Travel News

Newly Acquired by JPMC, Frosch Goes Into Growth Mode

Brian Liebman

Frosh CEO Brian Leibman and others spoke …

  • JPMC acquisition
  • Growth targets
  • The new payment solution is already in the hopper

Closing a string of acquisitions of its own in the last two-plus years, travel management company Frosh agreed in May to be acquired by banking giant JPMorgan Chase. The move comes in line with recent trends from banking institutions such as US Bank, Capital One and others to add travel to their portfolios. But Frosh is a much bigger player than other acquirers, which tended to be startups like Travelbank or Lola, and Frosh executives told BTN that there are more ambitious prospects for revenue growth with JPMC’s new travel platform. This includes corporate travel solutions, especially in the innovation of payments, which the two companies have already begun to explore with key clients. BTN Editorial Director Elizabeth spoke with Brian Leibman, CEO of Westfroche, Judith Allen, President of the Global Corporate and Energy Division, and Graham Raskin, TCG Advisory President.

Business Travel News: Congratulations on your integration with JPMorgan Chase. How does it feel to be acquired by a financial powerhouse — and how does it transform Frosh as a company?

Brian Liebman: It was a great honor for me and our family and I think it is a great honor for all of us to have the opportunity to be part of a great organization. I think both Frosch and JPMC are very customer-centric companies. And we can talk about some of the different opportunities we can offer our clients now that we are part of this larger company. [environmental and social governance] And obviously the payment that we are very excited about. They are trying to expand all the different parts of our business — including the parts we talk about as corporate travel, entertainment or energy for our end-to-end services and consulting, where our TCG consulting business comes in. JPMC has a commitment to maintain all Frosh brands and build all our business lines – retirement as well as corporate.

BTN: Frosh itself has been a significant string of acquisitions and joint ventures over the past two plus years. Did you want to sell the business?

Liveman: We are not looking for this transaction. We were approached by JPMC, which apparently shared some of their goals to provide additional services to their vacation clients, such as providing luxury travel services to high-wealth cardholders or personal wealth clients. When we spoke further, they asked if we would be open to a full acquisition. And the reason we explore it is because it was really a 1 + 1 = 10 proposition when we talk about what it means for our employees. It was an opportunity for them to offer additional benefits – financial industry caliber benefits, at a completely different level. And provides more stability, security and opportunity for them.

BTN: And what about the clients?

Liveman: I think it’s important to emphasize that we work independently, with the same great leadership and all the same brands we were going to acquire. Our clients still have the same people they work with and have the same great service and support, but now have a bigger scale, bigger size, bigger resources to support them.

BTN: Merging with a financial institution must bring a lot of payment solutions to the table …

Judith Allen: This acquisition is the most exciting for me because it enables us as Frosch to explore and develop and deploy payment technologies that are not just ‘a solution suitable for all’. It is a payment and service solution that is part of the journey and customized according to market needs. These could be global or domestic or entertainment sectors, professional service clients, meetings and events and of course our small- and medium-sized business clients … they all have very specific needs. Now, by adding unique payment solutions to our segmented technology and with our TCG consulting arm, we truly offer and deliver end-to-end solutions that the industry has never really seen.

BTN: So is payment innovation at play at this point?

Allen: We’ve just completed our Corporate Client Advisory Board, where we’ve met with all of our clients and all of these parts and said, “Tell us where the gaps are, tell us what you need.” The uniqueness of this situation with JPMC and Frosch is that it is Frosch’s expertise that enables us to explore how to conduct conversations with JPMC. So we talk about virtual pay in the industry and the specific gaps there; And what would be appropriate for entertainment when you have to pay local in different countries. So understanding it and creating solutions from the perspective of travel management দিয়ে not just the solution of paying for travel. It’s really turning the process in his head.

BTN: What will happen outside of travel? Is JPMC looking for an opportunity to build a deeper financial or treasury relationship from the Frosh client roster?

Graham Ruskin: JPMC’s directive for autonomous performance … [for Frosch to] Continue doing what it does. But we always say business as usual means going out and performing. We will continue to do this across companies ’Frosh umbrellas. And just like after acquiring Frosch TCG, we are now doing some really exciting things with existing Frosch customers or clients who were Frosch and TCG clients before the acquisition. We want to hear and learn from our clients.

What I see, though, is a new opportunity for travel managers. Travel management teams have always been at the payment table, but now it can really be a role at that table. Maybe more now than ever before [the
role] Understand and align the company’s larger payment objectives. So asking our customers is really exciting for us [about this].

BTN: JPMC mentioned in an investor call that it will continue to provide travel services for that premier cardholder segment as well as small corporate businesses. Frosh has always played well in that SMB market, does JPMC want to be a part of that business?

Liveman: We are now a JPMC company. When they talk about following that client, they are talking about Frosh and growing that business with Frosh, not going to them independently, but bringing that service to the company through our platform. It’s the same with premium leisure space. We will continue to grow as we have done in the past and grow rapidly with the opportunity of additional clients in the JPMC family.

BTN: That sounds like some ambitious growth. Are there any numbers against that you can discuss?

Liveman: Where I can refer to a presentation [JPMC] Mentioned that they want to achieve significant growth by the end of 2025. They have released a figure of িয়ন 15 billion. [trading to total volume] From a number that is $ 8 billion today. So obviously, they are looking for significant growth.

BTN: I’m betting you’re hiring – though with all the other travel management companies in the industry. Will the new company give you an edge in the employment and convenience environment?

Liveman: There are many opportunities for existing and new talent at Frosch. There are about 300 open positions in our department across agent support, various products, technology. Really, every department এবং and an incredible growth opportunity. We believe in culture first and want to find the best people to make it a home Do we think that the stability and opportunity that comes from being a part of JPMC will give us an edge to attract that talent? Yes, I think it will. This is an incredibly exciting time.

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