• Compliance

      • Who Doesn't wish they had a crystal ball? As we enter the new year facing so many uncertainties, Wall Street is taking its best guess as to what the future of the exchanges will be, and everyone is trying to plan accordingly.
      • While Wall Street lives by the quarterly earnings call, executives are starving for a long-term vision, according to the soon-to-be-released "Financial Markets 2015" report (available April 1) from the IBM Institute for Business Value. Daniel Latimore, executive director, and Suzanne Dence, a senior consultant at the institute, share some of the report's findings with WS&T.
      • Bolstered by record profits in 2005, the securities industry may see an increase in consolidation activity in 2006, according to Robert Hegarty, managing director in TowerGroup's securities and investments practice. Both smaller financial firms and innovative industry-specific technology providers will be on the menu for many bulge-bracket firms in the coming year, he says.
      • According to Richard Rzasa, CIO at TD Waterhouse, in 2006, executives in the financial services industry have a decision to make: either tighten their own security, work closely with lawmakers and educate the public to increase online security, or risk having consumers move away from using the Internet for financial transactions and self-service.
      • Currently, financial services companies are scrambling to ready systems and processes for Reg NMS and the NYSE's planned hybrid exchange structure. However, Joe Gawronski, COO at Rosenblatt Securities, says that while it's important to be prepared, don't be surprised if implementation of both Reg NMS and the NYSE's hybrid model are delayed.
      • Philippe Bibi, senior managing director and CTO at Boston-based Putnam Investments, plans to focus on adding business value in 2006 (instead of spending a lot of time focused solely on regulatory compliance) by developing technology that can automate derivatives transactions and replacing parts of Putnam's legacy systems with off-the-shelf solutions.
      • As the securities and investments industry prepares for the implementation of possibly the most dramatic series of changes we will see in our lifetime -- namely Reg NMS and the NYSE's plan to implement a hybrid exchange model -- no number of editorials or articles seems to be able to do the topics justice. In the following pages, you will find a few more viewpoints and prognostications from five of your peers.
      • After posting record profits in 2005, many financial services firms are looking to acquire smaller players with unique business lines and/or financial products, or to bolster their technology. Consequently, consolidation may reach record levels in 2006.
      • Soft dollars are a means of paying brokerage firms for their services through trade commission revenue. To cover fees for research, for example, buy-side firms direct order flow to the sell-side service provider, which charges inflated trade commissions.
      • Finding ways to control compliance costs has become a high priority for Wall Street CIOs as they realize that more IT dollars diverted toward compliance means fewer IT dollars devoted to clients' needs and company growth.
      • New regulations in the United States and Europe are leading to heightened awareness of the largely unexplored commission-management software industry -- a market primed for major growth, according to research and advisory firm Financial Insights.

Thought Leaders

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