Financial Objects Plc, the newly formed software house specialising in applications for banks and the financial services industry, has launched its first range of products which it hopes will propel it up to the industry high ground. The company was founded in 1996 by ex-Apricot Computers Ltd millionaire Roger Foster, who sold Apricot to Mitsubishi Electric Corp for 39m pounds in 1990. Having seen it all before, Foster has a vision of building his latest venture into more of a Porsche than a General Motors. Ownership of the company is split between management, who own 50%, and two major institutional investors. Foster’s engineers started out by creating ActiveBank which is a Microsoft compliant application tool set for building flexible banking applications. Having purchased 100% of banking software house IBIS Ltd in August, Financial Objects has gone on to create its first set of applications to work around the IBIS banking system, which it claims is already installed in 250 sites around the world. The new set of applications have been released to coincide with the launch of the latest version of IBIS Release 7. Institutions using IBIS, which runs on IBM Corp’s AS/400 hardware, include Lloyds Bank and the Alliance & Leicester. In Foster’s vision of the future, traditional host systems such as the AS/400 will become little more than transaction servers for new Microsoft NT client/server networks. The new applications are called IBIS R7 Online Banking and Market Risk Manager both of which are NT based. Foster is a long term Microsoft Corp fan and at Thursday’s launch he underlined his commitment to Gates’ creed by stating I cannot see anything preventing Windows NT from becoming the dominant operating system for the next 15 years. The Online Banking module is designed to provide 24 hour remote services to a bank’s corporate, retail and private high net worth customers. The initial NT based server is priced at 40,000 pounds, with each additional server costing 20,000 pounds and each user adding a further cost of 250 pounds. Market Risk Manager is a real time risk management package aimed at city dealers and treasurers. The server costs 40,000 pounds with an additional 2,000 pounds per user. The first set of financial statements for Financial Objects Plc will be prepared for the period to 31st December 1997.