Our History

Quartal began operations in 1997 as the web services division of Kauppamainos FCB, an established advertising agency specialising in traditional IR communications. From early on, Quartal’s key personnel were involved in creating the web presence and services for many of these clients. It was to serve their needs that the development of Quartal’s first web-based application services, including Share Monitor, was started.

In October 1998, Quartal became an independent company with ownership divided between Kauppamainos FCB and Quartal’s key personnel. Soon after that, in December 1999, Quartal’s management acquired these remaining shares with financing from the venture capitalist Holdem Capital. In the same year, separate business units were established for content management (“QCM”), financial solutions (“QFS”) and investor relations services (“QIRS”).

Financial & IR Services reach for a European-wide audience

As a specialist provider of investor relations and financial data management services, QFS and QIRS had set it sights beyond the Nordic market, to continental Europe. In order to support the development and international expansion of Quartal, the capital structure of Quartal was strengthened in the year 2000 by the venture capitalist CapMan Oyj.

A well-rounded and well-received product portfolio, together with strategic alliances and partnerships, helped QFS and QIRS gain a firm foothold in the continental European market. The following years saw growth throughout Quartal’s operations: by the end of 2002 Quartal’s turnover for the fiscal year had reached over 3m EUR and the company now employed more than 50 people. In January 2003, Quartal Financial Solutions became an a subsidiary and later in the same year the company opened sales offices in Zurich.

Content Management: towards e-business solutions 

Meanwhile, Quartal Content Management had strengthened its position in the domestic market in Finland, broadening its scope and expertise from development to deployment services, specialising in e-business and portal solutions built on Microsoft technologies. In 2002 Quartal, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, became one of the first Nordic companies to provide web-based solutions based on .NET, Commerce Server and SharePoint technologies. Since then Quartal Content Management further extended its expertise to cover Microsoft-based integrated e-business, portal- and CRM solutions.

Quartal Group expands

In 2004, Quartal and Kauppalehti, Finland’s leading business medium, formed a joint investor relations services venture which combined the companies’ IR businesses. The new company, Quartal Investor Relations Services Oy, became a subsidiary of the Quartal Group. In August the same year, Quartal Group further expanded its IR business by acquiring its German competitor Financial Life Media AG (Flife), which in turn soon bought its domestic rival Globo Net GmbH. With these acquisitions, the group’s client base in the IR sector grew to 370 listed companies spanning 13 countries, making Quartal the largest provider of online IR services in Europe.

First divestment takes place

The year 2005 also saw mergers in Quartal’s financial services business. Synergies in several areas led the way to the forming of a new subsidiary group, Quartal Financial Solutions AG, through the merger of Quartal Financial Solutions Oy and the Swiss solution providers Aquin Financial AG. The Frankfurt-based company Aquila Consulting GmbH joined the new group as Quartal Financial Solutions (Deutschland) GmbH when QFS AG acquired the majority of its shares.

In 2005 the structure of our IR business was streamlined and branded under the name of Quartal Flife – operations of the acquired businesses were successfully merged and integrated and new services were delivered to serve the growing demand of the listed companies in Europe.

In December 2005, for the first time in it’s history, Quartal sold something. Satama Oyj bought our Content Management subsidiary and in the wake of the transaction Quartal Oy became one of the largest shareholders in Satama Oyj.

Outside recognition and new business area arrives

During the last years we have been able to enjoy healthy revenue and profitability. The European expansion in the IR market has also continued. Thus is May 2006 we acquired Trade Eleven GmbH, a local IR competitor in the German market.

Ernst & Young was also kind enough to give Quartal recognition and thus awarded CEO and founder of Quartal, Aarne Aktan, to be the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006.

In 2007 we opened an entirely a new business area, Quartal Corporate Governance Solutions, that helps companies to reach new levels in board work and collaboration. During the very same year Quartal was actively arranging a new future to Satama Oyj by helping a merger between Satama and Trainers' House Oyj. 

Into the bigger world

Despite the economic catastrophy in year 2008 Quartal was able to enjoy some revenue growth as well as enhanced profitability. Just before the year end we were able to close a transaction in which Investis Ltd, leading European online corporate communications house, acquired our Online Investor Relations subsidiary Quartal Flife. As a result of the transaction Quartal became a significant shareholder in Investis and Investis became by far the largest online corporate communications house in Europe - serving over 1.000 listed clients with asp-technology in 19 different European countries.