CFI ProServices Inc. has acquired Texas/Southwest Technology Group Inc., a Houston-based client/server technology firm.

The agreement is expected to strengthen CFI's ability to provide banking systems based on the increasingly popular computing architecture to the nation's largest financial institutions.

Matthew Chapman, CFI's chairman and chief executive, said the acquisition was "a perfect complement" to his company's technological expertise.

The acquisition will enable CFI to more easily develop client/server connections between its PC-based software products and banks' existing mainframe computers, Mr. Chapman said.

CFI will also be able to expand its offerings with a number of automated clearing house and cash management software products that came with the acquisition.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

CFI is a Portland-based provider of PC-based banking applications, such as the LaserPro loan origination software and the Personal Branch home banking software.

In the past, Texas/Southwest Technology has helped build interfaces between CFI products and the host computers of banking customers.

The decision to acquire the Texas firm, which has expertise in client/server, network communications, and host computer interfacing, was driven by industry moves toward computing environments that are hybrids between mainframes and PCs, Mr. Chapman said.

According to its president, Robin L. Paquette, Texas/Southwest's forte is linking PC applications to mainframes so that the systems can cooperatively process data and provide greater operating efficiencies.

The cooperative processing setup allows large banks, which typically operate centralized processing sites, to distribute information to their branches more efficiently, he explained.

In addition, Texas/Southwest's interface connects systems within existing mainframe network environments, which enables banks to save money by not having to add costly new transmission lines or hardware devices, he said.

"We view this advantage of our alliance with TSTG to be especially beneficial in our efforts to penetrate the large-institution market," said Mr. Chapman.

Texas/Southwest has several cash management and automated clearing house products that will be added to CFI's product line. A spokesman, Greg Myers, said CFI intends to add the cash management capabilities to its home banking software to serve small business customers.

CFI will continue to operate Texas/Southwest's Houston office and maintain its full staff. The unit will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of CFI, but its name will probably be changed at some point, said Mr. Myers.

Mr. Paquette will remain president.

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