Wall Street Systems Buys Speranza

Treasury solutions provider Wall Street Systems has acquired Speranza Systems, a Portland, Maine-based company that has an electronic bank account management (eBam) product, in a deal that underscores the expectations of strong demand for eBam.

Wall Street Systems says it will integrate Speranza's product into its Wallstreet Suite and Wallstreet Treasury solutions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Wall Street Systems is owned by Warburg Pincus, a private equity investor.

Paul Wheeler, managing director of Wallstreet Treasury at Wall Street Systems, notes that the company has been working with Speranza for a couple of years.

"It was a partnership that we took to the next level," Wheeler says, adding that the company expects "tremendous growth" in eBam. "We've come into a market that's very, very hot right now," he says. "We're delighted to have acquired the leading product in this space."

Wall Street Systems will continue to service Speranza's existing clients, Wheeler says, even those that use other treasury solutions. And it will continue to make Speranza available either as an installed product or on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis. He says, though, that the company expects "a massive transition" to SaaS. "We think eventually eBam will become completely SaaS-based, but we're willing to support clients however is appropriate for them," Wheeler says.

Judson Murchie, an analyst with consultancy Aite Group in Chicago, notes that in its hosted product, Wallstreet Treasury, Wall Street Systems combines core treasury functionality with access to best-of-breed vendors. Speranza has been one of those best-of-breed vendors. "It will be interesting to see if down the road there are other partners that they may work with as best of breed that they may acquire," he says.

The credit crisis has forced companies to reconsider the long-term trend toward bank consolidation and convinced some of the value in having relationships with multiple strong banks, Murchie says. "If companies are indeed saying bank consolidation isn't the only thing we need to focus on, then the need for solutions that allow bank account management and the efficiencies gained through that is very likely to increase."

Wheeler says that while moving beyond the inefficiency of paper-based processes for managing bank accounts is a big part of eBam's attraction for both corporations and banks, the demand also reflects the pressure companies feel from Sarbanes-Oxley and their auditors to have tighter controls over those processes.

SWIFT, the bank communications network, announced last week that it had gone live with its electronic bank account management offering.

Wall Street Systems says Speranza's CEO, Glen Solimine, will join Wall Street as head of sales for Wallstreet Treasury.

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