The new chairman and chief executive officer of Spectrum, the bank-owned electronic bill payment and presentment company, said the venture will be up and running in the first half.

"This is the year of execution," said John M. Perry, who started in his new job last month. Spectrum, of Union, N.J., announced his appointment Wednesday.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., First Union Corp., and Wells Fargo & Co., which formed Spectrum in October 1999, will be operating on the Spectrum platform by June, Mr. Perry said. Once they have successfully implemented the system, Spectrum will begin marketing to other clients and service providers, he said.

More than 20 banks have signed on to use the service, and over the past two weeks a four-person management team has been hired, Mr. Perry said.

Ron Braco, Spectrum's president and chief operating officer, said its launch has been behind expectations because of sluggish market conditions. Besides, he said, a "big bang" was never the plan.

"We are making a lot of progress in building out a highly professional, first-class, lean company," he said. "It is our intention to move this industry forward and provide all the tools that are necessary to enable financial institutions to be successful around bill payment and presentment."

Mr. Perry was president and CEO of, an Atlanta company, before joining Spectrum. Before that he was president and chief operating officer of NOVA Information Systems, where his responsibilities included loan management and new business development.

He has also managed business development and operations at First Data Corp. and was a vice president of marketing for Wells Fargo.

Mr. Perry will work out of Spectrum's Atlanta office.

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