Vertex Financial Services closes 1st Software acquisition

Source: Vertex Financial Solutions

Vertex Financial Services, a leading provider of outsourced services and technology solutions to the life & pensions, mortgages and investment industry, today announced the completion of its acquisition of 1st Software Group Ltd (1st) - a pivotal player in the IFA technology market.

Following the completion, the integration of Adviser Office (1st's back office solution) and Exweb (the Exchange's portal) will create the industry's first independent straight-through processing (STP) utility – available marketwide to all financial intermediaries and product providers. With rapid progress having been made over the past few weeks, the initial integration between the two market leading offerings is scheduled for completion in May 2006 – ahead of the previous "Autumn 2006" target.

1st will become a key part of Vertex, fitting within the Exchange business, creating a unique proposition for the industry. 1st has over 11,000 adviser users across the UK, ranging from national brokers to sole traders. The Exchange has 23,500 adviser users and a broad product and service offering including Exweb, Exweb Broker, Exweb Gold and Officeweb.

David Child, managing director of The Exchange comments: "Following the original announcement about the acquisition we have received tremendous feedback from providers, advisers and partners, offering their support for what we are doing. Not only will this partnership drive huge cost efficiencies for insurers, but most significantly it creates a real opportunity for thousands of advisers to benefit from the time and cost-saving rewards which e-commerce and straight-through processing offer."

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