Enfusion, Inc.

Q4 2022 Earnings Conference Call


spk09: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to Infusion's fourth quarter 2022 earnings conference call. At this time, all lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. Following the speaker's remarks, we will open the lines for your questions. As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded. I would now like to hand you over to our host, Ignatius Njoku, Head of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.
spk05: Good morning, and thank you, operator. We welcome you to Infusion's fourth quarter 2022 earnings conference call. Hosting today's call are Oleg Marchin, Infusion's chief executive officer, and Brad Herring, Infusion's chief financial officer. Please note, our quarterly shareholder letter, which includes our quarterly financial results, have all been posted to our IR website. I'd like to remind you that today's call may contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those set forth in our filings with the SEC and are available in the investor relations section in our website. Actual results may differ materially from any forward-looking statements we make today. These forward-looking statements speak only as of today, and the company does not assume any obligation or intent to update them following today's call, except as required by law. In addition, today's call may include non-GAAP measures. These measures should be considered as a supplement to and not as a substitute for GAAP financial measures. Reconciliation to the nearest GAAP measure can be found in today's quarterly shareholder letter, which is available on the company's website. With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Oleg to begin.
spk01: Good morning, and thank you all for joining us today to discuss our fourth quarter 2022 results. I'm happy to be here, and I'm honored to be addressing you today formally as Infusion CEO. I would like to first thank all of my colleagues for the warm welcome that I received in this new role. I'm looking forward to leading Infusion, and I'm energized by the opportunity set that Infusion is facing today. I'm also thrilled to welcome Brett Herring as our Chief Financial Officer, who brings along an impressive track record as a public company CFO. I look forward to working with him to position Infusion for scale as we go through the next stage of our growth. 2022 was a successful year for Infusion, despite market volatility and changing demand environment. We ended the year in a position of strength, demonstrating that Infusion continues to be a unique combination of high growth and profitability within the vertical SaaS space. We delivered strong revenue growth, maintained our focus on profitability and margins, expanded into new adjacent markets, and won numerous mandates from our key hedge fund managers institutional investment managers, and asset owners. Very focused capital allocation for technology, product, and client services to prepare the company for scale as we continue our global expansion towards larger and more complex institutional opportunities. Our fiscal discipline in the second half of the year resulted in margin expansion and enabled the company to generate positive adjusted free cash flows. These outcomes underscore the durability of our business model and demonstrate our ability to deliver exceptional value for our shareholders. With this momentum getting into 2023, we plan to maintain and enhance revenue growth and deliver a stable and expanding margin profile. We remain laser-focused on delivering exceptionally positive client outcomes powered by the best-in-class software and the services offering. Now let's turn to fourth quarter results. We're pleased with this quarter's performance delivering strong growth driven by disciplined capital allocation. Revenue grew 27% to $40.5 million, reflecting ongoing healthy demand and solid execution. Adjusted EBITDA was $6.8 million and represents a margin of 16.7%. This outcome reflects our progress in further improving the company's margin profile and our focus on returning infusion to its historical profitability. We generated ARR, of $165 million, or a 30% growth year over year. We continue to see strength in new sales across all our products and services. Excluding involuntary churn, net dollar retention was 115.4%, as we continue to have meaningful commercial expansion within our existing client base. Including involuntary churn, the NDI remained at a healthy rate of 111.5%. We signed 39 new clients in the quarter, and in the quarter with a total of 819 clients. Convergence accounted for 51% of new client wins, as we saw slight uptick in win rate for hedge fund launches, though launches remained overall down from previous year. Now let us move to client wins that highlight the powerful value proposition we delivered to the global investment management community. In the Americas, revenue again grew 19% year over year, driven by ongoing client demand in the region. One of our new clients we're excited about is a North Carolina-based university endowment. This asset owner is seeking to replace its outdated legacy system with a more efficient end-to-end platform that supports all asset classes and reduces total cost of ownership. By partnering with Infusion, the investment manager improves its manual workflow and compliance capabilities. In EMEA, Revenue grew 54% year over year. We had a record bookings level for the region and expect this positive momentum to continue in 2023 as well. I am pleased to announce that Infusion won an EMEA-based multi-billion dollar long-shared equity hedge fund. This new hedge fund launch is a spin-off from one of the biggest well-known global hedge fund platforms. The manager was seeking a robust cloud-native platform which would allow them to accelerate the go-live process and support anticipated AUM growth, as well as increase complexity. Infusion was chosen for its flexible, comprehensive, and modern technology stack, coupled with end-to-end managed services. In addition, this client was particularly interested in our robust reporting framework and API technology to provide them with flexibility to integrate with third-party vendors. I'm also excited to announce that we're partnered with a newly launched hedge fund based in the Middle East. This investment manager is supported by a notable sovereign wealth fund and will employ multiple strategies, including equity, fixed income, and global macro. The fund selected Infusion because of its global reach and differentiated software and services, particularly our cloud native end-to-end platform, single data set, and robust API technology stack. Together, Infusion will enable this fund manager to scale and deploy efficient workflows. This one is significant because it demonstrates our success in expanding into the Middle East, an important destination for both capital allocators and hedge fund managers. Now turning to APAC. We grew revenue by 36% year over year, as we see healthy demand in the region. I'm thrilled to announce that we entered into an agreement with a multi-billion dollar Tokyo-based alternative investment manager. This client was seeking to modernize their efficient on-premise technology stack, which consisted of disparate, outdated, and common capabilities. The investment manager selected Infusion because of our fully integrated ANTREAD platform and our deep understanding of region-specific functional requirements that continue to drive our success in APAC. Infusion will replace our manual, error-prone infrastructure with our OEMS, data analytics, and accounting capabilities. As a direct product of such digital transformation, the client significantly reduced the need for internal technology and operational resources and compressed total cost of ownership. This exciting global win further validated our ability to move upstream across all regions, win more conversions, and expanded to new adjacent markets, all during times of significant market uncertainty. Finally, let's talk briefly about a new customer that went live on our platform in the fourth quarter, which is Panagora Asset Management. With over $30 billion in assets under management, Panagora is a quantitative investment manager that deploys multiple strategies, including active equity and multi-asset quantitative investment strategies. After extensive due diligence, Panagora selected Infusion to replace their long-time OMS vendor with an objective to reduce their in-house technology footprint and improve the functionality of the growing business. Infusion and Panagora partnered during the onboarding to streamline legacy workflows and enhance the Infusion API capabilities. Now live on the Infusion platform, Panagora benefits from frictionless upgrades and a scalable technology that will afford flexibility to continue evolving their business in the years to come. Turning to product and technology. Innovation is the key pillar for our success, and we're committed to deploying new products and next-generation solutions by listening closely to client demands and moving steadily through the adjacent portion of our total addressable market. During the quarter, we rolled out new enhancements and features across our platform to continue to improve stability and scale and expand functionality. For example, we released a self-service general ledger posting workflow so the clients have control over closing their books at their own discretion. We also continue to develop APIs to allow our clients to quickly and easily integrate with our platform. For instance, we have made a series of enhancements to our API capability suite to support creating and updating many trade types within our platform. The API enhancements we made over the last few quarters have brought our API capability more in line with our UI capability and support our systematically inclined clients to really drive scale and efficiency for the platform at large volumes. Another notable enhancement launched this quarter is the new framework for handling bank debt and credit facilities, as well as support for initial drawdown logic for revolvers. Now Infusion is one of the few platforms that truly models the loan asset class properly from the global amount down to the positions. And we can support many of the complex edge cases, including but not limited to delayed comp, cost of carry, drawdowns and paydowns, both pro rata and non-pro rata. In aggregate, we are well-positioned to support our clients' trading and leverage credit strategies, and this has been driving our success in this segment. All in all, we deployed 361 enhancements and new features across our platform during the quarter, further demonstrating our ongoing innovation. Moving to market dynamics. The macroeconomic uncertainty has driven multiple trends to play out in the market. First, we continue to see global asset managers embracing our fully integrated, cost-effective, and robust capabilities. The industry is increasingly shifting away from on-premise sets of disparate pieces of software, either homegrown or stitched together by competitor acquisitions. Additionally, asset managers are focused on outsourcing both middle and back-office operations and trading. This is where Infusion comes in, with our cost-effective and operationally efficient front-to-back scalable technology, coupled with the best-in-class client services. We believe our business is well positioned not only to weather the ongoing microeconomic uncertainty, but also benefit from it. On the one hand, the reduction in the number of hedge fund launches and delays in purchase decisions by existing investment firms could reduce our opportunity set and elongate sales cycle. On the other hand, in terms of the upside, large alternative investment platforms and traditional asset managers are optimizing their cost structures by converting their legacy system to infusion software. and relying on our services to support their business. The upside scenario is what we typically saw throughout the history of the firm and are seeing now as we continue to win conversions in competitive situations. Importantly, we continue to see capital shifting away from hedge fund launches and smaller hedge funds toward larger multi-manager platforms and separately managed account structures as investors are looking to attain better performance, reduce operational and key person risk, and access diversified portfolio of alternative strategies. This is where we see our current multi-strategy and multi-manager clients growing rapidly and where we see outside demand to remain strong in the near future. Subsequently, as such platforms continue to spin off and feed various teams that have been successful internally, Infusion continues to benefit from such backdoor launches as technology familiarity and operational transition become natural. Now let me turn to our key focus areas for 2023. We plan to build on our momentum to create value for our clients, partners, and shareholders. As such, we focus our capital allocation on technology, product, and client service organizations. Core to our competitive advantage is driving innovation and responding to our client technology needs in a timely and thoughtful way. By investing in our technology stack and expanding our product portfolio and system functionality, We're able to deliver new capabilities and services, enhance our competitive mode, capture more market share, and drive upsell opportunities. Next, Infusion's best-in-class client service underpins our overall strategy to win new clients. We're focused on enhancing our onboarding and implementation process to improve conversion experience. Additionally, we'll work on making our account management and managed services teams more operationally efficient by investing in the related technologies. This will enable us to support larger and more complex investments first while improving our margins. These investments will bolster our competitive stance and will continue to position Infusion to deliver high-quality software and service to our clients. As importantly, we're also committed to maintaining Infusion's path towards margin expansion and operational efficiency as witnessed by this quarter's results. High margins coupled with high growth rates have been a staple of our business model, and the management team is focused on the bottom line more than ever. In summary, we're pleased with our execution in the fourth quarter and how the company is set up for success in 2023. Every new customer, every new technology capability, every new feature in our system, and every support ticket resolved by our team only reinforce the magnitude of the opportunity set in front of Infusion in our unique position. I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge our talented employees globally for their hard work and selfless focus on execution. Our results this quarter are simply a reflection of the caliber of our team. Their passion, dedication, and creativity continues to solve the most challenging problems our customers face and enable our clients to generate superior, risk-adjusted returns for their investors. Before I turn over the call to Brad, I would like to highlight the steps we made to further strengthen our board with the addition of two new independent directors. We are pleased to welcome Deidre Sommers, who sits on the Audit Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee, and Michael Spelassie, who has appointed our board chair. I will now turn the call over to Brad to discuss our financial results in more detail.
spk04: Thanks, Oleg, and thanks, everyone, for joining us today. I'm happy to speak with you today in my new role as the CFO of Infusion. I look forward to working with OLIG, the executive team, and all of our employees here to help lead Infusion to its next stage of growth. Now on to the numbers. In the fourth quarter, we generated revenue of $40.5 million, an increase of 27% over the same quarter last year. Growth was driven by continued share wins and client demand for our comprehensive solution. Fourth quarter adjusted gross profit, which excludes stock-based compensation. increased by 25% year-over-year to $27.5 million. This represents an adjusted gross margin of 68%. It's worth noting that these results were impacted by a change in cost allocation methodology, which lowered Q4 adjusted gross margin by approximately 150 basis points. Excluding this methodology change, adjusted gross profit would have been 69.5%. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $6.8 million, up 112% year-over-year. Against in-quarter revenues, this represents an adjusted EBITDA margin of 16.7%, up 670 basis points from the same period a year ago. Year-over-year margin expansion was the result of the scalability of our SAS model combined with prudent cost discipline in the quarter. One of the changes we're making in our earnings discussion is the inclusion of an adjusted free cash flow metric. A reconciliation of adjusted free cash flow is included in the appendix of our shareholder letter. For the fourth quarter, we generated adjusted free cash flow of $3.6 million compared to a negative $3.1 million in the same period a year ago. Current quarter results represent a 53% conversion rate against our adjusted EBITDA. Free cash conversion was slightly higher than expectations due to the deferral of some CapEx items that will push into 2023. We exited the fourth quarter with an ARR of $164.7 million, up 30% year-over-year. The healthy ARR growth reflects ongoing strength of our customer additions and our ability to win share despite a challenging 2022 for our customers. Net dollar retention, excluding involuntary churn, was 115.4%, down 120 basis points quarter over quarter. The sequential decline is driven by ongoing volatility in the market as the sector increasingly focuses on right-sizing their cost structure. Net dollar retention, including involuntary churn, was 111.5%, relatively flat from a year ago period. We signed 39 new logos in the fourth quarter, ending the quarter with 819 total clients. It's worth noting also that the average size of our customer has increased approximately 13% compared to the same period last year as we continue to execute on our strategy to move up market. Net income for the fourth quarter was $788,000, which includes $4.2 million of stock-based compensation. We ended the year in a strong cash position with approximately $63 million in cash and cash equivalents and no debt. We believe the strength of our balance sheet gives us considerable flexibility to execute on our long-term strategy. Now on to guidance. Before we get too deep, I want to comment on a change we're making to our guidance practices. After discussions between Oleg, myself, and our board, we've decided to shift from forward quarter guidance to providing annual guidance with updates during each of our quarterly earnings calls. Where relevant, I will also be providing insights on the anticipated pacing of our results throughout the year. This change was based on two distinct factors. First, we wanted to improve the alignment between our financial practices and the philosophies we use to run the business. Our approach has always been to deploy capital to create long-term value for our shareholders, and the practice of discussing quarterly guidance is not aligned with that philosophy. Second, Given the combination of macro level uncertainty in the current scale of our business, the practice of providing quarterly guidance is simply not prudent. While we are removing our forward quarter guidance, we are adding information in our quarterly earnings materials that we feel will be more relevant. Notably, you will see in our recently revamped 8K filing the addition of adjusted free cash flow and cash flow conversion metrics. All of that said, let's turn to our outlook for 2023. I'll start with making a few comments to position the year. As mentioned earlier, our clients face considerable challenges in 2022 with underlying markets down significantly and sustained volatility within financial markets. Given these dynamics combined with macroeconomic uncertainty, we anticipate that asset managers will continue to look for opportunities to right-size their cost structures into the first half of 2023. This has several short-term impacts on our business. First, It provides us with considerable market advantage to gain share by providing the market with a premium solution with a lower total cost of ownership. Second, we expect new fund launches will continue to lag historical levels until markets stabilize. And finally, we anticipate continued volatility in our net dollar retention rates as our current customers continue to monitor their spend in the backdrop of the uncertainties I've mentioned. With regards to our cost structure in 2023, we are investing in two primaries in support of our overall growth strategy. First, we are making investments in our client services function to provide a scalable and sustainable servicing model that meets our customers' high expectations. Second, we are adding R&D capacity to our product and software development teams to both strengthen our current market-leading position as well as open up new addressable market segments. Combined, these investments will put slight short-term pressure on margins. However, we feel that funding these initiatives supports our growth trajectory and positions the business for improved margin expansion going forward. Based on all these inputs, we are introducing full-year 2023 revenue and adjusted EBITDA outlook as follows. We expect revenue to be in the range of $185 to $190 million, which at the midpoint represents year-over-year growth of 25%. Referring back to my comments on the uncertain market conditions facing the segment, we anticipate revenue growth rates to be slightly higher in the second half of the year. We expect adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $32 to $34 million, which at the midpoint of our ranges represents an adjusted EBITDA margin of 18%. We project adjusted EBITDA margins to be lowest in the first quarter before steadily expanding throughout the year and exiting 2023 at approximately 20%. For modeling purposes, we project stock-based compensation of approximately $12 million for the full year. In summary, we completed 2022 with strong results despite headwinds in the segment. Moving on to 2023, we are building on that foundation to enhance our market-leading, cloud-based, end-to-end investment management platform by making strategic investments in both our product and servicing capabilities. I have great confidence in the long-term trajectory of our business and our ability to deliver strong revenue growth while continuing to expand margins and grow free cash flow. With that, I'd like to open up the call to questions. Operator, please go ahead.
spk09: Thank you. If you'd like to ask a question, please press star followed by one on your telephone keypad. If for any reason you'd like to remove your question, it is star followed by two. As a reminder, if you are using a speakerphone, please remember to pick up your handset before asking your question. Again, it is star 1 to register your question. So our first question comes from the line of James Fawcett of Morgan Stanley. Your line is now open. Please go ahead.
spk03: Thanks very much. Firstly, we appreciate all the disclosure provided and the shareholder letter. Really helpful to On the conversion statistic you gave in the deck, how should we think about what appears to be a little bit of slowing conversion momentum given that the statistics look to be around 50% relative to 60% last quarter and 64% a year ago? Is that indicative of that slower pace of decision-making at some of your larger clients, and should we expect that kind of sales cycle to persist?
spk01: Hi, Jim. This is Oleg. I appreciate the question. Actually, it's twofold from my perspective. This particular number is not indicative of any trend that we expect to pursue going forward as far as our business is concerned. We believe we can easily be at what we've seen historically over the last couple of years. We're shooting for probably something like 60% to 65% on conversion side on average. As far as delay in purchasing decisions, I don't think this is something that will impact that rate of our wins as percentage of the overall book. Yes, overall, that definitely has an impact on, it could have an impact on the overall growth, but as far as percentage of our overall book, I think we will continue to see very stable to increase in share of our business in conversions.
spk03: Got it, got it. And then, you know, I know you talked about that dollar retention kind of being volatile, etc. And it's really pretty constructive, at least from our perspective, to see you still be able to deliver strong revenue performance, even when we saw a little bit of a decline there. How should we think about the drivers of net dollar retention in And where should that metric be, at least from your perspective, in the next one, three, and five years? And I guess as part of that, I know you're not guiding to specifically NDR, but, you know, what's the level that you think you roughly need to be at in order to achieve your revenue outlook? Thanks.
spk01: Sure. So I think a couple of things. So technically and strategically. So let me answer this the following way. So the volatility that we expect, you know, it is driven by the currency. macroeconomic environment. And as you know, our formula allows us to scale in and out with the clients. Clients come in and they reduce the number of licenses, then they come in and they increase the number of licenses. So that's part of, you want to call it downgrades and then upgrades, is something that we've typically seen in our business and that actually, from our perspective, increases stickiness of our clients because it's not binary, right? They don't just have to cancel the relationship. They just stay with us and scale in and out of this relationship. So I would say our gold standard historically being 120% NDR. And this is what, from my perspective, long term, I don't know, one year, three years, four years, I think that's on us as a company. both in terms of technology capabilities and client services to get there. That's what I hold myself accountable to and this is what I'm holding my team accountable to. I think this is best in class platform and our customers deserve nothing less than world class customer service in addition to the technology. So in terms of drivers that you asked about, I think there will be a balance between sort of this, call it downgrade and people trying to scale out and be a little more conservative with what I mentioned in my prior remarks related to the actual growth in institutional market segments, growth from our perspective, and growth within multi-manager and multi-strategy platforms. And we're already seeing some green shoots of our ability to expand our relationship with the clients commercially very deeply, which I think historically we haven't really done a good job at. And this is something we're paying very close attention to, looking at our client base very carefully and creating value and expanding that footprint. Got it. Thank you very much.
spk03: Thank you.
spk09: Our next question comes from the line of Kevin McVeigh of Credit Suisse. Your line is now open. Please go ahead.
spk00: Great. Thanks so much. And just to follow up on that question, again, congratulations on the results. Really, really good outcome. Is there any way to think about kind of like dormant clients in terms of is there a certain percentage of clients that are active at different times of the year or is it just headcount, any way to think about maybe a lower end of the range, where that is today and where that's been historically, and does that flex back up just so we get a sense of where the optionality sits maybe within existing accounts, if there's a way to frame that?
spk01: I don't know if there is any seasonality to it. I will say that some of the volatility that Brad mentioned in his remarks you know, definitely, you know, clients are coming off, you know, the whole industry is coming off of a difficult year. I mean, they, you know, both equities and bonds are down, you know, depending on, you know, which currency and country are looking at anywhere between 20 and 25%. So, you know, AMs are down accordingly, management fees are down accordingly, you know, people are not even talking about performance fees in many cases. So there's just the economics of the business are changed right so it's not about like time of the year right it's about where the industry is in in the cycle so to speak uh and as i mentioned there is there is this balance right we we do see some you know slow down and decision making and uh people reduce the number of licenses however you know as you can see from our financial result results and from our guidance um you know that's what I call downside convexity in this business, this is what we're seeing playing out today. On one hand, you know, people are, you know, reimagining and trying to reexamine what, you know, tech debt they're sitting on today, you know, $10, $20 billion, sorry, $10, $20 million budgets, you know, 100 people, staff that's supporting the disparate legacy systems, and they're coming to us to help, and this is where we come in. And this sort of hedge fund, smaller hedge fund launches, we've seen counterbalanced with some of the capital, actually a significant amount of capital that is going into multi-strategy funds and multi-manager platforms. And this is where we find our sweet spot. We're good with servicing these clients, scaling as they scale, and then subsequently as they spin off and seed managers that have attained success on their platforms. We're right there to catch them as they launch, what I call backdoor launches. Again, just to summarize, it's not about seasonality, so to speak, or dormancy. It's really about us getting through this little trough related to 2022, which is, again, arguably worst performance year for core asset classes in 40 years, and positioning ourselves for you know, further growth for this business.
spk00: That makes a lot of sense. And then as you think about the low end versus the high end of the range on the revenue and EBITDA, any thoughts, puts and takes, what gets you to the high end above the range? Is it kind of client wins or just any thoughts around the guidance, which obviously looks really, really good?
spk04: Hey, Kevin, this is Brad. I'll take that. You know, we felt like the guidance was a good balance. You know, I think there's a couple of things that will play out Over the course of the year, we've talked a couple times about the condition of the segment. Obviously, some better stability in the markets, I think, could push us up toward the high end of that. That tends to drive some of the hedge fund launches we talked about that have slowed down a little bit. We think that could pick back up with stability coming to the market. We also think some of the product capabilities we're going to be putting out in the next three to six months put us in positions where we could get higher bookings this year. It doesn't have a huge in-year impact, but certainly the sooner we get those out, that puts revenue on the table for the current year. Just quickly moving to the expense side, we've got a lot of levers to pull. We're certainly going to be watching the revenue environment closely as prudent spenders of our capital. We're going to make sure that we time that well. We've got some opportunities for some consolidation. We've got some opportunities for some enhanced tools that improve our scalability. I mentioned that in our expense efforts on client services. A lot of that has to do with spending some money in 2023 to create some very strong scalability in the next year. There could be some in-year impacts for that as well.
spk00: Very helpful. Thanks so much. Thanks, Kevin.
spk09: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Dylan Becker of William Blair. Your line is now open. Please go ahead.
spk08: Yeah, hey, good morning, guys. Anything to congratulate the results here? Maybe, Olive, starting with you, there was a lot of talk around the software and the service evolution in the shareholder letter. I was wondering if you could elaborate again on how you see that kind of client service piece benefiting not only the overall adoption framework efficiency in these models, but how that can speak to maybe what Brad was just talking about on kind of the pipeline innovation as well, fueling that R&D momentum.
spk01: Yep. Great question. I'm afraid I might jeopardize the whole call talking about this topic. So a couple of things here. Brad would say that we ended up in the managed services business, and I just want to make the difference between the client service as a whole, which is us supporting the clients on an ongoing basis and resolving issues and customizing the technology and all of that with, you know, managed services as a business of, you know, doing things for clients on an ongoing consistent basis like trade affirmations, confirmations, you know, racks and things like that. And so as far as overall client service is concerned, that's just, you know, as you know, it's one of the things that I've done. The first thing when I came in is really revamp and restructure that part of our business to make sure that it's aligned much better with our sales process and it's aligned much better with how each client experiences Infusion. So as one of our recent clients said last week, and I will never forget that, is what's the point of having good software if your client services is not good? And, you know, I'm taking this to heart. And this is just way more important for us now than ever. Because historically, you might remember, we've been really focused on smaller and simpler players. And they supported themselves effectively, right? And software has been so powerful and still so powerful. And customers really love using it and kind of torturing it and customizing it so that we did not actually have to do much, right? Which actually, as a result, drove economics. Now as we go upstream and service much larger and complex managers, by default, they're looking at us as extension of their operating teams. And therefore, they actually expect, many of them, especially larger one, they expect some kind of wide-glove service. And so we're designing our business to actually accommodate that. We feel it's just, it has to happen, and therefore, number one, we have to make sure we have the team aligned And number two, we make sure this team is operationally efficient. So we actually use technology to scale and maintain economics of the business. So our gross margins are 70% plus. This is our target. And our net margins as a result are conforming to what we think this business could be long term. The second part is, and here I will quote Brad, managed services business. We ended up in this business by by default rather than by design, and we're currently looking at that very carefully and see if we can really position it in the marketplace as a separate line of business, which is where our clients, our incumbent client base is coming to us and asking us to do that for them as an extension of our relationship today. And so the question for us is what can we do, what should we do, how we price it properly so that we deliver value to the client and we create value for the shareholders as well. But we have right now about 820 clients and roughly 120 clients today actually using managed services. So it's a huge portion of our entire client base actually using that part of our capability And so it behooves us to look deeply and see if we can actually expand that relationship. And so, again, this is this duality between pure SaaS model and software and the service model where we go and service institutional clients, like I just mentioned Panagora, where there is this assumption it's a partnership and they expect us to provide a certain level of service as a support, right, as a partnership, an ongoing basis. And two, other clients expect us to perform or asking us to perform, you know, ongoing daily tasks like managed services, any managed services organization would. And, you know, there is some interesting economic opportunities for us there. I hope it makes sense.
spk08: Yeah, it makes total sense and I appreciate the depth and color there. Maybe another kind of interesting one, I guess, thinking higher level to Oleg, how should we be thinking about some of the recent proposed changes in the SST relative to settlement cycle compression and other areas as potential drivers of back office investment automation as the industry moves kind of more towards real-time processing capabilities? Thanks.
spk01: Right. Again, this is one of those big opportunities for us. We have a lot of conversations on the subject. Clients are actually looking to contribute to the discourse. Internally, we're looking at different ways to address it. I think we are very well positioned to do so given our software capabilities. You know, all this regulatory changes before, you know, market microstructure changes, you know, before compliance, you know, which is another area of us of great importance, both in terms of, you know, software functionality on OEMS side as well as regulatory reporting. You know, this is where we think, you know, we are responding pretty well to the market demand. So of course, we will definitely be there to accommodate.
spk03: Perfect. Thank you, guys. Appreciate it.
spk09: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Koji Aikeda of Bank of America. Your line is now open. Please go ahead.
spk06: Hey, all again, Brad. Thanks for taking the questions. First one for me is, As you head into 2023, how are you thinking about your go-to-market strategies and focus, maybe either from a geography or product perspective that could be different this year when compared to last year?
spk01: You know, I don't think there's any difference. We do want to refocus our effort, for example, on regional markets. competitive advantages that we have. I will just actually highlight EMEA as an example where the business is getting to the point where I expect it to become relatively stable 20% of our overall revenue mix. There's a ton of opportunity I highlighted before. We're seeing a lot of opportunity in the Middle East. That part, we're doing a lot of work on the subject, just like any other region in the world, it has its own nuances, right? It has its own operating nuances. It has different nuances related to trading and risk functionality that are specific to the region. And, in fact, this is how we historically won in APAC. We had different capabilities within our software that clients actually valued, and we did it exceptionally well, head and shoulders above our competition, and that's how we won. It's not just, you know, overall generic value proposition, the fact that it's sort of a traditional positioning where cloud-native, you know, front-end integrated software, but really thinking about how we can differentiate ourselves, taking into account what I would call localized competitive advantages. And so that's what we're thinking as far as global expansion is concerned. Also, the client that I mentioned, one of the largest, Japanese hedge funds. We've had some success in Australia. And of course, Hong Kong and Singapore continue to be relatively active, both as far as launches and conversions are concerned. And U.S. is, this is where we see most of the larger institutional asset managers are and will continue to position the business you know, in that segment in a more aggressive way in a testament to that our recent wins in, for example, the endowment that we recently closed and a couple of other interests in multi-strategy, multi-manager funds that, you know, again, take into account and capture the very essence of what Infusion is all about, which is ability to bring together front-end OEMs with portfolio management, with risk management, with the back end, and create a framework where people just worry about trading, people worry about the risk and capital allocation, and they don't worry about technology or operations. So the go-to-market strategy, I would say, there is no really, there is some overarching position and messages that I would send to the market and say, you know, It remains the same with more focus and continued focus on larger institutional complex clients, but as far as actual nuance, I would highlight really figuring out what actually works for that particular local market and really zeroing on that and executing against that relentlessly and winning on that basis.
spk06: Got it. Now, that is super helpful. Thank you. And I wanted to ask a follow-up question on net dollar retention. It sounds like with the commentary from Brad that the involuntary revenue churn was about 4.5%, but customer churn might have been a bit higher than that. Is that the right characterization on how customer retention shaked out in Q4? And then just thinking more forward, how should we be thinking about involuntary revenue churn and and customer churn assumptions that are embedded in the 2023 guidance. Thanks, guys.
spk04: Hey, Cody. This is Brad. I'll take that. Your numbers and presumptions on churn are right. You know, as I kind of mentioned at the back half of 2023, we did see churn pick up slightly. You know, when you think about how we projected 2023 to play out, We've anticipated a little bit of a residual into 2023 off of those same numbers, but we do think it's going to improve back to kind of more normal levels by mid-year. And that's a byproduct of the conversation I had a minute ago around the stability that comes into the market that kind of dries up that churn. So we expect a little bit of increased churn for the first half, but we do think it returns back to normal for the back half.
spk06: Got it. Thanks so much, Brad. Thank you guys for taking the questions.
spk01: Thanks, Koji.
spk09: Thank you. Our next question comes from the line of Parker Lane of Stifel. Your line is now open. Please go ahead.
spk07: Hi, this is Matthew Kickert for Parker. Thanks a lot for taking my questions. To start, what have you learned a successful go-to-market pitch looks like with a larger scale fund conversion? Are these customers landing with just portfolio management system? Are they adding a whole suite of solutions up front as well?
spk01: What have we learned? So definitely the holistic approach. I mean, we have seen some situations where we are successful in land and expand sort of thing in terms of just selling a piece of functionality and then expanding into the overall stack. We're also more naturally fitting into what you would call multi-asset strategies or liquid alts that those large institutional players actually offer on their platform. As you I'm sure know, in the recent, I don't know, 10, 15 years, the trend has been to become sort of the supermarket of different strategies and any institutional manager of substantial size, they're trying to offer everything from S&P 500 index tracking ETF for two basis points or one basis point to very complex strategies from quant to global macro CTA and real estate and private equity. And so we typically fit into that bucket where they actually offer liquid alts and some systematic and quantitative strategies. And then as we build more footprint within the organization that manages, I don't know, 150, 200 billion dollars, we expand that relationship in a lot of other things. And some of the functionality I can highlight to you is just from product-driven expansion or product-driven growth perspective, some of our product initiatives include creating capabilities around benchmarks and enabling the managers to rebalance their portfolios either to match the benchmarks or to take active risk with respect to benchmarks as those investors are trying to beat those. And so some of those things related to portfolio construction on one hand and then translating those active bets or hedging strategies into actual trades and closing that loop, sending that vector of trades or orders into our OEMS and then going back and rinse and repeat, this is where we think the strength of our offering will really shine. So this is a high level comment, but as far as that particular market segment, we still have a lot of wood to chop. Complexity of their business is very high and almost, I can say, if you think about hedge fund universe, you can sort of stratify it and think about every segment and within every segment, those funds are more or less similar. They're not, of course, the same, but they're similar. When it comes to those large organizations, every one of those is unique. And we learn quickly and we adapt and we see what they need from workflows perspective. And some of them are very, very different from what hedge funds are actually doing, both in terms of how OMS and compliance works, in terms of what they're looking for on the back end, in terms of risk requirements, we're actually looking to expand that offering as well, where almost all of our institutional clients want some kind of a, not just a par for the course, but relatively sophisticated risk management and risk analytics capability.
spk07: Got understood. That's a great color. And then secondly, how large do you envision scaling your managed solution segment over the next year? What impact do you perceive this having on your ability to simultaneously expand margins?
spk01: Right. So you sort of asked two questions in one, and that's going to be the second part of your question is going to drive the first. So as I mentioned when Dylan asked the question, We ended up in this position where we have a pretty large portion of our business and managed services, and I keep highlighting that. This is one of those, from my perspective, underappreciated assets that this business is sitting on. We have very similar economic relationships with other firms that are providing managed services, and we sell our software to them. And so while looking at this sort of positioning, both tactically and strategically, trying to figure out how to expand our footprint there, and be there, again, quotes and bread, by design as opposed to by default. Now, the trick is in that second, from our perspective, the trick is in that second part of your question, which is how to do that without diluting margins, and that's a big deal, and we actually have done it before. We did identify some, product gaps and functionality requirements that we actually need to execute on to continue to grow that business without diluting the pure SaaS growth margin, so to speak. And I'm absolutely convinced it's possible. Everybody's challenging me on that. We have a lot of conversations both externally and internally on the subject. Everybody sort of knows that managed services is a standalone business. is lower margin than pure SaaS business. I'm also aware of that, but this is where I think we will win, because if we figure out the formula that actually has been driving Infusion's growth all these years prior to the IPO and enabled the company to be not just a Rule of 40 company, but the Rule of 80 company, I believe it's going to create a key to profitability of the managed services business. And one more thought I would offer in conclusion is what we have seen actually in competitive situations is that managed services becomes a sort of final icing on the cake where when we replace sort of this piecemeal technology stack, which is our sort of bread and butter conversion setting, and we replace a competitor up front where, for example, we're a portfolio management system, we replace OMS, complex, we replace backend, and then all of a sudden we own that entire stack. And so they, for example, in this case, they actually use another managed services organization to support that former legacy disparate stack with fault lines in between. But once we replace it, who is the better, who is best company to actually service and support that technology stack that is Infusion other than Infusion? So what happens is we actually have one, as we win competitively those technology replacements, it's a natural extension of the business to actually supplement with managed services. If this set of economics works, what happens as a side effect, the stickiness of the clients also increases, and that's right back to the NDR questions that Koji and Dylan asked. Does it make sense?
spk07: Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for answering my questions and congrats on the quarter.
spk09: Thank you. Thank you. Our final question comes from the line of Gabriela Broggs of Goldman Sachs. Your line is now open. Please go ahead.
spk10: Hi, this is Callie Valente on for Gabriela. First one for me is just Looking at the average contract value growth of 13% in the quarter and the NRR of 115, how should we think about the impact that NRR is having on that average contract value versus the impact of new customers?
spk04: So this is Brad. I'll take that. I think, you know, we'll talk about the growth in the customer size first, and that's completely a byproduct of what Ola just walked us through in terms of as we move up market, you know, and that whole stack becomes available. That's obviously going to increase contract value, especially as we move up market and this is bigger asset managers. You know, as it translates into NDR, I think there's a couple of key points there. One is that entire management services discussion we had. I think that was a really key point to make in terms of how that plays into contract size, but then also it has a ripple effect into NDR. And I think that kind of facilitates Oleg's gold standard of 20% of NDR, some of that is going to come from things like adding managed services to that stack. So I think they're very intertwined, but they're not necessarily mutually exclusive. We've also got scenarios where we go out into upmarket and our initial contracts may not include the full stack, but because the asset managers are in a much larger scale size, you're still going to see an overall increase in contract size.
spk01: I just want to compliment that. We don't want to make it sound like managed services is the only way for us to expand the relationship with the client. I mean, we recently have done a lot of work, and I cannot give enough credit to our technology team to actually sort of in real time expand our product portfolio and respond to client demands, and as a result, expand commercial relationship with the client. So this is not just managed services driven. But to Brad's point, Those, in some sense, those are the two, on one hand, two sides of the same coin, and those two drivers of NDR and stickiness of the business are, number one, us getting into larger clients just because the ticket sizes are bigger, and two, going deeper within the current client base and just really creating value for the customer. I mean, there's still situations, frankly, where you know, customers are using some other capability that, you know, it's not that we don't have it, but they just don't know that we do. And it just, you know, it makes me, you know, makes my blood boil in those situations, right? And so this is what we really, like, 2023 is really about that focus. It's about, you know, not just focusing on the outside, not just being aggressive in growing the business. It's not just about bookings. It's not just about going to whatever name it, Sydney or Dubai or Tokyo. It's about really, really making sure that every single client that we serve today is referenceable, making sure that we create value every day, making sure that even clients that we do not hear from are happy and continue to proactively engage with the current client base and create value and capture some of it.
spk10: Okay, thank you. And then just as a follow-up, any nuances to the environment that you've seen in the start of 2023? We've heard some companies talking about a stronger January and February. So, yeah, curious what you've seen at the start of the year, customers.
spk01: Yeah, again, I mean, this is – I will defer to Brad to comment, you know, from his perspective, what he sees quantitatively. Just from a qualitative perspective, this is just a technical thing, right? I mean, we're walking into 2023 with a very low base. All asset markets, aside from cash, we think cash in this case, US dollar, are down above and beyond their historical norms. From that base, the fact that risk assets have been behaving well in the last couple of months makes people feel better, makes people breathe better, that's fine. We don't have a crystal ball. We don't know where the markets are going to go today or whatever in two years. But we definitely see that behavioral change that I mentioned. On one hand, people are just in this wait and see mode sometimes. On the other hand, they're just being active. In some interesting sense, for us, this uncertainty is okay, but when it does result on either side, That actually is where we really come in with this sort of convexity strategy. If things are really not as good as people expect, this is sort of cost optimization and repositioning. If things are great, we will see more launches and more expansion and more budgets being allocated to our customers. But we're not thinking about our business within the time horizon of a couple of months. The focus is you know, long-term shareholder value creation, and we're just simply technically well-positioned to capture whatever opportunities will be created in 2023.
spk04: Yeah, I'll just add to that, kind of getting very specific on your question. You know, we're seeing, you know, certainly some slight improvements coming out of Q4, you know, as the segment kind of, you know, corrected itself in the Q3, Q4 timeframe. We anticipated, like I mentioned in my pre-recorded remarks, those trends to extend a little bit into Q1. We're seeing that continue about what we thought. But then at the same time, we're also seeing things like our pipeline pick up. Our pipeline has improved significantly from where we were a couple of months ago. So, to Ole's point, I think it's a natural diversification in this business. If times are great, we do well. If times are tough, we do well as well. So I think it's just a great hedge that's kind of built into the inherent business.
spk10: All right, thank you, and congrats on that.
spk01: Just one more, not to bastardize this question on this call, just one more real quick addition. You know, we will see some balance in, you know, as we go further into loan-only strategies, you know, there might be some potentially, you know, additional data in this business, if you will. But typically, you know, we have seen, you know, performance, as far as performance degradation of our clients, right? We are seeing, you know, that hedge fund managers in our platform are actually doing really well given the volatility, right? Some are not doing so well, some are doing well, right? But also, interestingly enough, because of this compression of risk premium, right, oftentimes people are redeeming from the funds that they can, not from the funds that they should. And typically, you have situations when somebody used to manage $10 or $15 billion, and now they manage three or four. And so all of a sudden, the economics of the business, especially sometimes given high watermarks, are different. And the decision regarding us at that point becomes almost a no-brainer.
spk10: Thank you.
spk09: As there are no additional questions waiting at this time, I'd like to hand the conference call back over to the management team for closing remarks.
spk01: Well, thank you all for great questions. We, of course, are always available in real time for any additional questions. Thank you for the challenge. Thank you for your trust. We will continue to work relentlessly on behalf of our shareholders.
spk09: Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes Infusion's fourth quarter 2022 earnings conference call. Have a great day ahead. You may now disconnect your lines.

This conference call transcript was computer generated and almost certianly contains errors. This transcript is provided for information purposes only.EarningsCall, LLC makes no representation about the accuracy of the aforementioned transcript, and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the information provided by the transcript.