National Australia Bank Ltd. has purchased software to integrate its global trading and risk management infrastructure.

The $66 billion-asset bank, the largest in Australia, has licensed Infinity Financial Technology Inc.'s Montage Data Model to serve as the foundation for its global treasury operation.

"We are looking for an industrial-strength software kernel upon which we could standardize our operation for the long run," said Stuart Mackenzie, head of group treasury technology. "The technology gives us the ability to scale our operations according to need and allows us to focus on building an efficient and reliable global system."

National Australia Bank plans to roll out the technology throughout its global operation, which stretches across Australia, Europe, Asia, and the Americas, over the next three years. The bank expects to have more than 700 users working with the system.

Though the bank would not comment on specific costs, Mr. Mackenzie said the bank is spending tens of millions of dollars on technology to revamp its treasury operation.

"Our overall plan is to install client/server technology in an effort to have tighter integration throughout our global operation," said Mr. Mackenzie. "With the complex nature of instruments that we are trading, we want to be able to look at our risk exposure and have the entire picture. By building the operation on top of this technology we will be able to do that."

The Montage system consists of intuitive applications for trading and risk management as well as a series of software tool kits. The system provides allows the customer to build custom applications for warehousing treasury data and derivatives trading. Montage uses object-oriented programing and relational database technology within a client/server environment.

Earlier this year, the National Australia Bank agreed to acquire Michigan National Corp. in a move to gain a foothold in the United States. The deal, which is scheduled to close by the end of the year, will mark the first time an Australian bank has made a major retail acquisition in the United States.

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