After an arduous selection process, the clearing unit of Weiss, Peck and Greer has chosen Toronto-based Belzberg Financial as its trade order management system of choice, allowing it to easily connect to Automatic Data Processing for record keeping. Jay Nadel, managing director, who oversees the clearing services of Weiss, Peck and Greer, says the choice was made afterbeing impressed with Belzberg's "user friendly, point-and-click system." In addition, one of the main reasons the system was chosen was for the easy connectivity to Automatic Data Processing, Weiss, Peck's back-office provider. "It truly is STP ... the Belzberg system has complete connectivity," Nadel exclaims.
Belzberg connects to all the major exchanges, all the ECNs and the market makers as well, Nadel notes. "Here we had the ability to connect to all the major marketplaces, some other systems do that but not to this extent." Connecting to the major markets is important because Weiss, Peck plans to offer the Belzberg system to its client roster of over 100 clearing correspondents. Nadel explains that it wants to offer the system as a value-add, but clients are not obligated to switch to the new system.
Donald Wilson, chief operating officer at Belzberg, says that the vendor will provide the trading front-end for order entry and that Weiss, Peck will have the option, depending on its customers' needs, to choose from a list of options. They can opt for the single order entry, a basket trading system, or an event-driven automated trading system, Wilson says. "They can pick among these tools," he emphasizes. "In addition, they are getting our gateways that do the routing of the orders to the New York Stock Exchange and to a variety of ECNs and market makers. Weiss, Peck and Greer has chosen to connect to Island and Instinet, and could link to others if it decides to down the road. Nadel would not comment on the cost of taking the Belzberg system, nor the cost to its correspondents, if they chose to adopt it.
In addition, Belzberg is providing Weiss, Peck with an online inventory system that will be customized for the clearing firm. "What happens with ADP is that in the morning we bring in the opening positions of certain inventory accounts, then as the day proceeds we maintain and keep up to date in real time all of the positions in that account-even though those trades have not made their way into that account. We keep realized and unrealized P&L live so they can watch inventories," Wilson explains.
Belzberg is also "moving into global trading" as it is developing interfaces to the London Stock Exchange, Zurich, Amsterdam and Australia for its client State Street. Wilson notes that Weiss, Peck may also choose to use its global connectivity. Although neither Nadel nor Wilson would comment on the other vendors that were considered, Belzberg's biggest competitor is ITG. Other financial services firms using the Belzberg system include TD Waterhouse, CIBC, Morgan Stanley and BT Securities.
Nadel says that the Belzberg system is part of a broader plan to enhance its clearing business. "We have a big push underway," Nadel says. In January the firm added an Internet product called Automated Financial Systems through ADP's preferred provider plan for trade inquiry for its correspondents. "We have added on the tools that we need to take the clearing business to the next level," Nadel exclaims.