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Andersen Consulting, Security First Join Forces

Management consultants Andersen Consulting and Internet applications provider Security First Technologies Corp. Monday announced plans to provide next generation financial services.

Andersen will provide $4 million equity investment to Security First, or S1 as it is also known. The companies will become strategic and preferred business partners. Jack Wilson, managing partner of global markets for Andersen Consulting, will be named to the board of Security First Technologies Corp.

The companies said that one of the first areas of collaboration will be to jointly develop new applications that will assist insurers in creating and managing online relationships with customers.

"Virtually overnight, the Internet and user-friendly technology have empowered a new generation of consumers with heightened expectations of financial services providers," said Joel Friedman, managing partner for Andersen Consulting's global banking unit.

"Customers now define the products and services they want as well as how and when they access them. The winners in this new scenario will be the providers that rapidly transform themselves, exploiting new technologies to respond to customer demands," Friedman said.

"By leveraging the expertise of both S1 and Andersen Consulting, this alliance not only validates the delivery of financial services over the Internet as a strategic channel, but also defines new standards of information access and integrated services," said James Mahan III, Security First Technologies' chief executive officer.

"As more organizations, from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds, enter the financial services industry, the market for Internet services will expand dramatically," Mahan said.