The IRESS-owned adviser software firm Xplan has signalled it is on an agressive expansion path with two major deals signed in the space of a week.

As announced yesterday, Xplan agreed to purchase risk software provider PlanTech for $15 million, but last week it also secured its first significant client in New Zealand in a deal signed with a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank (CBA). The deal in New Zealand to bolt on Xplan’s advisory tools to the Aegis wrap platform – which is owned by CBA subsidiary Sovereign – marks the first such agreement for an Australian front-end software firm across the Tasman. The Aegis contract is also something of a coup for Xplan given that in Australia the CBA selected its chief rival Coin as the front-end software provider for its advisory groups. Aegis is one of the two large wrap providers in New Zealand and includes several large institutional and independent advisory groups among its clients. According to Xplan general manager, Andrew Walsh, the group has been in talks with Aegis since the beginning of the year. Walsh said Xplan’s $15 million purchase of PlanTech will also extend its presence in New Zealand and South Africa where the risk software firm has a number of clients. Xplan is the last of Australia’s front-end software firms to tie in an insurance capability to its financial planning toolkit. However, one of its main competitors, IWL, paid only $2 million in April this year to buy out Boss Software with the intention to integrate it with Visiplan. The Macquarie-owned Coin, meanwhile, has developed its own insurance software module. “Many of our clients use or seek the functionality of PlanTech Risk Researcher and I am pleased they will experience efficiencies via this transaction,” Xplan’s Walsh said in the statement yesterday. According to the statement, both Xplan and PlanTech reported annual revenue of about $8 million each. IRESS bought Xplan in 2003 for $5 million following the collapse of an earlier attempt to purchase the IWL-owned Visiplan.

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