A two-year-old Internet banking software vendor with only one customer has attracted a well-known industry executive as its new chief executive officer.
Home Account Network of Charleston, S.C., said Charles A. White, who was president of electronic commerce payment services at First Data Corp., has succeeded Andrew T. Barrett, a founding investor who had served as CEO since 1996.
At First Data, Mr. White played a pivotal role in establishing MSFDC, its joint electronic bill presentment venture with Microsoft Corp.
"Home Account Network has done well to attract a senior person from MSFDC, in terms of the credibility, connections, and knowledge that he'll bring," said Chris Mustos, senior analyst at Gomez Advisers, Concord, Mass.
First Tennessee Bank of Memphis, which launched its Internet service in May, remains Home Account Network's lone customer. Competing vendors, including Edify Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., and Security First Technologies of Atlanta have 60 and 81 customers, respectively.
Mr. White attributed Home Account's slow start to the fact that it "didn't have a sales organization early on. Now we're getting ready to ramp up." Home Account bolstered its sales and marketing ranks in early August, hiring a vice president of sales and a business development manager.
Mr. White said he was attracted to Home Account because of its "solid technology" and the company's approach to financial planning. Home Account builds its software applications in Java, the computing language that can run on multiple operating platforms. Home Account also owns patents related to the way it delivers financial planning services and makes investment recommendations.
Mr. White will have to work fast, Mr. Mustos said. "Given the success of First Tennessee's Web site, Home Account will find other banks willing to work with them," he said. "But their window of opportunity to acquire new clients is closing."