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eXchange Holdings wants to be known as MoneyExtra.com

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eXchange Holdings is to group all its online personal finance activities under the MoneyExtra brand. At the same time it is changing its name to MoneyExtra.com. The company is to spend up to £18 million in promoting the name over the next year. The news accompanies full year results to 31 December which saw sharply increased pre-tax losses of £14 million (1998: -£2 million). The second half accounted for £11 million of these losses. And most of this was down to the launch of the company's consumer business. eXchange remains cash rich; it ended the year with £61.2 million in the bank, after raising £88m through its IPO and repaying £18.5m of borrowing. When eXchange Holdings IPOed last year, it looked very much like a one-trick b2b pony. The company supplied online computer and compliance services to IFA (independent financial adviser) networks in the UK, and it had Misys, the FTSE-100 listed company, breathing down its neck with a rival service. Since then, the company has diversified through acquisition of moneyworld.co.uk into retail personal finance. eXchange's move may make strategic sense. But this market is even more competitive than the b2b sector and it is going to be tough to make much money as an intermediary drawn from the second division of brand names. eXchange's latest purchase on the block, announced today is Fondex, "Scandinavia's leading online retail investment fund supermarket". This will cost £21.65 million upfront, in new eXChange shares. There is a deferred performance related element worth up to £2.65m in exChange Holdings shares. ®

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