CHAMPCAR/CART: Newman/Haas announces strategic partner

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 28, 2000) --- Newman/Haas Racing, competitors in the CART FedEx Championship Series, and XOLIA.com, Inc. announced a strategic alliance today that will begin immediately. "Not only will XOLIA be featured on Newman/Haas ...

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 28, 2000) --- Newman/Haas Racing, competitors in the CART FedEx Championship Series, and XOLIA.com, Inc. announced a strategic alliance today that will begin immediately. "Not only will XOLIA be featured on Newman/Haas Racing's cars and drivers in the United States, but also in all eight countries in which the Team will compete in 2001," said Jim Fischer, chief executive officer of XOLIA. "This is valuable to XOLIA as it continues to expand its business networks, partnerships, and international reach. The Company expects to launch international offices in Europe, Asia, and Latin America during the coming 12-18 months. This strategic alliance will clearly increase awareness and branding of XOLIA in these key markets." Through the strategic alliance, Newman/Haas Racing is renewing an association with Fischer, who was previously chief capability officer at Andersen Consulting, a sponsor of the team from 1990-1995.

The New Economy is driven by three essential forces: speed, technology, and innovation. Newman/Haas Racing has always been a championship contending team and is well positioned to continue its success in the New Economy. Through this strategic alliance, NHR and XOLIA will cooperate to ensure that the Team takes full advantage of these New Economy forces, focusing on speed, technology, and innovation.

"It is great to be associated with XOLIA and renew our relationship with Jim Fischer," said Carl A. Haas, co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing. "Jim brought a lot of expertise to our organization in the past and I am confident he will do so again with XOLIA."

About XOLIA.com, Inc.
Founded in 1999, XOLIA.com, Inc. is the premier enabler of digital decisions. The company creates private label Decision Centers, which custom-match users with the most suitable service providers, enhance third-party websites and help transaction service providers generate new customer accounts. XOLIA works with pioneering companies including Morningstar, Multex (Nasdaq: MLTX), SINA.com (Nasdaq: SINA), MsMoney, E*TRADE (Nasdaq: EGRP), Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTD), American Express Financial Advisors (NYSE: AXP), and Datek to provide Internet users with informative, user-friendly Decision Centers. With about 30 employees, XOLIA is privately held and presently raising a round of strategic and venture financing.

About Newman/Haas Racing
Newman/Haas Racing was formed in the fall of 1982 by actor and race car driver Paul Newman and racing entrepreneur Carl A. Haas to compete in Championship Auto Racing Team-sanctioned Champ car series beginning in 1983. Current team drivers include Michael Andretti, the winningest CART driver with 40 victories, and Christian Fittipaldi, who is a race winner and championship contender. Andretti currently leads the Championship after 11 of 20 races in five countries this season. For 2001, the series will compete in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Japan, as well as new races in England, Germany and Mexico.

-NHR-

FACT SHEET*

About Jim Fischer Mr. Fischer, 51, is the least-likely person you'd expect to be running a year-old Internet company co-founded by a 22-year-old. The 22-year-old in question, Anas Osman, co-founded XOLIA in 1999 with seed investments from a small group of accredited investors. In contrast, when Mr. Fischer was 22 years old, he was a newly minted Purdue University graduate just starting at the then fledgling Arthur Andersen accountancy company. Andersen Consulting was set up as a separate unit in 1989 and has grown to an $8.9 billion-a-year concern. Mr. Fischer was a member of the founding team.

Mr. Fischer says his initial contact with XOLIA was as an angel investor. When the company decided to restructure its management, Mr. Fischer was lured as chief executive officer with an even bigger stake in the company, which is based in Oak Brook, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.

"I helped build Andersen Consulting and wanted to build something great again," Mr. Fischer says, explaining the biggest reason he is leaving the only post-collegiate job he has ever held. "We took a franchised operation and turned it into a global enterprise." He says he has no regrets and no worries about his move, even amid the current doom-and-gloom atmosphere surrounding dot-coms.

Mr. Fischer doesn't see the Internet economy slowing down; rather, he sees a "maturation" in which only the strong companies with valid business plans survive. He points to a study by Jupiter Communications (Nasdaq: JPTR) that shows that venture capitalists spent $7 billion on technology companies in January and $6 billion in June.

XOLIA provides Web sites with software tools that help online consumers select financial services such as banking, brokerage, and credit cards. The company's software tailors research and ranks financial services for consumers. The company hopes to sell its product to other sites that have spent millions of dollars building a brand name and are looking for more ways to keep consumers glued to their sites. The company's software is used by such sites as Morningstar, Multex (Nasdaq: MLTX), and SINA.com (Nasdaq: SINA).

Mr. Fischer served as Andersen Consulting's chief technology officer between 1989 and 1994, which he says prepared him for his Web foray. Mr. Fischer says after 29 years with a single employer, he was ready for a challenge and "something new." Rather than take his expertise to an established company, where the corporate culture is entrenched and hard to change, he jumped at the opportunity to take over XOLIA.

* Adapted from "From Angel to In-house" by Paul Elias, RED HERRING, July 13, 2000.

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About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Newman