Front adds back-office capability to Arena

Front’s head of product management, John Mooren, told the back-office capability was an “add-on” to the company’s current front-office technology, but admitted that there were a number of “overlaps” in products offered by parent SunGard.

But Front’s back-office system will not handle clearing or general ledger accounting, and the Stockholm-based company has no plans to sell it as a stand-alone product.

Front will initially target smaller institutions that are less willing to support multiple interfaces required between a number of software and systems products offered by a variety of vendors. The idea is to automate reconciliation and help prevent costly manual errors. But Front also expects some larger firms to adopt the back-office add-on as they struggle to make their IT spends cost effective in the gloomy economic climate.

The back-office product will handle over-the-counter derivatives, foreign exchange and money market operations, offering straight-through processing for cash settlement, general ledge postings and trade confirmations.

Front has conducted several tests with small and large financial institutions to test its new back-office capabilities. Mooren said these tests have proven successful, but declined to name the institutions involved. He added that more than 50% of potential new clients had expressed an interest in the back-office product.

Development of the new back-office technology started in late 2001.

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