AMP, Andersen extend loving relationship

AMP and Andersen Consulting have extended the scope of their AMPlus technology partnership to concentrate on developing strong ecommerce technologies for AMP's core retail businesses.

Formed in 1997, AMPlus is an internal technology venture between AMP and Andersen Consulting. It is due to expire in June this year.

Following the success of the relationship, Andersen Consulting has been selected as AMP's key strategic partner for the ebusiness initiatives, Justin Kirkwood, AMP's corporate media manager, said.

According to a statement to the ASX on Friday, the company is planning several ebusiness initiatives to extend its banking platform and channel using the internet.

"New customer management tools will be introduced, the banking platform will be further extended to create an internet channel, external financial advisors will be linked to AMP via the internet, and a number of ebusiness initiatives are being planned," the statement said.

Kirkwood said the initiatives are being planned for AMP's financial products for retail, commercial and institutional customers in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

AMP is planning to build a "direct bank" which only operates in the virtual world. It will have no branches and will not be a bricks and mortar bank, he said.

According to Kirkwood, the ebusiness initiatives should improve AMP's distribution to customers as well as provide more efficient distribution systems and costs savings. "It will help us aggressively manage costs . . . there are certainly savings to be made."

Kirkwood would not reveal further details of the company's plans.

According to AMP, from June, management of AMPlus will revert fully to AMP one year ahead of the original schedule. Dave Hoffman, Andersen Consulting partner, will continue as AMP's CIO.

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