The Belgian financial-advice software developer Customer Dialogue Systems has bought Boston-based Asset Sciences in what the buyer says is the first significant merger in the area of technology-enabled financial advice.
Yannick Loop, chief executive officer of Customer Dialogue Systems, in Leuven, said the merged company will take the buyers name and offer asset and risk management advice to customers through the Internet and other channels.
No price was given for the deal, which was announced Thursday and was financed by a share swap.
Customer Dialogue Systems primary product deals with investment risk management, something few, if any, online advice providers address, Mr. Loop said. Asset Sciences sole product, AssetPlanner, is Internet-based. It is marketed directly to consumers and focuses on asset growth.
According to research by Customer Dialogue, consumers in Europe and America are more interested in advice about risk analysis than about wealth generation. This indicates large potential for growth, Mr. Loop said.
Six-year-old Customer Dialogue Systems has sold its software to European companies, including Deutsche Bank, Dexia, ING Bank, and Gerling. The new company will aggressively market in the United States, Mr. Loop said.
Banks and brokerages use Customer Dialogue Systems product primarily to serve wealthy customers, but Mr. Loop said it is also intended for the mass market. Customer Dialogue will continue to sell its software to financial institutions but is also considering marketing directly to consumers.
A product combining the capabilities of Customer Dialogue Systems software with AssetPlanner will probably be available within six months, Mr. Loop said.
Together, Customer Dialogue and Asset Sciences have 150 employees.