It’s been nearly three years since Royal Bank of Canada’s $5.4 billion purchase of downtown-based City National Bank, and the local financial services powerhouse continues to grow rapidly thanks, in part, to strategies implemented before the deal.

Take City National’s acquisition of financial technology firm Exactuals, which provides payment management software to entertainment industry clients, as an example.

The acquisition was announced last week, but it comes some five years into the relationship between the two parties. City National took a 20 percent stake in Exactuals in 2013 and then was part of a $10 million Series A funding round the company raised in February 2017.

City National Chief Executive Russell Goldsmith said that RBC has been supportive of continued transactional activity since it took over, and the Exactuals deal was indicative of how the Canadian bank has given Goldsmith and crew some level of autonomy in pursuing strategies put in place before the acquisition.

“We’ve been working with Exactuals since well before the RBC deal, but (RBC’s) been extremely supportive of it,” Goldsmith said.

As for the Exactuals deal itself, Goldsmith said it’s the type of opportunity the bank has looked to pursue in the fintech space for some time.

“We have a history of seeing a fintech product we like and going after it,” he said. “Our relationship with Exactuals evolved over the past five years and we agreed that the time was right to step up and bring the company into City National as a subsidiary.”

No deal terms were released and no valuation figures for Exactuals were made available during previous investments, according to a City National spokeswoman.

Exactuals will continue to operate as a standalone unit within City National. Chief Executive Mike Hurst will stay on in that role, as will the Exactual’s other executives. The company is based in West L.A.

Goldsmith said that the Exactuals deal fits into City National’s larger expansion strategy – much of which includes growth in its home territory of Los Angeles. City National opened a second downtown office at the newly rebranded City National 2 Cal at 350 S. Grand Ave. The bank also recently opened a branch in Crenshaw.

On the Mv

Watch company Mvmt (pronounced movement) is set to be acquired by Movado Group Inc. for $100 million, the companies announced Aug. 15.

Mvmt was founded in 2013 by Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante as a brand of affordable men’s watches, with price points around $100. The duo launched the company by fundraising approximately $300,000 on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

Revenue has since grown to $71 million, the announcement said. That’s up 18.3 percent from 2016 when Kassan and LaPlante told the Business Journal that Mvmt’s revenue was $60 million. Neither Kassan or LaPlante could be reached for comment last week.

The company has 40 employees, and its products are mostly sold through its website, and also carried by a few retailers, including at Nordstrom Inc. and Bloomingdales Inc. stores.

The initial price of the buyout could go up. Movado said it will pay the initial $100 million up front with two future contingent payments that could total an additional $100 million. The move sets up the watchmaker to deepen its hold on the millennial market, according to Movado Chief Executive Efraim Grinberg.

Have a deal tip? Henry Meier can be reached at or (323) 556-8321.

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