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June 20, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:26pm


By CBR Staff Writer

A newly listed UK company is aiming to make some sense from the exploding market in retail financial services, where banks are turning into insurance companies and where supermarkets want to sell loans instead of groceries. AIT Group Plc based in Henley- on-Thames has been trading successfully since it was founded in 1986 and the company is now on the brink of a listing on the London Stock Exchange. It trades in a niche called customer engagement where its TSS software (short for Teledirect Service System) helps institutions who want to sell their financial products directly to the general public. TSS is a common code base used to build specific applications in the rapidly evolving areas of telephone banking, direct insurance, mortgage quotations and self service customer enquiries via kiosks or the Internet. The unique selling proposition is the ability of TSS to integrate all the various channels of sale together, preventing duplication of information and allowing institutions the chance to sell more than one financial product to their customers. This is the key because of the 10 major financial products most people will buy in their lifetime, most banks only manage to sell 1.6 of them, while insurance companies are down at a measly 1.1. TSS/3 is written in C++ to run on Windows 95 or NT and uses an Oracle data base. The R&D spend is currently focused on transferring the technology to a thin client architecture. Customers include several of the big UK clearing banks together with a major national bank in the USA. In the year to March 97 AIT turned over 10.7m pounds with pre-tax profits of 1.5m pounds. Compound growth in revenues has been 48% since 1992. Unlike many other companies in this sector AIT doesn’t see a shortage of staff curtailing its growth. It seems that computer science graduates regularly use e- mail to stay in touch with students in the year below them, passing on the realities of life with new employers. AIT looks after its staff, and they’re queuing up to get in the door. The company plans to raise 10m pounds through a placing of new and existing shares with the business being handled by Greig Middleton & Co. Trading is expected to commence on 26th June.

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