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Identrus Undergoes Sweeping Makeover

A name change and new execs usher change in strategy.

Long-time banking identity solutions company Identrus (San Francisco) unveiled a new brand identity and executive team members. The organization is now known as IdenTrust and will focus on more than just the banking sector.

The change is part of a broader effort by the company to further strengthen trust in identity usage and authentication for corporations, financial institutions and government entities. "Through our new name and tagline, IdenTrust, 'we put the trust in identity,' we want to communicate our commitment to providing the most assured, trusted identities in cyberspace," explains Karen Wendel, CEO of IdenTrust. "Our market differentiator is the unique level of trust that banks can provide in authenticating identities, storing them securely, and the interoperability that is provided on a legal basis globally. Our target market and focus has changed from primarily the banks, to one focusing on the corporations, government and all types of financial institutions."

As the company evolved, so has its board. Rather than solely consisting of banks, IdenTrust's board also includes the venture capital community. Its new executive gains include John Sculley as chairman of the board. Sculley is currently a venture partner with Rho Capital Partners. However, he is also known as a former CEO of Apple Computer and Pepsi. According to Wendel, Sculley's background will provide IdenTrust the insider knowledge for working with corporations and their needs.

"[Sculley's] experience helps IdenTrust in understanding business case and approval approaches for corporations, which do differ from the way that banks make decisions," she says. "Where banks often have to make a decision based on regulatory compliance, corporations need ROI and time to market justifications. John is also a very well respected person in the global business community. Therefore, he can be a great ambassador for IdenTrust with those global relationships." Further, Jean Lavigne, a former VP and country president in France and Belgium for Motorola, and former CEO of the company, will give IdenTrust added dimension in Europe, says Wendel. In addition to his insights into the corporate mindset, Lavigne is involved in initiatives around single European payments area (SEPA) and the markets in financial instruments (MIFID) directive as well. "His knowledge of the European Parliament and working with them will be invaluable in our success on the continent," she comments. Rounding out the new board appointments are Thomas Ream as COO, responsible for operations, the government sector, finance and administration, and Andrea Klein as chief marketing officer. Both Ream and Klein bring extensive financial services experience to IdenTrust; Ream as a former VP and CFO with Tacit Software, and Klein as VP of financial services industry strategy and marketing with Oracle.

"With our new strategic management team in place, and a company ownership that has evolved from our founding banks to include venture capital, we can be more market driven and respond more dynamically to changes in customer needs," says Wendel.

With the new board in place, the company will further focus on the corporate sector and how to deliver the products and services non-banks require. Wendel notes IdenTrust still will rely on its bank members. "We are working very closely with our bank members to insure that we jointly provide both a secure and flexible solution to address the needs of government and corporations in the most expeditious and cost effective way," she says. However, "By having the stronger corporate influence on our board, both the banks and IdenTrust gain a greater understanding of how to be successful capturing the needs and delivering the solutions that corporations globally are looking for."

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