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Jade Software eyes a turnaround as 'lots' of new deals push recruitment

Jade Software eyes a turnaround as 'lots' of new deals push recruitment

Jade is targeting remitters, casinos and the gambling and racing industries with its anti-money laundering sotware.

John Ascroft (Jade Software)

John Ascroft (Jade Software)

Credit: Supplied

Christchurch-based Jade Software is reporting "lots" of new contract wins over the last few months and is on the hunt for 28 new staff.

Most of the new business came from modernisation projects for large Australasian companies wanting to make their software easier to use and able to work across different systems, said John Ascroft, Jade’s chief innovation officer  

"We are also seeing very encouraging growth in our international markets,” Ascroft said.

Jade wanted its 28 new team members on board immediately to help the company meet demand and achieve a ten year revenue target of $80 million.

That, however, required quite a turnaround. 

The company, which is owned by the UK's Skipton Building Society, recorded revenue of $30.8 million for the year ending 31 December 2020, down from $33.2 million in 2019 and $41 million in 2018.

After tax, Jade recorded a loss of $533,000 in 2020 down from a profit of $674,000 in 2019.

Twenty-five the vacancies were for roles based in New Zealand, two were in Australia and one at its York base in the United Kingdom.  

They included quality assurance engineers, software engineers, a client manager, a business analyst and a marketing coordinator.

It was exceptional to be recruiting that many people at once, considering Jade currently had only around 220 staff, Ascroft said.

“That’s a lot of new people to recruit and introduce to the company in one go," he said.

Ascroft was upbeat, however, about local tech training being able to fill demand because current COVID-19 pandemic immigration restrictions had a "flip side". 

“In the past it would have been fair to say that New Zealand tertiary institutions weren’t training enough people to meet industry needs, but that’s no longer the case," Ascroft said.  

Local tertiary providers were doing a good job of training graduate engineers, which was important given the difficulties hiring people from overseas.

“With the immigration tap currently turned off it’s more difficult to hire experienced people, but the flip side of that is that New Zealand companies often take on staff, train them for a few years and then lose them to overseas roles – which isn’t such an issue at the moment," he said.

"So we’ve got more of an equilibrium – which we hope will work in our favour."

Jade introduced innovative new ways of working in response to Covid-19, along with activities and a support programme to keep its staff connected and engaged.  

As a result, the company won the HR innovation category at the recent Human Resources New Zealand annual awards.

Jade develops solutions for building societies, finance companies and casinos all around the world.

Its ambition is that within ten years it will have four products delivering annual revenues of $20 million each.

Its Jade platform, a development and integration environment, already earned $20 million annually and the company had plans to grow its anti-money laundering Jade ThirdEye product to that level as well

It was also planning two new products, likely targeting regulated environments.

Through its Skipton links, Jade had expanded its Jade ThirdEye user base to UK building societies such as the Newcastle Building Society and Monmouthshire Building Society.

It was now targeting sectors characterised by regular, large financial transactions including, remitters, casinos and the gambling and racing industries.


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