IT&e extends CommSec contract

ASX-listed financial solutions provider IT&e has secured the renewal of its services contract with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Originally landing the deal with stockbroking arm CommSec, the contract has now been extended to cover the whole of the bank's wealth management division, Premium Financial Services (PFS), and will see IT&e provide software and IT systems development and support services.

"This is a major portion of our business. The contract is not only a boost to our income but also an endorsement of specialised skills and service levels," said Bob Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of IT&e.

"What is significant is that CommSec is now part of the PFS group and our contract extends across those boundaries. This opens up opportunities for us to do things in other areas."

CommSec began trading in 1995 with a telephone-based share-trading service and launched the first Australian online trading platform in March 1997. It now claims to be the most visited financial Web site, with more than 10 million hits per day.

Sydney-based CommSec runs more than 45 servers and is responsible for more than 20 per cent of all retail share-trading transactions on the ASX. Microsoft partner IT&e designed, built and manages the CommSec site. It also customised applications to provide customer transaction confirmations and execution orders for back-office staff.

In October, IT&e announced an operating cash flow of $230,000 and investment returns of $1.45 million for the first financial quarter following the sale of its software development business in Malaysia.

IT&e started out as an amalgamation of five different businesses with its fingers in PC manufacture, wholesale distribution and software. It now concentrates solely on high-end software applications and development, having exited the hardware business.