London, UK, February 18, 2004

The UK's first specialist equity release outsourcer, Equity Release Services (ERS), has purchased a £3 million technology solution from the CGI Group (Europe) Ltd.

CGI will provide a comprehensive and scalable IT service, including strategic consultancy, building and managing business applications, as well as the provision and ongoing support of a complete IT infrastructure at both ERS' Head Office in Cardiff and out of CGI's European Data Centre in Basingstoke.

ERS will be providing bespoke outsourced or white labelled equity release services for traditional financial services companies or organisations in sectors such as charity and retail that are keen to offer equity release to their customer base. The size of the contract reflects the significant growth expected in the equity release market over the coming years.

Under the contract, ERS will be utilising CGI's wide set of skills, existing software assets and facilities. Within the end-to-end service, CGI will advise and recommend on ERS' IT strategy, develop, support and enhance all of the business critical applications, as well as create a secure, flexible IT infrastructure to support existing and future ERS customers.

Ged Hosty, managing director at ERS, comments: "The equity release market is becoming volume and price driven with the need to differentiate by a high degree of customer servicing. This is only possible with the latest technology, which would be prohibitively expensive to build yourself. CGI will give us and our clients the competitive edge that is needed in this rapidly evolving market."

Gary Boni, business development director of CGI Group (Europe) Ltd, said: "The provision of equity release is expanding rapidly, at the same time providers are being hit with regulatory and compliance issues that are causing business strains. The successful companies going forward will be able to adapt to change whilst providing ever more competitive products and services. We believe that ERS will be at the forefront of this and are rightly proud that the business will be supported by CGI technology."

About ERS
Equity Release Services (ERS) is a Cardiff-based equity release outsourcing company providing mortgage and reversion schemes to traditional equity release providers, financial services companies and a wide range of other organisations.

ERS senior management include some of the most experienced equity release practitioners in the industry who offer a full range of equity release specialist services.

ERS equity release services include:

  • Marketing: product design and pricing, customer selection
  • Lead generation: target customer identification, direct marketing strategy and campaign design
  • Sales - sales force management, factfind software, file audit
  • Administration - pre and post sale completion services, conveyancing and record keeping
  • Property Management - property underwriting and maintenance
  • Financing
  • Systems Integration
  • Management and Accounting services

About CGI
Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest independent information technology and business process services firms in North America. CGI and its affiliated companies employ approximately 20,000 professionals. CGI provides end-to-end IT and business process services to clients worldwide from offices in Canada, the United States, Europe and centres of excellence in India. CGI's annualised revenue run rate is currently CDN$2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion) and at December 31, 2003, CGI's order backlog was CDN$12.2 billion (US$9.3 billion). CGI's shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB) and are included in the S&P/TSX Composite Index as well as the S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology and MidCap Indices.


Geraldine Grewal/Lisa Carter
Portfolio Communications Ltd.
Tel: 020 7240 6959
Ref: 04-071