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Jasper McMahon

The managing director of Misys Interactive Trading says the company is on

the brink of a very exciting development for IFAs where they will genuinely

be able to e-trade in life and pensions. New software and systems will have

a major impact on the marketplace, he says.

No matter how much you goad him on, Jasper Mc^_Mahon will not blow his own

trumpet. Either the 41-year-old managing director of Misys Interactive

Trading is shy or he pulls off a very convincing act.

He has been running the internet services division of Misys, an insurance

portal, for over three years. He joined from management consultants

McKinsey & Co back in 1996 to manage the group&#39s internet-based financial

services business and began by setting up Screentrade, the UK&#39s first

insurance portal.

He has had to adjust from being effectively a one-man band at start-up to

a team of over 40.

An Oxford graduate in politics, philosophy and economics, Mc^_Mahon is

des^_cribed by coll^_eagues as very engaging but also a reflective man –

perhaps not the obvious qualities you would expect to find in an industry

better known for its wham bam and in your face attitude.

After leaving Oxford, he moved into investment banking which took him

around the world. During seven years split between Salomon Bro^_thers and

SG Warburg, he worked in New York, London and Tokyo.

He claims to have no hobbies and no passions and will tell you only that

delays rile him and that is why he prefers the London Underground to his

car when getting about the capital. He says it was his loathing of delays

and his fear about not being quick enough off the mark which saw

Screentrade launch a year ahead of any real traffic on the internet.

At the start, he says the whole process seemed incredibly slow and he was

concerned about the timing. But he says nothing was going on the web at the

time of launching and things only really picked up a year later.

“When I joined Misys it was a very exciting time and I was worried that

the venture would suffer from delays but it transpires that we had things

in place before the market really took off.”

Misys Interactive Trading has since benefited from the rapid growth in

consumer web traffic. In the spring of last year, he says they took the

decision to put the foot on the accelerator in terms of cranking out new


McMahon&#39s assertion that he is not passionate comes unstuck as his usually

measured tone becomes animated when talking about what the future holds for

IFAs and Misys. He says the group&#39s policy of acquiring IFA networks bears

testimony to it putting its money where its mouth is when it says it

believes in the future of IFAs.

To date, Misys owns Financial Options, Country^_wide and Kestrel. McMahon

says he is confident the bid for IE Group will be successful. “There is a

natural fit for IFA networks to join up with IT firms. The web is the way

forward for the market.”

The company is now pre^_paring to roll out, a quotation and

trading portal
for IFAs.

It has been piloted with IFAs and product providers since January and

McMahon says it will be ready to launch properly in May. On the

side he says the plan is to launch add-ons to the current service in the

third quarter. He says digital TV will figure heavily and the group has

already brokered a deal with Cable and Wireless.

“We aim to provide IFAs with the means to gather information, transact and

trade in all of their product categories of life, pensions and mortgages.”

M-link will be offered as both a desktop package and an internet portal.

Misys&#39 consumer portal will offer a similar package but with a different

flavour, he says. It will be focused on selling simple products that do not

require advice.

When asked about the spate of consolidation among the networks, McMahon

says: “There are lots of different types of networks out there operating

like clubs with different personalities and I very much doubt the business

will ever reach the point where it is fully consolidated.”

McMahon is powerless to prevent excitement scuppering his cool demeanour

when he launches into what the future holds.

“We are on the brink of a very exciting development for IFAs where, after

all the talk, they will genuinely be able to e-trade in life and pensions.

We now have the software and systems available which will have a major

impact on the marketplace.”

On the consumer side, he fully anticipates the emergence of the

e-intermediary and says Misys will be keeping a keen eye on its


McMahon sums up his contribution to Misys Inter^_active Trading in

typically unassuming terms. “The visibility of what I have been doing here

has grown and grown, but not through me,
it has been the growth in web

use. And this growth has meant we have found ourselves right in the middle

of the action.”


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