consistently acquired in new verticals every year since. Just seeing the group evolve from being a Jonas Software portfolio to its own brand and identity has been truly gratifying for me. 


How does Vertus Group's culture impact the businesses it acquires? 

As a group, we're a very ambitious set of people. We have big goals, big dreams, and big aspirations. But the one thing we always talk about is, "stay grounded and be humble." It is important to be successful, but you have to do it the right way. 

There is a degree of autonomy that you're afforded here that empowers you to take on more. As an individual, I look forward to taking on more but from an acquisition standpoint, the people that come along with the businesses we acquire every year get to experience the same level of autonomy. You continue to run the day-to-day of the business, but what's different is now when you run into a problem there is always somebody that you can call.

Vertus Group is built on this repository of knowledge and information that is just waiting to be shared. There is never a problem or a question that is left unanswered. There is always a solution to the problem and the chances are that someone within our ecosystem has already faced and solved that problem before. You don't have to walk alone unless you want to. 


What does the mission Align, Acquire, Grow, Forever mean to you? 

It beautifully encapsulates what we do and how we do it. I speak to business owners every day. These are people who are distinguished and accomplished, they have built businesses over decades by putting their blood, sweat, tears, time and money into them. When you look at things from their perspective the thought of an acquisition can be very jarring. There is a fear of the unknown. As Vertus Group steps into the process, we try to take all of those apprehensions away. What's important for us is to align with your goals, your dreams, your aspirations, and your vision for the business with our principles.

An acquisition for us is not just a tick-in-the-box, it's about growth and the people that come with the business. We take a very long-term view of all of our businesses and with our Buy-and-Hold model, we'll be around forever. There is no clock that is ticking. So, "Align, Acquire, Grow, Forever" perfectly encapsulates the way we do acquisitions at Vertus. 


What excites you about the future? 

Vertus has come such a long way, but what excites me the most is we are just getting started. We have big dreams, big goals, and so many milestones to hit. It's just exciting to be a part of that. 


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