• Asset Management

      • Leveraging its existing back office, in January, Minneapolis-based Dain Rauscher Corporation said it would provide the firm’s more than 2,000 brokers with a central portal to access enterprise customer information by signing an agreement with Toronto-based Janna Systems.
      • While there is no single individual crusading for a more open IPO market, now an insurgent-led movement, is gaining grass roots support to reform the IPO pricing and distributionprocess, utilizing the power of technology and the Internet to reach millions of online investors.
      • Charles Schwab & Co. has taken its first steps into the largely uncharted waters of wireless trading, beginning the beta test of its wireless trading product on February 14th. This Valentines Day gift represents the beginning of a “soft launch” in only a few areas, says Bob Taylor, who is heading up the wireless initiative. The beta testing will be followed up by a nationwide release by the end of this quarter.
      • As e-commerce pervades the brokerage community, the buy side is beginning to see services never imagined before the advent of the Internet. Brokerages, and third-party vendors, are scrambling to offer institutional money managers online services—from trading and research to risk and portfolio management tools—that will only increase the level of service that the buy side receives, says Bob Iati, an analyst in the securities and investment practice at the TowerGroup.
      • Dresdner RCM Gestion, the French division of Dresdner RCM Global Investors, has just completed installing the core portfolio management component of Décalog’s IDÉE, and is beginning installation of the application suite’s various modules, including IDÉE Trader, IDÉE Compliance and IDÉE Performance. The firm, which spent over 10 months of 1999 installing IDÉE’s core functionality, is beginning to port its client portfolios from the proprietary system that is being replaced.
      • W-Trade, known for enabling brokers and their clients with wireless trading, has extended its wireless application suite to include w-401k, a portfolio management and trading application suited for investors and fund managers. The product, released with a host of others last week, can also be set up to deliver alerts on position changes dependent on predefined rules.
      • Looking to better accommodate the needs of a pension fund which has grown from $2 billion to $8 billion in only five years, the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System (ATRS) has licensed Princeton Financial Systems’ portfolio accounting system, PAM, and JD Edwards’ general ledger system, General Accounting. The decision to automate its accounting and recordkeeping comes only a year and a half after the Arkansas state legislature charged the pension fund with hiring a CPA-level CFO, a position that was filled in 1998 by George Snyder.
      • Heartline Investment Corp., a Chicago-based portfolio manager, has just installed Moxy, Advent Software’s trading and modeling system. As a longtime user of Advent’s portfolio accounting system, Axys, and its reconciliation module, Rex, Heartline did not consider any other trading systems. The firm is a low turnover shop, says Tim Greive, portfolio manager, and after speaking with other Moxy users, he decided the system was functional enough to meet the firm’s needs.
      • Capital Management Sciences (CMS), the Los Angeles-based provider of fixed-income portfolio analytics software, has begun development on a new component-based architecture for its flagship product, BondEdge. The project, which should take about 18 months to complete, will open up BondEdge to an almost infinite realm of possibilities and uses, according to Joe Duran, vice president of technology.
      • After nearly a year-long search—or four years, depending on how you look at it—Denver Investment Advisors has selected Eze Castle’s order management system, Trader’s Console (TC). When Ted Laskaris, director of investment technology, joined the firm in March, he was charged with upgrading the entire equity-trading floor, picking up a search that had been ongoing since 1996. Laskaris says that he set up a matrix of functionality and price across all the major vendors, including the Longview Group, the MacGregor Group and Charles River Development, and Eze won hands down on most accounts.
      • Denver-based Techfi Corp. has launched ePortfolio 2000, a Web-based portfolio management system for registered investment advisors (RIAs) and broker/dealers. The system allows users to manage all client portfolios with real-time access to account data and report generation through the Microsoft SQL server database via the Internet. The fact that Techfi is marketing a portfolio management solution to brokers speaks to the continuing convergence in the financial-services arena. As individual investors have increasingly turned to cheaper trades at online brokerages, full service firms are evolving into financial advisors — or money managers — forced to offer advice on long-range investment goals to retain clients.
      • PlusFunds.com began using Geneva as the core accounting engine behind its new Web site that provides real-time data on hedgefund performance, and Ardsley Partners, a Greenwich, Conn.-based hedgefund manager, signed on with Advent to replace its current system, SS&C Technologies’ CAMRA.

Thought Leaders

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