Chairman Jack Prim, left, handed the daily reins to President and CEO David Foss and CFO Kevin Williams, right.
SBJ file photo
2017 Dynamic Dozen No. 11: Jack Henry & Associates Inc.
SBJ: What has been key to your recent growth? Davis Foss: Our growth can be attributed to consistent performance in our space. We’re known as a solid partner for our financial institutions. Numerous institutions are continuing to join the Jack Henry family and do more business with us because of that solid long-term performance. Every year, we’re rolling out new products and continuing to add revenues. We also buy companies once in a while, [such as Birmingham, Alabama-based Bayside Business Solutions in July 2015]. Continuing to add customers, continuing to roll out new products, that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time.
SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth? Foss: There are always challenges, but we’ve been growing at a good steady rate for a long time, so it’s pretty manageable for us. There’s the challenge of finding the right people. There’s always that challenge that lingers, but it’s nothing unusual.
SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do? Foss: We’re a public company. There’s an expectation with our shareholders that we will continue to grow the top line and grow the bottom line. The fact that we’re continuing to grow has allowed us to continue to increase our dividend to our shareholders, which they like, and continue to add jobs. We’re employing more people today than we were a year ago.
SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable? Foss: Sure. What we’ve done for a long time is we’ve had good, solid organic growth. We’re always looking for acquisitions so we will add a small company here and there to give us a greater opportunity to grow. We don’t use acquisitions as the only approach to growing the top line.
We’re always focused on organic growth as well. That model has worked well for us in the past, and I see us continuing to do that.
SBJ: Is there such a thing as growing too fast? Foss: It’s hard for me to imagine us growing too quickly organically. Now, if we went and did a series of really large acquisitions, that might be a challenge. But we don’t just do acquisitions to do acquisitions.
SBJ: Have your goals changed as business has taken off? Foss: Goals haven’t changed partly because I wouldn’t characterize our business as having “taken off.” We provide good steady growth and have for a long time. Our goal continues to be centered around providing an industry-leading workplace for our associates, industry-leading technology solutions for our customers and outstanding customer service.
SBJ: What is the worst business advice you’ve received? Foss: I had a CEO of a company who thought we were too conservative, that you should go out and acquire companies and the objective was just to get big. To us, that’s not the objective. It’s controlled growth. It’s making smart decisions. It’s not just about getting big.