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August 15, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

Financial Objects Ltd founder Roger Foster says his company’s acquisition of wholesale banking company IBIS Ltd is the most exciting thing he’s seen since the golden days of Apricot Computers Plc. Financial Objects bought the AS/400-based banking software house from Italian International Bank and IBM UK Ltd, which held 90% and 10% of IBIS respectively. The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, was funded by a further investment by way of subscription by Financial Objects’ institutional shareholders, Schroder Ventures and Thompson Clive. Foster says IBIS is a solid, quality company with around 100 major customers in some 240 locations worldwide. In the year to December, it had revenue of 16m pounds. This, he says, is a perfect complement to his own start-up company, established last year (CI No 2,817), which is developing new technology for banks, in the form of its Domino system. Domino is a component-based system following the latest Microsoft Corp strategy, which will run on Windows NT using ActiveX components. The acquisition gives Financial Objects the critical mass it needs to compete and become a high growth company, which Foster admits is the only type of business he is interested in building. Financial Objects’ partnership agreement with Tata Sons & Co Pvt Ltd’s Tata Consultancy Services division of Bombay (CI No 2,913) completes the company’s banking porfolio, with the Unix-based client-server Quartz system, for which it has exclusive distribution rights in the UK. Financial Objects will take on all of IBIS’s 100 staff, with the exception of its managing director, and its offices in London, New York, Singapore, Luxembourg and Prague. This, says Foster, gives the company the international presence it so far lacked. Foster insists that the company will continue both to support and develop the IBIS system, and will begin to build bridges between the three sets of software it will now be offering. The company’s first release of its Domino system, which will be fully Internet-enabled, is on target for October this year, Foster said.

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