Interbank co-operative Swift is to buy SunGard's Ambit Messaging Hub, which offers banks and corporates a high volume interface to the international financial messaging network. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
SunGard launched the Ambit Messaging Hub in 2008 as a next-generation successor to the old Mint interface device. The java-based product supports XML and non-XML messaging forms and all SwiftNet services, including FileAct and InterAct. Providing an enterprise-wide single interface for Swift services, including branches and customers, AMH enables banks to rip out legacy interfaces at remote locations and consolidate their messaging infrastructure through a single Web front-end.
More importantly for Swift, as it seeks to extend its services to the corporate community, AMH also offers a foot-in-the-door to the 2500 or so corporations connected to the SunGard AvantGard Ecosystem network, which uses the same technology for bank-to-corporate messaging.
Under the deal, which is expected to close by the end of this quarter, the 20 employees attached to AMH will transfer to a newly set-up Swift subsidiary which will have outposts in Mechelen in Belgium, Frankfurt and Zurich. The subsidiary will be led by Hans Cobben, who has been heading the group within SunGard. Swift will market Ambit as AMH (Advanced Messaging Hub).
Ken Dummitt, president of SunGard's AvantGard business unit, says: "This agreement...brings together a combined network of more than 9000 financial institutions and 2500 corporations. For SunGard's corporate customers, it means they will have a single point of connectivity to their bank partners via SunGard's AvantGard Ecosystem Communication Hub. Moving forward, SunGard will focus on corporate-to-bank connectivity and corporate-to-corporate connectivity."
Swift says the new system will not replace its existing suite of Alliance-based products, which will continue to be sold, maintained and supported. SunGard says it will also continue to support legacy Mint customers, and provide a migration path to AMH.