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The Acquisitive Fair Isaac

December 3

Giant credit data vendor Fair Isaac has been steadily racking up a string of acquisitions, generally pursuing a strategy of extending its core strength in credit data analysis for consumer credit card vendors and commercial lenders into marketing data analysis.

Fair Isaac’s streak began acquiring in December 2001 when it announced its purchase of privately-owned Nykamp Consulting, a customer relations management advisory service. Then in October, 2002 it completed an $800 million purchase of HNC, a fraud detection software vendor in a move that supplemented Fair Isaac’s credit scoring expertise.

These two deals were followed by two more in quick succession: last September’s purchase of Diversified HealthCare Services, an outsourced worker’s compensation services firm generating revenues of about $20 million; and last October’s acquisition of Seurat, a VC-sponsored consultancy that specializes in converting marketing data into creative integrated marketing campaigns.

In the case of Nykamp and Seurat, the idea, according to Richard Howe, Fair Isaac’s VP of global marketing, is eventually to create a prospect’s “marketing score” similar to the company’s FICO credit score used to rate the risk and financial attractiveness of would-be debtors.

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