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AMP unveils online financial planning and advice service from DirectAdvise Inc.; GFI launches email security testing zone; Arab Banking Corporation-Egypt selects internet-enabled banking system from System Access; Bank of Cyprus chooses Surecomp's IMEX Trade Finance Solution; Neoris and PVA International team up to form Latin America consultancy.

AMP, an Australia-based international financial services company, now offers an online financial planning and advice service licensed from DirectAdvice Inc., a Hartford, Conn.-based developer of customizable, hosted financial planning and advice solutions.

To gain maximum leverage from the new platform, AMP will deploy the service, called My Plan, via three powerful distribution channels: through its 1,900 financial planners, through self-directed channels, and through its worksite marketing companies. Initial implementation will be to AMP's financial planners, followed by a self-directed version for individuals who do not need an Advisor's support in the planning process.

"We needed a sophisticated and cost-effective system that would work alongside the personal advice provided by AMP's financial planners, supplementing their services and offering alternatives for those customers who don't want, or need, that level of personal contact," said Andrew Mohl, managing director of AMP Financial Services. "We selected DirectAdvice to create a version of their advice platform for us because of their financial planning expertise and proven technology."

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GFI, London, has launched an Email Security Testing Zone to enable organizations to check whether their email systems are vulnerable to email viruses and attacks.

The zone, http://www.gfi.com/emailsecuritytest/, allows visitors to discover instantly if their system is secure against current and future email threats, such as emails containing infected attachments, emails with malformed MIME headers, and HTML mails with embedded scripts.

"Often, it is only upon infection by an email virus that businesses realize they are vulnerable to email-borne threats," explained Nick Galea, CEO of GFI. "GFI's Email Security Testing Zone now allows organizations to instantly discover if they are vulnerable, enabling them to take proactive steps to defend their email system."

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Arab Banking Corporation-Egypt has signed a license and services agreement for netSYMBOLS, an internet-enabled banking system produced by System Access, a London-based global enterprise banking software supplier.

System Access' netSYMBOLS solution is a comprehensive internet-enabled banking system designed around a customer relationship foundation, covering all aspects of retail and wholesale banking. ABC-Egypt decided to work with System Access because of its expert technology and because the company has a flexible approach to technological developments.

"netSYMBOLS is a robust, flexible, modular, scalable and highly secure solution," said Hany Seif El Nasr, chief executive officer of ABC-Egypt. "The system's open architecture and inherent flexibility will help us quickly develop new products and tailor existing services to satisfy changing customer needs."

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Bank of Cyprus, Nicosia, has licensed Surecomp's IMEX Trade Finance solution. Bank of Cyprus is the largest financial institution in Cyprus.

Cyprus Bank, among the top 150 European Banks and one of the top 400 banks worldwide, will use IMEX to centralize its trade finance operations and offer standardized professional real time services to all their corporate clients.

"By implementing IMEX Thin Client we will achieve our stated goal of utilizing state of the art technology to provide world class service to our clients," said Panayiotis Hadjicharalambous, senior IT manager at Bank of Cyprus. "With more than three hundred planned users of the IMEX system throughout all our branches, our requirement for implementing a thin-client solution was fundamental. The advanced functionality of IMEX offers us both flexibility, ease of use, superb management information capabilities and a tight control of costs. The multi-entity feature of IMEX will also offer us a seamless opportunity to expand our operations to our overseas offices in Greece and elsewhere."

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Neoris, a business solutions provider that is part of CxNetworks, and PVA International, Inc., a New York-based financial services solutions consultancy, today announced the creation of Neoris FS. The joint venture will manage and deliver business and IT solutions for financial services firms, corporate treasuries, commodity trading firms, and government agencies operating in Latin America. Neoris FS is headquartered in Miami.

Neoris FS combines PVA's consulting expertise in working with capital market participants, with Neoris' Ibero-American network and track record of implementing successful business solutions across numerous industries worldwide. PVA has worked with over 50 clients in four continents, including Citigroup, Societe Generale, Freddie Mac, as well as various central banks.

"Drawing on the many successful engagements and proven methodologies of both Neoris and PVA, the Neoris FS model is unique in Ibero-America," said Martin Hecker, chief executive officer of Neoris. "Neoris has helped clients from many industries make their internal processes more efficient and enhance their relationships with customers, employees, and suppliers. By teaming with PVA, we will leverage the complimentary capabilities of both firms to improve our service to financial services organizations, and to design specific solutions that satisfy both the immediate and long term needs of our clients."

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