Premium content from Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal by Katharine Grayson, Staff reporter
Date: Friday, May 4, 2012, 5:00am CDT

There’s a lot going on in a bank’s back office and Kristefor Lysne has built a growing business by keeping that office running smoothly.

Lysne’s company, Terrapin Technologies Inc., offers software applications and consulting services that financial institutions use to better handle an array of tasks, such as managing documents, tracking customer transactions and scheduling. Last month, the Minneapolis company launched a product that allows financial-services firms and insurance companies to ensure they are complying with licensing regulations.

Financial firms must verify that their brokers are properly licensed to sell certain products. Terrapin’s new tool helps financial institutions track to manage such licensing data, which they also may need to produce in case of an audit. The company has historically relied on partnerships with other businesses to offer licensing data-management services, Lysne said.

Terrapin’s roots are in consulting. The company developed its first tech product, a system for processing annuities, in the late 1980s. It went on to broaden its portfolio of software products and its client base. Terrapin now provides services to many of the 40 largest financial institutions nationwide. Customers include Capital One and Branch Banking and Trust Co., based in Winston-Salem, N.C. Annual revenue has grown an average of 14 percent over the past five years, Lysne said. The company doesn’t disclose sales figures.

Earlier this year, the firm also moved into new office space in Northeast Minneapolis, giving it room to double its staff of 15. Lysne said he doesn’t have specific hiring plans for this year.

Lysne has taken a measured approach to growth and introduces products based on the needs of the company’s customers, he said. “I’m not necessarily interested in building a whiz-bang device and selling it to 100 banks. I’d rather work with three banks and just do it right. It makes us more heavy on the consulting side.”

Lysne developed an interest in technology as a kid, when his father used to regularly give him computer-programming assignments. Later on, he decided to pursue a career in biology and had a particular interest in studying lemurs in Madagascar. However, he came to dislike the slow pace of science and decided to move into the business world.

So far, Terrapin has been self funded and the company hasn’t pursued outside funding.

Terrapin Technologies Inc.
Headquarters: Minneapolis
President: Kristefor Lysne
Business: Manages back-office operations for banks
Employees: 15
Web: | (612) 288-2106

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