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The Beat on the Street

Tough Times See Analysts Teaming Up; Financial Insights Releases Top-10 List for 2003; Funds Must Re-evaluate Service Providers.

Tough Times See Analysts Teaming Up
Coming on the heels of IDC's acquisition of Meridien Research, Forrester Research recently announced that it would be acquiring the Giga Information Group. "We believe that this acquisition significantly expands our coverage and reach," stated George F. Colony, Forrester's chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "Giga brings deep IT research that augments our emerging technology focus, as well as approximately 900 new client relationships. These strengths, together with Giga's reputation for quality, innovative products, and customer service, make Giga an ideal fit for Forrester and our clients."

The acquisition will most likely be completed during the second quarter of 2003.

IDC, a technology and e-business market intelligence and advisory firm, recently attempted to expand its reach into the financial-services-technology world with the acquisition of Meridien Research. IDC hopes to build upon Meridien's financial-services research groundwork in order to form a new combined company run independently of IDC, called Financial Insights. Michon Schenck has been tapped to serve as chief operating officer of the research and advisory company. She says that Financial Insights will expand Meridien's research team to become more of a global presence in the industry. "One of the challenges in the capital-markets industry is that it is a global industry with participants all around the world with specialized, regionalized requirements," says Schenck.

She adds that while Meridien on its own was a very good, small company, IDC can lend the corporate structure and resources necessary to grow and expand. More than half of IDC's 700 analysts are outside of the United States in more than 50 countries. "Our plan is to leverage the infrastructure that is already in place," says Schenck.


Financial Insights Releases Top-10 List for 2003
Financial Insights (the combination of Meridien Research and IDC - see story to right) has released its annual analysis of strategic IT initiatives.

"These are not necessarily issues that are garnering the largest spending," reads the report. "These are the issues that are driving smart institutions to target IT investments."

TOP 10 Capital Markets Issues for 2003
1 Operational efficiency
2 Credit risk management

3 Regulatory change
4 Outsourcing
5 Data management
6 Compliance/Disclosure
7 Linux and distributed computing
8 Business continuity
9 Message management
10 Structured products

Source: Financial Insights


Funds Must Re-evaluate Service Providers
A research note from TowerGroup suggests mutual-fund trustees take a closer look at the service organizations that administer their funds, contending that often the structure and costs of administration are not put under a microscope.

According to the paper, trustees (those responsible for making sure the fund is being administered correctly) need to make sure their service providers are efficiently making use of accounting, workflow-management, and e-mail management systems.

Author of the study, TowerGroup Senior Analyst Gavin Little-Gill, says that sometimes providers are not making use of all three systems.

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