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Andersen boosts financial services

The consulting and services company inks a $4 million investment deal with Security First Technology, which builds and operates transactional Internet applications for financial organizations.

Andersen Consulting is boosting its financial services offering.

The consulting and services company has inked a $4 million investment deal with Security First Technology, which builds and operates transactional Internet applications for financial organizations.

As part of the alliance, the two companies will be strategic and business partners, and Jack Wilson, managing partner of Global Markets for Andersen, will be named to the board of directors for Security First (S1).

"Virtually overnight, the Internet and user-friendly technology have empowered a new generation of consumers with heightened expectations of financial services providers," Joel Friedman, managing partner for Andersen Consulting's global Banking Line of Business, said in a statement. "Customers now define the products and services they want as well as how and when they access them. The winners in this new scenario will be the providers that rapidly transform themselves, exploiting new technologies to respond to customer demands."

The companies claim that by combining the expertise of both S1 and Andersen Consulting, this alliance not only validates the delivery of financial services over the Internet as a strategic channel, but also sets new standards of information access and integrated services.

"As more organizations, from both traditional and nontraditional backgrounds, enter the financial services industry, we believe the market for Internet services will expand dramatically. With Andersen Consulting's...global infrastructure, as well as its implementation resources and experience, S1 will be better equipped to meet the challenges brought on by this explosive growth."

Andersen Consulting's Financial Services practice provides management and technology consulting to financial services firms across three broad industry segments: banking, insurance, and health services.

The practice serves, among other organizations, retail, investment, and commercial banks; investment management firms; securities firms; depositories; exchanges; property & casualty insurers; life insurers; health insurers and health providers.

The first major alliance announced by Andersen this year follows a great year for the global consulting firm, in which revenues surged 27 percent to $7.8 billion from $6.1 billion the previous year.