In a deal that will combine a base of more than 9,000 financial institutions and 2,500 corporate users of messaging technology, SWIFT plans to acquire Ambit Messaging Hub Assets from SunGard.

Officials from both firms say the move is designed to strengthen the relationship between the companies, since SunGard’s AvantGard Echosystem Communication Hub (Echos) for corporate-to-bank messaging is based on the AMH technology.

The solution will be marketed by SWIFT as AMH (Advanced Messaging Hub). “This deal gives us the ability to work with our customers on a different level," said Michael Fish, CIO and head of information technology and operations for SWIFT. "With AMH, our customers will have the ability to connect multiple back-office applications with communication channels, one of them being SWIFT.

"That message hub capability is not something we had before," Fish continued. "It's a very nice compliment to our Swift Alliance Access, which is a specific interface that handles one of the communication channels, i.e. the one to Swift."

Ken Dummitt, president of SunGard’s AvantGard business unit, says the partnership will give SunGard’s corporate clients a single point of connectivity to their bank partners.

SunGard will continue to support its existing MINT messaging solution, and customers using MINT will be able to work with SWIFT and SunGard to migrate to AMH.

The management and staff of SunGard’s Ambit Messaging Hub product line, or about 20 employees, will transfer to a newly set-up SWIFT subsidiary as part of the deal and will be based in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. The subsidiary will be led by Hans Cobben, who has been heading the group within SunGard.

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