May 2008

COVER STORY

Buy Side Seeks Independent Valuation Providers for OTC Derivatives in Wake of Credit Crisis

Buy Side Seeks Independent Valuation Providers for OTC Derivatives in Wake of Credit Crisis
With the credit markets in turmoil over OTC derivatives valuations, buy-side firms are tapping vendors to avoid the conflict of interest inherent in broker-determined prices.
Sidebar
Putnam Investments Sees Competitive Advantage in Building OTC Derivatives Pricing Engine In-House

BUSINESS LINES

TRADING
Is Wall Street Ready for the iPhone?
Apple now is targeting business users with its iPhone and has addressed security and connectivity concerns that had prevented its adoption by corporate users. But with capital markets firms already exploring applications that can be easily implemented on BlackBerrys, will the iPhone be able to catch up?

COMPLIANCE
Financial Institutions Evaluate Biometrics
While financial institutions aren't yet ready for consumer-facing biometrics deployments, these technologies are gaining popularity for behind-the-scenes authentication. Experts say biometrics can be particularly effective as part of a two-factor authentication solution.

OPERATIONS
Merrill Lynch Speeds Up Application Development
Merrill Lynch developers are turning Microsoft's Windows Workflow Foundation framework into a customized rapid-development platform, streamlining the application development process.

FOCUS ON

Wall Street Project Management Offices Focus on Derivatives
The latest trend and challenge for Wall Street's project management offices is the need to push through derivatives automation projects.
Sidebars
What Is a Project Management Office?

CIOs Say Projects Are Late and Over Budget

INDUSTRY VOICE

Web Services 2.0 Make Good on the Web's Promises of Flexibility and Customization
Now that Web services have gone 2.0, new service-oriented business applications (SOBAs) offer complete, cost-effective adaptability to unique business models, processes and best practices.

FROM THE EDITOR

Overbearing Market Reform Will Only Slow Market Innovation
As investors call for extensive regulatory oversight of certain derivatives, regulators must be careful not to create a regulatory crutch that removes innovation from the markets.

PERSPECTIVES

Opportunities Beckon Amid Economic Turmoil
A shaky economy and the defibrillation of many fixed-income products provide fertile ground for automated trading, fixed-income ECNs and exchanges — as well as opportunities for those willing to take some calculated risk.

UP FRONT

Hedge Funds Say Technology Is Critical to Business
Hedge funds are focusing their technology efforts on improving automation around OTC derivatives, as well as adding collateral management technology and exerting better control over prime brokerage charges and rates, according to a new Aite survey.

Options Traders Lack TCA Tools
The structure of the options market has prevented the adoption of transaction cost analysis (TCA) tools that are now commonplace in equity trading, according to TABB Group.

Watching the Value of IT Assets
Companies are constantly acquiring, disposing of and moving physical IT assets, making it exceptionally difficult to keep an up-to-date record of the value of fixed assets.

Electronic Trading Drives FX Market Growth
The industry conversion to electronic trading is happening even faster than expected. Research from CME Group predicts that by 2010 more than 80 percent of all cash business will be executed electronically.

Gartner Offers Financial Institutions Tips to Broaden Client Relationships
By helping customers better manage their finances with access to external data, financial institutions can broaden their customer relationships and meet some of their own short-term cost and revenue challenges.

Advisers Turn to Asset Managers for Advice During Economic Slump
Nearly all financial advisers say the ability of a fund company wholesaler to deliver an informed opinion impacts their transaction decisions.

Direct Market Access to Continue Steady Growth
Celent estimates that 15 percent to 18 percent of current U.S. equities flow goes through direct market access (DMA) pipes, a number that is expected to increase to 20 percent by 2010.

PRODUCT WATCH

CDC Releases New CRM Platform as a Software-as-a-Service Offering
Pivotal CRM On Demand and Pivotal CRM On Demand for Institutional Asset Management can be used on an on-demand basis through a Web portal or deployed internally by the client.

Quod Releases Solution for Buy-Side Execution Management
Advanced Smart-Order Router (ASOR) uses the algorithms in Quod's sell-side solution to bring new levels of routing capabilities to the buy side, the vendor says.

Scivantage Automates Mutual Fund Account Openings
With the integration of Scivantage's Automated Account Opening application and DST Systems' Web Services interface, broker-dealers will be able to offer primary and multicustodial brokerage and direct-to-fund account opening from one system.

SHIFTING GEARS

Consulting Firm ALaS Hires Ex-JPMorgan Vet Erik DiGiacomo
Before joining ALaS, DiGiacomo had worked at Washington Mutual Bank and JPMorgan.

TABB Hires Former Amex Executive Miranda Mizen
Mizen will leverage her extensive global capital markets experience in her new position as a senior consultant at TABB Group.

Rosenblatt Securities Expands NYSE Floor Operations With Gordon Charlop Appointment
Bucking the trend of shrinking exchange floor operations, Rosenblatt Securities appointed Gordon Charlop as managing director and head of the firm's New York Stock Exchange operations.

Keeping Tabs
Cathryn Lyall Joins ICAP; Newedge Taps Michael Bailey; William Buble Joins Trade Settlement; Deloitte Hires Richard Whalen