AIA makes strategic move to invest in Contract Documents program

Late 2019 predictions were that investment in AEC technology would eclipse all previous years. Whether that plays out to be true amidst a highly unpredictable 2020, there is no question that investment opportunities abound, and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and True Wind Capital (TWC) have seized the moment.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership to invest in AIA’s successful Contract Document (ACD) program, to drive innovation in the platform and better serve customers and members over the long-term.

“AIA’s Contract Documents has had a storied legacy in the market for the last 132 years,” said AIA 2020 President Jane Frederick, FAIA.

AIA’s new strategic partner, True Wind Capital, is a long-term growth-oriented private equity firm focused on investing in high quality technology companies.

True Wind Capital, in partnership with the AIA, will invest in the ACD platform and product suite to enhance value to members and customers. AIA will continue to play a significant role in the future and direction of ACD.

“AIA’s Contract Documents has had a storied legacy in the market for the last 132 years,” said AIA 2020 President Jane Frederick, FAIA.

“It has been a tried and true product that has defined the terms and relationships involved in design and construction projects. But like so much in our industry, it has advanced far beyond being a collection of 200 contracts and forms. We need to think of this as a digital service that requires sophisticated user-friendly technology. In True Wind Capital, AIA has found a partner with the full expertise and resources to invest in ACD’s long-term success.”

“This is a great opportunity for the profession,” said EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. “The construction technology industry is rapidly evolving. Alongside True Wind, AIA is eager to continue to invest in ACD to drive long-term value to constituents across the industry. The AIA looks forward to this long-term relationship and what the next 132 years will bring to ACD.”

As part of the new strategic partnership, Chris Anderson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of ACD. Anderson was the former CEO of Building Systems Design (BSD), a provider of specification software and content. “I am honored to work alongside AIA to take ACD to the next level,” said Chris Anderson. “AIA has a remarkable brand and reputation within the industry, and I look forward to building upon the successful legacy of the program and delivering further value to our ACD customers.”

“Technology integration that promotes transparency and collaboration among all stakeholders in an AEC project is the goal,” he added.  “But the very first step that kicks off a project—all of that begins with an agreement, a contract—AIA Contract Documents. We look forward to partnering with AIA on this venture and to delivering, not just a great product for our customers, but a phenomenal experience.”

Aaron Matto, Partner at True Wind Capital, said, “We are thrilled to support AIA and Chris in this next phase of ACD’s growth and development. Our deep expertise in enterprise software and construction technology will help drive continued investment and innovation into the product.”  

“This is a great opportunity for the profession,” said EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. “The construction technology industry is rapidly evolving.”

AIA has a similar partnership for its AIA MasterSpec product, which provides specification content and cloud-based editing tools for the AECO industry. AIA owns the intellectual property in MasterSpec, and Deltek has developed the seamless and intuitive software interface for customers.  

“AIA is fortunate to be in a strong position to secure this partnership with True Wind Capital,” said Ivy. “This is an investment in the future. This partnership will enable strategic, long term growth for the ACD program, and will allow AIA to focus on those mission-based priorities where it can have the greatest impact.”

Founded in 1857, AIA is among the largest professional associations in the U.S. with 95,000 members. AIA Contract Documents were first released in 1888.

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