University Park, IL--Vista Equity Partners and James P. Kellner have acquired Applied Systems, Inc., the insurance software company born 20 years ago in suburban Chicago as a one-product, home-based business that grew to become the leading provider of automation solutions in the property and casualty insurance industry.

Vista is a San Francisco-based private equity firm that invests in private and public technology-enabled companies, focusing on successful organizations committed to maintaining industry leadership. Kellner is a 19-year veteran of Applied Systems, starting as director of new product development, later serving as director of the large agent and broker division, then becoming company president.  With the new partnership, Kellner continues in his role as Applied Systems chief executive officer and chairman of the board.

"This investment is consistent with our strategy of partnering with exceptional executives in technology-oriented, high-growth potential industries," said Robert Smith, Managing Director, Vista Equity Partners. "Applied Systems has been very successful to date, and we are excited to be affiliated with this company because of its strong product offering, its very loyal and satisfied customers, and its highly talented group of employees."

"Given these core strengths and the benefits of the company's products, we believe that Applied Systems' opportunities for continued growth and profitability are better now than at any other point in its history," Smith said.

Applied Systems is among the largest insurance software companies in North America. Nearly 120,000 users comprising 10,000 agencies conduct business using Applied Systems agency management systems and related products. Nearly 300 of the largest brokers and other financial institutions with insurance operations use Applied Systems products to automate their affiliated insurance agencies.

"We are excited to have found a business partner like Vista, which is uniquely qualified to help position Applied Systems for continued growth and will allow us to strengthen and expand our presence in the marketplace," Kellner said. "By taking on Vista as an investment partner, we remain true to Applied Systems' core values of maintaining the highest levels of client satisfaction and quality products."

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