Foster Moore International Ltd is a New Zealand-based specialist registry company, developing large mission critical electronic registries to meet the statutory and service needs of legislative and governmental agencies globally. The company was founded in 2008
by Joel Foster and Chuck Moore, and since then the team at Foster Moore has developed and maintained ten major New Zealand public registry systems, including the NZ Government Companies Office website and a host of other smaller registries. In 2011, Foster Moore received the New Zealand Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year award for demonstrating the most promising growth business plan and customer proposition.
Foster Moore developed the Catalyst Registry Product – one of the best Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) registry solutions in the world. The company recognised the significant opportunity they had to market their unique product internationally but needed a capital injection in order to primarily increase sales capability and grow their international presence.
Following a recommendation from a New Zealand based Chief Executive, Foster Moore approached Howard & Company to see if they could help.
“We were impressed with Howard & Company right from the beginning. They were really interested in our organisation and they recognised there was a big opportunity to take the niche product we had developed offshore. They liked the fact we were a Kiwi-owned company that had gone out by ourselves, and we still had a way to go in scaling the product. We were effectively seeking expertise on getting the business working in a way that it could grow and operate as a commercially savvy company.”
Founder of Howard & Company, Ant Howard said “Foster Moore were attractive to us because they had developed world class corporate and occupational software in the registry business and we had a shared vision for the company–the opportunity to establish a global leadership position in the registry business.”
Building a strong, financially sound business…
Howard & Company focused on improving the financial readiness of the organisation by revamping systems and processes and introducing structure and discipline in the reporting and governance aspects of the business. Associate Director, Michael Cheyne took on the role of acting CFO with the aim of commercialising the business before seeking investment.
“Michael took a lot of time and effort to really learn and understand the business. He came in and effectively improved the financial management of the business to a standard fit for a global organisation. He changed all our accountancy practices which he bought in-house, put best-practices into the organisation including introducing a robust and sound model that enabled us to move up a level and be appealing to investors,“ said Joel Foster.
Establishing effective strategic and governance processes…
Ant Howard came in on a strategic and governance level to improve the governance structure. According to Joel Foster, Ant became a great mentor to him. “I really appreciated his extensive knowledge and experience and he really helped me develop as a Chief Executive by not only providing me with certain skill sets but giving me fantastic support along the way– something I hope will continue.”
He said Howard & Company were also straight up and honest about what needed to be done for the business to improve.
“Ultimately, they were very calm in their approach and smart about how they created certain dimensions of the business. It’s a great comfort to know you have such an experienced and supportive network around.”
Taking Foster Moore to the next level…
Howard & Company developed an information memorandum and solicited interest from the investment market. In December 2013 Teranet, a Toronto-based international leader in electronic land registration, expressed strong interest in investing in the company. The Catalyst Registry Product appealed to them because it was an asset that could be leveraged from its own business base. Not only was Teranet in the land registry sector, but also had business interests throughout North America so a win-win for both parties. After six months of negotiations and a due diligence process, Teranet invested in Foster Moore.
“The strategic investment partnership with Teranet brings with it exciting opportunities and we have shared visions of becoming the leading corporate registry supplier globally,” said Joel Foster.
Howard & Company is focused on delivering capital, courage and capability and Ant Howard said they get great satisfaction from seeing New Zealand businesses succeed on the world stage.
“Foster Moore were incredibly receptive to our involvement in helping their business, they appreciated there was a need to raise money, and the staff made it easy for us to achieve things with little resistance. It’s certainly not the end of our journey with Foster Moore – we will continue to engage with them as they now have a great platform with which to fulfil their vision and move forward.”
Joel Foster said Howard & Company were invaluable to them on so many levels and he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other New Zealand businesses wanting to grow on the international stage.
“Howard & Company bought with them a whole lot of professional advice. They had been there done that. They have a huge amount of expertise and knowledge and at all times were committed to making it work. As a result of their work with us, we have come a long way. We are a lot smarter about the business and on the right path,” said Joel Foster.