Most insurance e-business solutions providers have long considered investments in Web-based insurance distribution outlets as bold and risk-taking strategies to enhance their corporate fortunes.This belief didn't deter Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv Inc., an information management systems and services provider, from acquiring Falls Church, Va.-based ReliaQuote Inc., an Internet-based insurance agency and brokerage that dabbles in term insurance. Consummated in April, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While some industry observers regard a Fiserv/ReliaQuote partnership as a curious strategy, others classify the deal as a compatible combination that has the potential to engender strong corporate synergies. Indeed, the principles of both companies believe that the merger will create a host of new business opportunities within the financial services segment, particularly involving banks, brokers and investment advisors.

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