Qumas heads for NY listing

CORK software company Qumas took a major step towards a listing on New York’s NASDAQ yesterday as it announced a ground-breaking deal with one of the world’s biggest financial services heavyweights.

Fidelity Investments, a mutual fund giant that has more than $1,000 billion (€770 billion) in assets under management, will use Qumas software to make sure that its 32,000 staff comply with the company’s legal and financial requirements around the world.

The deal is the world’s biggest-ever contract for corporate governance services and will be worth up to $10 million over three years.

Qumas, which is headquartered on Monahan Road and employs 110 people, said the deal would make its compliance systems the benchmark for the financial services industry. It will sign similar deals with two more top international institutions in the coming months and is also a leading player in healthcare compliance.

Qumas founder and chief executive Paul Hands said the contract would put the company in the driving seat in its sector and change the way financial services companies looked at the issue of compliance.

Compliance procedures have become increasingly important since tough new rules governing finance and accounting were introduced in the wake of the high-profile collapse of American energy company, Enron.

“We see ourselves becoming to compliance what Microsoft is to word processing,” said Mr Hands. He added that Qumas’s key advantage over rivals was an ability to deliver systems that could cope with multiple regulatory requirements at the same time.

Mr Hands also said the company, which was set up 10 years ago, was on track to list on the NASDAQ exchange within three years. Revenues are expected to be in the region of $20 million this year, but Mr Hands said annual income would shoot up to $100 million by 2008.

The announcement came on the final day of Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin’s trade visit to New York, Washington and Boston to promote companies supported by state business development agency Enterprise Ireland.

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